Chicken Balti

Jon Gaunt used to go to the Balti Houses of Birmingham before they were even termed Balti houses and the Balti belt.

When Jon was at University these were just cheap and cheerful cafes that provided a cheap hot curry without knives and forks but enormous Naan breads in a very basic setting with a very limited menu, it was either chicken or mutton!

However, the food was delicious.

So, 40 years later, here is Jon’s LCHF KETO take on the classic Brummie Chicken Balti.

Serves four but freezes great so make as much as you fancy.

Ingredients.

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed.
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 4cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Good pinch of Sea salt

For the sauce

  • 2tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 diced red onions
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed. Just use the back of your knife.
  • 2tsp mild chilli powder
  • I Fresh red chilli finely diced
  • 4tsp garam masala
  • 3tbsp fresh fenugreek leaves, finely chopped (or 1tbsp dried)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Large fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped into chunks.
  • 1 Can of coconut milk
  • A small bunch of coriander, chopped.

Method.

  1. Marinate the chicken. 
  2. Put the chicken cubes in a bowl with a lid. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli powder, garam masala and lemon juice.  Stir, cover and chill for up to 2 hours. Or preferably overnight.
  3. Give it time to come to room temperature before you move on to the next stage.
  4. Making the sauce.
  5. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and when hot, add the diced onion. 
  6. Cook for about 8 minutes over a medium heat, stirring until the onion has softened and is lightly coloured. 
  7. Remember that the heart of any great curry is the onions.
  8. Jon uses red onions as they have a sweeter taste and means there is no need for any sugar in this recipe.
  9. Add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cardamom pods and continue to fry for 1 minute, stirring all the time. 
  10. Add the chilli powder, garam masala and fenugreek leaves and then fry again for a further minute.
  11. Increase the heat and add the chicken and season with a big pinch of sea salt. 
  12. Stir the chicken into the onion and spices and fry for about 5 minutes, until starting to brown, then add the tin of tomatoes and the fresh tomatoes.  Stir, season, then bring up to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. 
  13. The chicken will now be cooked.
  14. Turn the heat down real low, then stir in the coconut milk until you get the consistency you like (you won’t necessarily need a whole can. Then add the coriander and cook for 1-2 minutes to heat through.
  15. Have a quick taste and adjust the seasoning if you fancy then serve with more coriander leaves on top.

Jon serves this Balti with a portion of Cauliflower rice.

Towards the end of the cooking time before the coconut goes in Jon adds Fresh or frozen spinach to really up the flavour and the veggie count.

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