Chicken And Spinach Balti

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Chicken And Spinach BaltiAs I was writing up this recipe I decided to look up the origins of the Balti dish.  Apparently it was developed in Birmingham 20 to 30 years ago as customers wanted their Indian dishes to be lighter, healthier and served faster.

Balti IngredientsBalti IngredientsBalti IngredientsA true Balti should be served in the same thin steel bowl it is cooked in over a hot flame as it is the Balti dish that gives the dish it’s name.  The steel dish will then keep the Balti hot after it has been cooked on a high flame.  In my recipe I haven’t done this – just cooked in a saucepan – so should I really call mine a Balti?!   The Balti can then be served with rice or scooped up and eaten with naan bread.

I love all the spices in this dish but they don’t make the dish too hot – just add real depth of flavour.

Chicken And Spinach Balti

Chicken And Spinach Balti
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • For the marinade
  • 2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 lime juice only
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 75ml/2½fl oz plain yoghurt
  • For the curry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeds removed, flesh finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • splash water
  • 75ml/2½fl oz double cream
  • 150g/5oz baby spinach leaves
  • To serve
  • small handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 100g/3½ oz basmati rice rinsed and drained, then cooked according to packet
  1. For the marinade, finely chop the ginger and garlic. Sprinkle rover the salt and chop a little more, then place into a bowl.
  2. Add the lime juice, ground coriander, chilli powder, ground turmeric and ground cumin to the bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and the yoghurt and stir to coat the chicken. Leave to marinate for at least 10-15 minutes (or for an hour if possible, covered in the fridge).
  4. For the curry, heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat and add the onion. Fry for 1-2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and the tomato purée and cook gently for about one minute.
  5. Add the chicken to the pan along with the marinade and a splash of water.
  6. Pour in the cream, turn up the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. There should be no pink when you cut into it. If pink, cook for longer.
  7. Add the spinach to the pan and stir until just wilted.
  8. Sprinkle over the coriander.
  9. To serve, drain the rice and divide between two plates. Top with the curry.

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