Not too crazy Chicken Jalfrezi

An easy to make super tasty Chicken Jalfrezi, with a quick intro from the MCC Sensi himself:

A huddle of shadowy, hooded figures; faces lit by an eerie, blueish light. A church bell striking 12 midnight. The letting of blood in a re-enactment of some sinister, otherworldly ritual, as old as the earth on which these disciples stood. And so it came to pass, a resurrection. In other (real) words, a couple of texts were exchanged, a phone call made, and after a…. what is it the Americans say? A ‘hiatus’ of a couple of years, some shit, I don’t know, the founding members of the M.C.C. assembled.

Chicken Jalfrezi prepared, wisdom imparted, anecdotes exchanged, funk and sounds, as though made by machines, played… and the meaning of chode revealed. Yes, the 5 excellences were in check… or, truth be told, 4 blokes and a kitchen.


  • 8 large tomatoes
  • 6 Chicken breasts
  • 4 large peppers
  • 6 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 packet of birdseye chillies
  • 8 small white onions
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 tbl tomato puree
  • 2 thumbs fresh ginger
  • A punch of salt
  • Two large cups of basmati rice

This is a great one to get over the extreme january self loathing and still treat yourself a bit. The freshness of the tomato is key and gives this take on Jalfrezi a light but hearty feel. You won’t go hungry! Good to serve 4/5 people.

Grab a really sharp knife and crack on with some chopping:
Chop up the onions, nice and big. Slice them in to quarters than then pull them apart.

  • Chop up the peppers, again, nice and big.
  • Now do the same with the fresh toms, chop them up nice and bit.

End result should look like this:

Tomatoes, peppers and onions


Note. To avoid lower back pain whilst chopping you should assume a wing chun stance

Now, take care of the garlic, ginger, chilli.

  • Peel the garlic and chop it up finely (but not too finely).
  • Chop the ginger as finely as you can get it with a knife.
  • Chop the chilli, this is up to personal taste, the bigger you leave it the more likely you’ll get an intense kick. We left some whole, because, we’re proper men.

Chop up your chicken breast, you could probably use thigh but we like breast and time is of the essence.

  • Make sure you leave the chicken chunky, one normal super market chicken breast should give you 5 or 6 chunks.

Measure out your cumin, tara masala, turmeric and about half a punch of salt. Mix up with the ginger and garlic.

From this (don’t put the chilli in at this stage, we just had it on the same plate):

Cumin, chilli, garlic, onion

To this:

Mix your spices

Now, with your slightly chunky, spicy mix, get physical with your chicken and mix it all up:

Mix up the chicken

You are now ready to get going with putting the veg on, of course, if you have a lacky you could do two things at once.

The important thing with this dish is to do the verge and chicken separate, it keeps the chicken succulent and stops the verge losing all their moisture.

  • Stick some vegetable oil and an inch of butter in to a pan.
  • Add your onions, peppers and tomatoes.
  • Brown the onions a bit and wait for some of the juices from the tomatoes to come out.
  • Add some salt.

Sizzle and stir

You can add a lid to the pan to help things along a bit.

When you’re happy add the chilli powder, as much or as little as you fancy.

Taste, and adjust seasoning as you see fit.

When that’s all done, the tomatoes should have lost a lot of their juice but still be a little meaty. Take the veg and transfer it to a holding bowl.

Now, to the chicken…

Add another inch of butter to the pan and a second of oil.

Transfer your chicken to the pan.


Don’t by shy, the pan is your friend. Move the chicken around and toss it to ensure it’s evenly browned.

When you’re happy the chicken is evenly browned, add the tomato puree and make sure you get an even covering.


With the chicken done, add the veg back in to the mix.

Simmer the dish while you get the rice on, you can add a lid again if you like.


A few minutes before the rice is done warm some plates, and serve!

3 thoughts on “Not too crazy Chicken Jalfrezi”

  1. I recently had the pleasure of spending 15 months living and working in provincial Afghanistan. Of all the adventures and excitement, the opportunity to enjoy and learn about Afghan cuisine was one of the highlights. There wasn’t always a lot of variety to the food, but the fresh vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes and assorted greens), and mouth-watering fruit (humongous and delicious watermelons) were always a treat. I found the main courses (palau and sabzi) to be filling but always fantastic and served with pride. My favorite dishes were shola a kind of a risotto dish made with meat. I had never heard of shola before Afghanistan. Mantoo is a meat dumpling mostly served at celebrations or events where were honored guests. I have tried a similar dish in Central Asia; I found Tajiks and even Russians reluctantly attribute this dish to Uzbeks.

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