chicken jalfrezi

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (Restaurant Style)

By Swasthi on December 10, 2023, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Chicken Jalfrezi – Same Indian Restaurant Taste & Flavors! You just need some Butter Naans, Tandoori roti or fluffy Basmati rice to enjoy this flavorsome & delicious classic. Chicken Jalfrezi is a stir-fried Indian dish made with boneless chicken, plenty of veggies & spices. In this post, I share how to make the best Chicken Jalfrezi at home with pantry staples.

Chicken jalfrezi

About Jalfrezi

“Jalfrezi” translates to “hot/spicy stir fry”, where Jal or jhal means hot (spicy) in Bengali/ Bangla & frezi means a stir fry. (It is believed that “frezi” may have been a misspelled or mispronounced word for “fry”).

Jalfrezi is a stir-fried dish that was invented by the Indian-Bangla cooks, as a means to use-up the left over roast chicken.

To revive the dry roast chicken, it would be stir-fried with tomatoes, veggies and spices. This new dish gained its identity as Chicken Jalfrezi, meaning a “Spicy Chicken stir-fry”. Though Jalfrezi originated in undivided India it became popular in the UK.

It is said that Chicken Jalfrezi is one of the most popular dishes in the British Indian Restaurants in UK. This dish, like the Chicken Tikka Masala has been westernized in a lot of restaurants. So you are likely to find several versions derived from the authentic Jalfrezi.

Vegetable, Shrimp & Lamb Jalfrezi too exist on the restaurant menus, each tasting so much different from the other.

Chicken jalfrezi restaurant style

Jalfrezi is basically a dry dish that has some sauce coated all over the chicken and veggies. Though it does not have a lot of sauce or gravy like a Chicken Curry, it goes well with steamed rice, flavored rice like Turmeric Rice, cumin rice, & with flatbreads like Chapati, Roti or Naan.

On occasions we whip up a spicy noodle meal by simply stirring in some cooked noodles or pasta into the chicken jalfrezi. We also make awesome chicken rolls or throw the left overs on the pizza base! One dish but so many ways to relish!

This recipe will help you make restaurant quality dish and you may tweak this to make British Indian restaurant style with my tips from the Pro Tips section below.

More Restaurant Style recipes
Kadai Chicken
Chicken Bhuna
Lamb Curry
Bombay Potatoes
Rogan Josh
Shrimp Tikka Masala

How to make Chicken Jalfrezi (Stepwise Photos)

Preparation

1. First measure your spices and keep them aside. Here are the quantities

  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
spices for jalfrezi

You will also need (to marinate)

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (crushed/ powder)
  • ½ teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

2. To a mixing bowl, add 500 to 600 grams of boneless chicken (thighs or breast), black pepper, Kashmiri chilli powder, lemon juice and salt. Coat the chicken with the spices. Cover and rest aside for 15 to 20 mins, until you prepare the other ingredients.

chicken marinade

3. Prepare the following:

  • Fine chop ¾ cup onions (1 medium, about 100 grams)
  • ½ tablespoon ginger paste (or grate)
  • ½ to ¾ tablespoon garlic paste (or grate)
  • ½ cup onions (diced, layers separated)
  • 1½ cups bell pepper (diced any color)
  • 1 green chilli (optional, deseed & slit)
  • 1¼ cups fresh tomato puree (250 grams or ¾ cup bottled tomato puree – passata). Read notes in the recipe card.
bell peppers and veggies for chicken jalfrezi

Make Jalfrezi

4. To a large pan or wok, add 2 tablespoons oil & heat it. Add onions and saute them on a medium heat until golden or light brown. This step takes about 6 to 7 mins.

frying onions

5. Stir in the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute until aromatic.

saute ginger garlic paste

6. Add the chicken and stir fry on a medium heat until pale. This takes about 3 minutes. Make sure you don’t use very high or low heat here.

stir fry chicken

7. Add red chilli powder, garam masala, salt, turmeric, fennel powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Stir fry for another minute.

Add spices to chicken

8. Pour the tomato puree.

add tomato puree

9. Stir fry until oil begins to separate from the masala. Meanwhile boil ¼ cup water in a small pot.

stir fry chicken

10. When you see the oil begins to release from the masala, pour the hot water. If your chicken begins to release a lot of moisture (juices), do not add water. Mix well and cook covered on a low heat until chicken is fully cooked and tender.

Make Jalfrezi

This step is the heart and life of this dish where you stir fry the veggies in a high heat and then add to the chicken. However if you want to make it a one pan dish or aiming to eat low fat, you may skip this step and simply add the bell peppers to the chicken jalfrezi & stir fry in the sauce. But the flavors are completely different.

11. Meanwhile in a wok or pan, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or ghee on a medium heat. Add the slit green chilies, 1 inch ginger juliennes (optional) and 1 broken dried red chili. None of these are added in the restaurants but for a homemade version, these help to mimic the smoky wok flavors to some extent. So if you don’t prefer you may skip them.

12. Increase the heat to high and add bell peppers and onions. Stir fry for 3 to 4 mins until aromatic & slightly tender yet crunchy. Note that ginger can burn if you don’t stir well.

13. Meanwhile check the Chicken, it should be fully cooked and the sauce has to be thick. Add 1 teaspoon sugar (only if using store bought tomato puree) and 1 tablespoon kasuri methi. If there is excess liquid you may evaporate by cooking on a medium heat before proceeding to the next step.

14. Add the stir fried veggies and mix well. Taste test and adjust salt at this stage.

15. Stir fry chicken jalfrezi just for another minute or 2. This is the right consistency with no excess liquid or runny sauce. If you like soft bell pepper, you may cover and cook for a few minutes.

Serve Chicken Jalfrezi as side with rice, roti, naan. You can also simply stir in the cooked noodles or pasta.

Chicken Jalfrezi recipe

Pro Tips

To make British restaurant style jalfrezi, leave out the chopped onions & kasuri methi in the recipe and cut down passata to 6 tablespoons.

You will saute the ginger garlic and then stir fry the chicken. Add passata and pour half cup Curry Sauce also known as British-Indian restaurant base gravy. If required you may add a splash of water or stock or more gravy. Cook the chicken jalfrezi until thick.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

chicken jalfrezi

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (Restaurant Style)

Chicken Jalfrezi is a restaurant style Indian dish where chicken is stir fried with plenty of veggies like tomatoes, onions, bell peppers & spices. Serve it as a side with naan, rice, bread or roti.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings4 to 5
AuthorSwasthi
Diet : Gluten Free

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

To Marinate

  • 500 to 600 grams (1.25 lbs) Boneless chicken
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (crushed/ powder)
  • ½ teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder

Other ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ¾ cup (100 grams) onions (fine chopped, 1 medium)
  • ½ tablespoon (1 inch) ginger grated ( or paste)
  • ½ to ¾ tablespoon (4 to 5 medium cloves) garlic grated ( or paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder (optional, read notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (use if using passata)
  • ¾ cup tomato puree (- passata or 1¼ cups tomatoes chopped & pureed, 2 large, 250 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi
  • ¼ cup hot water (read notes)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon ghee or oil
  • 1 dried red chilli (optional)
  • 1 green chilli (deseed & slit)
  • 1 inch ginger juliennes (optional)
  • ½ cup (45 grams) onions (diced, layers separated,1 small)
  • 1½ cups (130 to 140 grams) bell pepper (diced – green, red, yellow, orange)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves fine chopped (optional, to garnish)


Instructions

Preparation

  • To a bowl add chicken, salt, black pepper, red chilli powder & lemon juice. Mix and keep aside for about 15 to 20 mins, until you prepare the rest of the veggies. If using fresh tomatoes, puree them in a grinder.
  • Dice the bell peppers and onions. Separate the layers from diced onions. Slit the green chili and deseed if you want. Also fine chop another onion for the sauce.

How to make Chicken Jalfrezi

  • Heat a pan with oil and add onions. Fry them until golden on a medium high heat.
  • Lower the heat and stir in the ginger garlic. Saute for a minute.
  • Add chicken and stir fry on a medium high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, until it turns pale.
  • Stir in the spices – red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder.
  • Pour the tomato puree. Mix well and let cook until oil begins to separate from the masala.
  • Pour hot water and mix well. Cook covered on a medium heat until chicken is tender. (If your chicken begins to ooze out lots of moisture, do not add water)
  • Meanwhile, in a different pan, heat 1 to 2 tablespoon ghee/oil. Add green chilies, red chilies and ginger juliennes (optional).
  • When they begin to sizzle in hot oil, add bell peppers and onions.
  • Stir fry on a medium high flame for 2 to 4 mins until slightly tender, making sure they retain their crunch.
  • When the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce is thick, add kasuri methi, sugar & stir fried veggies along with the leftover ghee or oil in the pan. If there is excess liquid you may evaporate by cooking on a high heat.
  • Stir well and cook just for 1 to 2 minutes. Taste test and adjust the salt.
  • Turn off and add chopped coriander leaves (optional).
  • Serve chicken jalfrezi with rice, fried rice, or with noodles, roti or any flatbreads.


Notes

  • If using fresh homemade tomato puree, add a tablespoon of tomato ketchup or 2 tsps of tomato paste.
  • It is hard to find tomato paste or tomato puree in India, so restaurants in India use tomato ketchup along with fresh tomatoes. This enhances the flavor & imparts a umami flavor.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

Watch Chicken Jalfrezi Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (Restaurant Style)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 325 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 0.04g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 380mg17%
Potassium 1011mg29%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 2424IU48%
Vitamin C 92mg112%
Calcium 57mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (Restaurant Style)

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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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Hi Swasthi,
I tried this recipe last night. Though it tastes delicious, my chicken turned out chewy. I used chicken breasts and followed the recipe. What did I do wrong?

5 stars
We remember once eating something similar in a British curry house in the nearby hawker centre. I made this for my Indian boyfriend last night and it was a BLAST! He said it is a terrific dish. I had some leftover roast chicken legs which I used up. I used tomato paste diluted with water but it was too tomatoey. To balance that I used little Worcestershire sauce. Delicious and will make this again. Thank you

5 stars
I’m a vegetarian, but I love making this chicken jalfrezi for my family. I find myself coming back here often. A great bonus is that it freezes really well. This time I had some roast potatoes which I tossed into the sauce and it was even more delicious.

5 stars
I just made this dish following your recipe and instructions to the T. Got an amazing Jalfrezi ! Love it ! Thanks much !!

5 stars
Love this Jalfrezi! Used leftover frozen turkey, fire roasted tomatoes and baby carrots. Didn’t have a few spices still it tastes pretty good. Will make it again when I have everything listed here. Goes to my favorites.

5 stars
This chicken jalfrezi recipe is so good & so easy to try out as a beginner cook. I added a dash of both liquid smoke & Bragg liquid aminos to marinate the chicken. Later browned the chicken in oven and used a dash of broth in the sauce. Great flavour! This is an excellent fit into my rotation! I’d leave a picture but can’t find a place to upload it here.

5 stars
My son and I made chicken jalfrezi using this recipe and it was a delicious hit. Everyone in the family enjoyed it. We subbed tomato puree with 3 tbsps. tomato paste. Yum! Will definitely make again!

5 stars
Beautiful jalfrezi recipe. Followed the recipe exactly as written but used roast lamb and carrots. I had to cut down the amount of water since the meat was already roasted. Tastes fantastic and bookmarking this for repeat use.

5 stars
Please make a cookbook!

5 stars
Hi! I made this jalfrezi a few times and really enjoyed it. I have also made it in the instant pot with no water and 3 mins pressure cook time. I added the bell peppers and diced onions along with tomato puree to make it one pot. Excellent!

5 stars
I just had to double the garam masala. Subbed tomato puree with paste and a bit of water. Came out great

5 stars
super recipe

I just wanted to say thank you. I have been using your site for reference or inspiration for over a year now. I was taught Indian cooking by an Indian Grandmother but it is always nice to try something new. This jalfrezi was superb, especially after bumping up the spices. Thank you again for having such a wealth of knowledge in one location.

5 stars
That is amazing , by a long a way the best jalfrazi dish I’ve ever cooked , at the end I had to check I wasn’t sitting in a 5 star Indian restaurant , truly magnificent

5 stars
Thank You for your amazing recipes. Our take aways and eat out has reduced drastically since we found your blog. This review is in appreciation of all your work and great instructions. We have made this recipe many times and loving it. If I want to use soya in this recipe at what stage would you recommend. Please advice.

5 stars
Amazing jalfrezi. Exactly the right amount of hot and spice for a white guy! Love the recipe & looking forward to make your chicken pilau this weekend.

5 stars
This Chicken jalfrezi was well received by my family including our 2 year old. Please let me know what other vegetables can be used in this recipe? We don’t have bell peppers often at home. Wondering if other veggies would change the flavors. Thank you

5 stars
Jalfrezi came out delicious any my guests were impressed. In the video you have not shown additional ginger garlic paste. Wanted to let you know. Thank you.

5 stars
Your recipes are amazing and this one too turned out fabulous. Subbed bell peppers with more chicken & used roma tomatoes for the puree. This is my go-to Jalfrezi sauce. Going to try it with lamb next time. Thank you Swasthi. Keep up the good work.

5 stars
This is a lovely recipe for jalfrezi. I followed the recipe exactly and added a bit of curry sauce. Turned. Out better than the restaurants. Thank yo

5 stars
I have tried making jalfrezi a couple of times following other recipes on the internet. Nothing came close to what I ate in Delhi until I tried your recipe. Loving it! My chicken jalfrezi turned out very delicious and love the sauce coated over the veggies and chicken. My house was filled with a great aroma. Thank you.