Chicken Jalfrezi - A Curry with Tomatoes and Capsicum)
This chicken dish is a delicious mix of chicken, green peppers (capsicum/bell peppers/Shimla mirch), onions and tomatoes in a creamy sauce. Traditionally, it has a creamy, clingy gravy, but I often make it with a thinner gravy. Serves 4
500 gm. chicken pieces, skin removed and washed. In the picture here, I have used chicken drumsticks.
For the marinade:
2 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. Garam Masala
Salt to taste
For cooking the vegetable mix:
2 medium onions (approximately 200 gm.), peeled and thickly sliced or chopped
150 gm. or 2 green peppers, de-seeded and sliced or cubed (1" pieces)
1-2 green chillies, adjust according to taste, chopped
2 large tomatoes (250 gm.) cut into medium sized wedges
2 tbsp. oil or ghee
Salt to taste
For cooking the curry gravy:
2 tbsp. ghee or oil
1/2 tsp. chilli powder, adjust amount to taste
2 tbsp. tomato purée
You can add a couple of tablespoons of thick, natural yoghurt* or sour cream at step 10, to make the dish creamy
Mix ginger, garlic, turmeric, garam masala and salt together.
Coat chicken with this mix and allow to marinate for 2-3 hours.
Heat oil or ghee in a wok or karahi.
Add sliced onions, green chillies, green peppers and salt, fry for 10 minutes or so.
Add tomato wedges, stir fry until onions become translucent and green peppers and tomatoes are half cooked, approximately 10 minutes.
Lift out with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil or ghee in a pan, add marinated chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes on high.
Add chilli powder and tomato purée and simmer on low heat, until chicken is cooked. You don’t generally need to add water, but if it is too dry, add a little to stop it from ‘catching’.
Stir-fry on high until excess gravy is evaporated and chicken looks well fried. The picture shows more gravy than the traditional Jalfrezi. That is because our family likes thinner gravy in curries.
This dish can be prepared up to here in advance.
Heat the chicken, add previously fried vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes, until heated through.
Stir in yoghurt/sour cream, if used.
Turn heat off.
*A few tips for cooking with yoghurt :
Always use full fat yoghurt, if possible. Skimmed milk yoghurt sometimes curdles during cooking. If you wish to use low fat yoghurt, add 1 heaped teaspoon of plain or corn flour per cup of yoghurt.
Make sure that the yoghurt is at room temperature. If chilled yoghurt is added to a hot dish straight from the fridge, it may curdle.
Or take out a few tablespoons of the hot food in a bowl, mix yoghurt, warming it a bit and then stir it back into the hot dish.
Substitute sour cream for yoghurt, using only half the amount.