Smoky onions and peppers are combined with a tangy, spicy sauce and spiked with slices of hot green chillies for an epic experience of spicy deliciousness. If you like spicy curries, and have yet to try jalfrezi, you’re in for a treat.

Chicken Tikka works very well in this one, but of course any other main ingredient can be used.

This recipe is included in both of my books, Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volumes 1 & 2.

Chicken Jalfrezi Curry in Frying Pan


  • 2 tsp (10ml) Oil (for scorching of the Onion and Pepper)
  • 3-4 TBSP (45-60ml) Oil (for the curry)
  • ½ medium-large Onion (75-100g)
  • ¼ Red Pepper and ¼ Green Pepper
  • 2 tsp Ginger/Garlic Paste
  • 1¼ tsp Mix Powder
  • ¾ tsp Chilli Powder
  • ¼ tsp Garam Masala
  • ½-1 tsp Tandoori Masala
  • ¼-½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 2-3 fresh Green Chillies, sliced lengthways
  • 1 TBSP each of fresh Coriander Stalks and Leaves, finely chopped
  • 330ml+ Base Gravy, heated up
  • 4 TBSP Tomato Paste (see Notes)
  • Pre-Cooked Chicken, Lamb, Vegetables, etc.
  • 2 fresh Tomato Quarters
Watch the Video
Beef Jalfrezi


  1. Half the onion widthways. Cut the half required for this recipe into 6 segments (imagine slicing a pizza) and separate the layers of each segment.
  2. Slice the red and green pepper into 3cm chunks.
  3. Place the onion segments and pepper chunks in a container, and sprinkle on ½ tsp of methi and a tiny pinch of salt.
  4. Heat 10ml oil in a frying pan or wok on very high heat, until smoking. Add the onion and pepper, and fry them until they’re well browned on the outside and emit a deep smoky aroma. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Tip them back into the container, and put a lid on top if you want the onions and peppers to be softer in the curry.
  5. Pour 3-4 TBSP oil into the same frying pan or wok, on medium high heat.
  6. To start things off, add the ginger/garlic paste and cook until it starts to brown slightly and the sound of the sizzling eases. This should take about 30 seconds. Stir diligently to avoid the paste burning.
  7. Add the kasuri methi, chilli powder, mix powder, garam masala, tandoori masala, and salt.
  8. Fry for 20-30 seconds whilst stirring frequently. Add a splash of base gravy (e.g. 30ml) to help the spices fry properly without sticking and burning.
  9. Now add the tomato paste, coriander stalks, pre-cooked chicken/lamb, etc., and turn the heat up to high. Fry for a short while until the oil floats to the surface and small craters form around the edges of the pan.
  1. Add 75ml of base gravy, stir, then leave to fry until the sauce has thickened up a bit, with small craters forming around the edges again.
  2. Now add a second 75ml of base gravy, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan once when first added, again allowing the sauce to reduce once again.
  3. Add the onion and pepper segments that were scorched earlier, the fresh green chilli and the tomato quarters.
  4. Immediately pour in 150ml of base gravy. Stir and scrape once, and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes. Allow the sauce to stick to the pan surface. The thickened residue is full of flavour and is very important in getting the superior ‘BIR’ taste. Stir once or twice, but only do so to avoid the curry burning. Be brave, and see how long you can wait before fiddling.
  5. Add extra base gravy towards the end of cooking to loosen the sauce up. Jalfrezi is usually served as a thick curry, with the onions and pepper forming up the body of the sauce.
  6. Serve, garnished with fresh coriander leaves.


  • Spoon measurements are level. 1 tsp = 5ml, 1 TBSP = 15ml.
  • ‘Tomato Paste’ is either a) double-concentrated tomato puree mixed with 3 parts water, b) Blended tinned plum tomatoes, or c) Passata.

Books by Richard Sayce

Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1
Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 2 Front Cover
Curry Compendium Cookbook


  1. bill tipler

    hi there, how many people is this menu for, if it is for 1 person would i just add the spices etc x4 or would that be too strong?

    • Richard Sayce

      Hi. This will feed 1-2 people. It’s about the same size portion you would get from a takeaway. Scaling up isn’t straightforward – spices over-dominate so need to be toned down in proportion. There’s a very detailed chapter in Volume 2 about upscaling.

  2. SKendy

    I made this curry last night using east at home base gravy and omg!..
    it was the most amazing jalfrezi I’ve ever eaten! (And I’ve eaten quite a few) it was absolutely unreal as it was exactly like a takeaway/ restaurant curry but from a top notch place👌
    Thank you so much for this recipe it’s my new fave! 🤤😋❤️

    • Richard Sayce

      Excellent. Glad you enjoyed it.

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