Chicken Jalfrezi


This is affectionately known as ‘Chicken Jalfrazzled’ in my house

If you prefer your curries to have a bit of a kick to them, Chicken Jalfrezi from the Hairy Dieters is for you. If serving to children, you might want to deseed the chillies to scale down the heat, or you could leave them in – they’ve got to learn sometime ;-).

There are just 279 calories per portion in this recipe, WITHOUT rice or naan. And while it might not taste as good or as authentic as from your local curry house, you’ll still be satisfied with the end result. Check out the ‘Fakeaways’ section of this blog if you’re fancying recreating your favourite curry where you’ll find recipes for tikka masala, bhuna, biryani and more!

Recipe: Chicken Jalfrezi

Calories: 279 per portion (without rice or naan)

Serves: 4

Book: Hairy Dieters – How to Love Food and Lose Weight

Prep time: Approx 30 minutes

Cooking time: Approx 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 long green chillies
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 3 ripe tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 200ml cold water
  • 2 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 medium onion (cut into 12 wedges)
  • 1 green pepper (deseeded and cut into rough 3cm chunks)
  • 2 tomatoes (quartered)
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp water

Cost per portion: Approx £1.21 (without rice or naan)

Method:

Finely chop 4 of the chillies – deseed a couple or all of them first if you don’t like very spicy food. Split the other 2 chillies from stalk to tip on 1 side without opening or removing the seeds. Cut each chicken breast into 7 or 8 bite-sized chunks.

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large, fairly deep, non-stick frying pan (or wok) over a high heat. Add the garlic, chopped chillies, chopped tomatoes, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, sugar and salt, then stir-fry for 3–4 minutes until the vegetables soften. Don’t let the garlic or spices burn or they will add a bitter flavour to the sauce.

Next, add the chicken pieces and whole chillies and cook for 3 minutes, turning the chicken regularly. Pour over the 200ml of water, stir in the yoghurt and reduce the heat only slightly – you want the sauce to simmer. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the chicken is tender and cooked through and the sauce has reduced by about a third. The yoghurt may separate to begin with but will disappear into the sauce.

While the chicken is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a clean pan and stir-fry the onion and pepper over a high heat for 3–4 minutes until lightly browned. Add the quartered tomatoes and fry for 2–3 minutes more, stirring until the vegetables are just tender. Mix the cornflour with the tablespoon of water to form a smooth paste.

When the chicken is cooked, stir in the cornflour mixture and simmer for a few seconds until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, add the hot stir-fried vegetables and toss together lightly. Serve immediately. And just in case you were wondering – don’t eat the whole chillies!

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