In the Balti boom years there was a popular restaurant 'Sher Khan' run by 'Jimmy', a cheeky chappy Pakistani lad- who had charisma and charm in abundance. He was a bit dreamy with a wild streak and I loved going to his restaurant with my parents. It was decked out more in the style of the Bangladeshi places, all ornate, flock wallpaper, wooden booths, dark and brooding. Jimmy's place served a Balti Aphrodisiac which only added to the intrigue and enigma of the Sher Khan. Jimmy liked fast cars, leather jackets, whiskey and no doubt the ladies, My Dad told me he was eventually sent to Pakistan by his family for 'bad behaviour' and sadly the original recipe with him. Anyway, here is my version- in honor of Jimmy. This recipe is jam packed with heady spices for maximum potency and balanced beautifully with coconut. Perfect for Valentines or anytime as this is truly a very tasty balti!
Makes two Baltis - cook independently in two balti bowls or if making for one then divide the ingredient measurements in half. Can also be cooked in a big steel wok-but its not as much fun that way :)
Ingredients for two baltis
2 decent sized chicken breasts diced- not too big to ensure a fast cooking time.
2 small finely chopped onions
1 Large grated tomato
2 teaspoons fresh chopped red chills
2 tablespoons garlic and ginger paste
2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated
2 Tablespoons Garam Masala
1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons ground fenugreek
4 pinches of salt
6 Tablespoons of coconut milk
10 Tablespoons of Base sauce/ gravy (*For this recipe we used Misty Ricardo’s base sauce which uses coconut in it and works well with for this dish)
Water on hand to add in the pan sticks
Jug of water on hand to prevent sticking
2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander to garnish
2 tablespoons Crushed pistachio nuts to garnish
For the Naan
Your favourite homemade naan recipe – we like The Curry Guy’s which used yogurt, which we really love. You can make the dough in advance and freeze to save time (and additional mess!) on the day
Drizzle of light honey
Sprinkle of freshly crushed Pistachio nuts
- Throughout cooking ensure you stir frequently and small splashes of water to avoid sticking and drying out
Heat oil in Balti bowl until sizzling. Add chopped onion and tomato and cook until onions are translucent. Add fresh ginger, purees, and chillis and give it a quick stir, add in all your spices (cardamom seeds, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek) and stir, add a splash of water. Add chicken, cook for a few moments then add 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala and 2 pinches of salt. When the chicken is nearly cooked add in 5 tablespoons of your Balti sauce, stir then add in your coconut milk. Sizzle until your chicken is cooked and the edges of your curry become caramelised, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking. Garnish with fresh coriander and broken pistachio nuts and serve with Naan bread.
Make your naan as the recipe advises (you can make in advance and freeze balls of dough) Defrost and roll out with flour. Cook as advised in the recipe and just before serving drizzle with honey and pistachio nuts.
Serve with basmati rice infused with cardamom and yogurt if you choose or keep things authentic and just stick to a naan.