‘Balti’ translates literally as cooking bucket, and the balti
dish, known as a karai, is a two handled pan like a small, shallow wok in
which the dish is both cooked and served. This cuisine is greatly influenced by
the neighbouring cuisines of India, China, Iran and Afghanistan. The cooking
style is quick, like a stir fry, and assembled straight in the pot, thereby
retaining the freshness of the ingredients and the heat. Balti is traditionally
served sizzling with a large naan bread which is used to scoop up this tasty
dish. Balti cuisine includes from non-veg. Chicken, goat, lamb, prawn dishes
till vegetarian potato, Aubergine, courgette dishes flavoured with whole Indian
spices and fresh herbs.
All said and done, let’s now concentrate on the recipe. I have followed Indrani’s recipe to the ‘T’, so I hope, Indrani won’t mind, if the content is a copy of hers. 😉
- Chicken – 1 kg
- Onion – 3
- Tomato – 3
- Ginger Paste – 1 tbsp.
- Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp.
- Green Chilli – 5
- Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Whole Garam Masala
- Whole Black Pepper
- Jeera – 1 tsp
- Curd – 3 tbsp.
- Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp.
- Fresh Coriander – a handful
- Salt, Turmeric
- Mustard Oil
Marinate the chicken pieces with 1 tsp. turmeric powder, 2 tsp. salt and 1
tblsp. oil. Keep aside for 1/2 – 1 hour. Slice the onions thinly and cut
the tomatoes lengthwise.
Heat oil in a karahi(preferably) or in a wide frying pan or wok. Add
the onions and fry till they are golden brown. Add the tomatoes and stir fry
well in medium-high flame.
Add all the whole spices when tomatoes are half done. Mix
well with onion-tomato paste, also add ginger and garlic paste,
turmeric and chilli powder and little salt. Lower the heat and stir-fry for 3-4
Then add the marinated chicken pieces few at a time, stir-fry for another 7-8
minutes or till the chicken pieces are almost brown and the spice mixture is
well coated to the chicken pieces.
Add the yogurt at this moment and mix well. Stir-fry till oil separates.
about 2 cups of hot water. Cover with a light lid and cook in low heat until
chicken pieces are done. Check the seasoning and stir in between to avoid
burning. [ I have added a few potato pieces in there, as we love potatoes in
When you have your desired consistency of gravy(this is not a completely dry
gravy dish) and chicken are done, add lemon juice. Mix well. Remove from heat
and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Serve at once from your cooking pan, I mean from your Balti, with a naan or
paratha or with any Indian Flatbread. We had it with tawa roti.
You may get the original recipe here.