About this recipe:I like balti curries as for me they are a blend between Chinese stir fries and Indian curries - they are not really of course! Here's my take on chicken balti. It is actually not as bad as the list looks as it is really a case of putting all the ingredients together in a wok to stir fry.
The first stage is to make the balti tomato sauce. In a heavy bottomed pan, dry roast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds for about 2 minutes, then take out of the pan and put on a cool plate.
Now add the butter (or ghee for a richer balti) to a heavy bottomed pan and heat to sizzling hot. Add then stir fry the onion and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh ginger and stir once. Add the toasted spices and the spice powders (chilli and turmeric) and stir these in, turning for about half a minute, making sure it does not stick to the pan. Finally add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Blitz this tomato sauce either with a hand held blender or take out and pulse in a Magimix until smooth. Return to the pan and keep on a very low heat with the lid on.
Now we come to the second stage which is the stir fry and the bringing together of the balti.
Preheat the oven to 100 C / Gas 1/4.
Add half of the sunflower oil to a wok and heat until smoking hot. Stir fry the chicken cubes in batches until sealed. Put the cooked chicken pieces into the warmed oven. When complete, clean the wok.
While frying the chicken, measure out and mix the ground spices together (the cumin powder through to cardamom powder).
Add the remainder of the sunflower oil to the wok and heat until hot and smoking. Add the red and green peppers, green chilli, spring onions and button mushrooms and stir fry for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring constantly, making sure it does not burn and is fried well.
Tip in the mixed spices and stir through twice, then add the smooth Balti tomato sauce and mix in, plus the tablespoons of chopped tomatoes.
Heat until simmering, then add the water and reheat to a simmer, mixing all together. Cook on a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the cooked chicken pieces and mix together. Add the garam masala. Cook for a further 10 minutes. About 2 minutes before the end add the chopped fresh coriander and stir through.
Serve hot with naan, plus we like dhal with it.
You can cut down the individual spices and use 2 teaspoons of balti spice mix in stages 1 and 2, and 2 teaspoons in stage 8.