Chicken balti is named after the wok-style pan in which it’s cooked, which literally means “bucket.” Made popular in Pakistani-owned restaurants (mainly in Bradford and Birmingham, England), the cooking style is a fast stir-fry, with balti pans set over large stoves with vertical jet flames. This chicken balti recipe, however, is well-suited to home kitchens.
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. finely grated ginger, plus more, thinly sliced, for garnish
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1¾ lb.), cut into 2-in. chunks
- 8 medium tomatoes (2½ lb.), cored and finely chopped
- ½ cup plain full-fat yogurt
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup dried fenugreek leaves
- 2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- Kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Coarsely chopped cilantro and mint leaves, for garnish
- Finely chopped serrano chiles, for garnish (see footnote)
- Boiled basmati rice (optional)
Note: For a milder result, seed the chiles before chopping.
Adapted from The British Cookbook, by Ben Mervis (Phaidon, 2022).
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