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Super Easy Chicken Jalfrezi

Apr 15, 2024 | 0 comments

There’s nothing quite like a lovely, warming chicken curry. And this jalfrezi is a fab, better-for-you fakeaway when you’re craving something comforting but don’t want anything too heavy. Packed with lots of spices and red and green peppers, it’s a great, mild curry the whole family will love.

Chicken jalfrezi curry on top of rice on a small pink plate, with a gold spoon.

Whenever I make a curry, I always wonder why I don’t make them more often. They’re generally easy, packed with flavor and keep well, so they’re wonderful for prepping ahead of time for quick weeknight meals.

Sometimes curry gets a reputation for being heavy, but this jalfrezi is anything but. It’s tomato-based, loaded with aromatics and bell peppers, so it’s a great balanced meal, that still feels comforting. It also uses mainly cupboard staples, so nothing should be tricky to find in a regular grocery store, which is always a win.

I love serving this with fluffy steamed rice and a pile of soft garlic naan, or cheese naan, for a proper takeout experience.


Ingredients for chicken jalfrezi laid out and labelled.
  • Chicken thighs. I (generally) prefer using chicken thighs in curry, or something that needs to be simmered in a sauce because they stay lovely and juicy. Breasts tend to dry out, but you can still use them in this recipe if you prefer.
  • Tomato passata. Also called ‘tomato puree’ in the US, this is very finely blitzed tomatoes and creates a lovely smooth sauce. If you can’t find it, just use regular canned crushed tomatoes instead.
  • Spices. You’ll need a few, but they should be cupboard staples. Ground cumin and coriander, plus garam masala, paprika and chilli flakes for a hint of heat. Skip the chilli flakes if you’re worried about spice.
  • Bell peppers. I like to use red and green for a nice combination of colours, but just use what you can find. Slice them nice and thinly so they cook quickly in the sauce – they’ll still have a little bite to them which is what we want here.
  • Butter. I love using butter for added richness, but swap it for vegetable oil or light olive oil if you like.

How to make it

Cook your onion, ginger and garlic in the butter until softened, then add the diced chicken and stir it through.

Once your chicken is coated in the spices, and looks white and ‘sealed’ on the outside, add the tomato passata (puree), tomato paste and a little water. Stir and bring to a simmer until it’s nicely thickened up. Then, add your sliced bell peppers and stir them through the curry. Let it cook for another five or so minutes, then taste, add a little more salt if needed and serve over steamed rice.

PRO TIP: If your sauce looks a little thick, just add a splash of water to loosen it up.

Got a question?

Can I make the curry in advance?

Yes! Like most curries, this jalfrezi only gets better over time, so it’s wonderful to prep ahead. It will keep well for 3 days in the fridge, and you can reheat it either in the microwave at 30-second intervals until piping hot, or gently on the stove top.

How spicy is the curry?

It’s really very mild – there are chilli flakes in it, but it’s such a small amount it doesn’t make it spicy, it just brings a nice warmth to the sauce. But, if you’re making this for kids and you’re worried about the spice, then just leave it out.

Could I add anything else to the curry?

This is a good one to add extra veggies to – a couple of big handfuls of spinach leaves are great added with the bell peppers, or you could throw in some chopped green beans.

Watch how to make it

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Chicken jalfrezi curry on top of rice on a small pink plate, with a gold spoon.

Chicken Jalfrezi

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  • Author: Kate Phillips
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie


There’s nothing quite like a lovely, warming chicken curry. And this jalfrezi is a fab, healthier fakeaway option when you’re craving something comforting but don’t want anything too heavy. Packed with lots of spices, and red and green bell peppers, it’s a great, mild, family-friendly option. It’s also great for meal prep – it freezes well and will develop even more flavour over time.

I love serving the curry with a pile of speedy garlic naan or cheesy naan for a proper takeout experience!


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1lb/500g chicken thighs, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2.5 cups/500g tomato passata (tomato puree in the USA)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • A handful of cilantro (coriander) leaves (optional)


  1. Cook the rice. Add your rice to a pot you have a lid for, then add a pinch of salt and double the amount of water (based on your rice). Set it over medium-high heat and when you see foamy bubbles on top, pop the lid on. Turn the heat right down and let it cook for 12 minutes. After this, remove the pot from the heat but keep the lid on until you’re ready to serve.

  2. Cook the onion, garlic and ginger. While the rice is cooking, toss the diced chicken with a pinch of salt, then start the curry sauce. Melt the butter in a high-sided pan over medium heat, then add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until it softens up nicely. Add the crushed garlic and ginger and stir through the onion.

  3. Add the chicken and spices. Transfer the diced chicken to the pan, and cook for about five minutes on each side – it doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this point as it’ll continue to cook in the sauce, you just want to ‘seal’ the chicken. Add the chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, garam masala and paprika, and stir it through the chicken to coat it all over for another minute.

  4. Simmer the curry. Add the tomato paste, tomato passata and a splash of water (about 1/4 cup). Stir, then bring the sauce to a simmer. Lower the heat, then let it simmer for about 10 minutes, uncovered until it starts to thicken up. 

  5. Finish the curry. Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add the sliced red and green peppers and stir through the sauce. Let the curry cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Taste, and add a little more salt if needed. Divide the rice between plates, then pile the curry on top. Finish with a scattering of cilantro leaves if you like, and dig in.


INGREDIENT NOTES: Tomato passata is referred to as tomato puree if you’re in the US – it’s very finely pureed tomatoes. You could use canned crushed tomatoes instead if you like. This isn’t a super hot curry – but you can leave out the chilli flakes if you like. Use microwave rice for an even easier meal. Add more veggies if you like – a handful of spinach leaves is great, or you could add green beans.

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: As with most curries, this jalfrezi keeps well and the flavours have more time to develop as it sits. Store leftovers in the fridge for 3 days, then reheat in the microwave at 30-second intervals until piping hot. 

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: fakeaways
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: indian


  • Serving Size: 300g
  • Calories: 416
  • Sugar: 10.6g
  • Sodium: 911.3mg
  • Fat: 5.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 75g
  • Fiber: 6.1g
  • Protein: 16.4g
  • Cholesterol: 42.6mg


I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.





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