Balti chicken step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Balti murg is a delicious curry served in a steel wok-like bowl called 'balti'. This hearty one-pot chicken curry is made with minimal spices and is very mild, unlike most Indian curries. This chicken balti is very easy to make and is bursting with flavors.
When made in an Instant Pot, this dish is ready in 45 mins (including the prep time). Balti chicken is suitable for paleo and keto diets. It is low carb, budget-friendly, and a great source of protein. This mild curry is very versatile and pairs with roti, naan, or Basmati rice. It can also be paired with earthy red rice made in Instant Pot.
This delicious, fragrant, and flavorful chicken bolti is perfect for parties and gatherings. Read on for ingredients, useful tips, and instructions to make delicious and easy balti chicken at home. There is no need to take out chicken curry anymore when you can make this at home.
The word 'balti' translates to 'bucket' and the dish gets its name from the vessel it is served in rather than any ingredient or cooking method. Balti-style dishes trace their origin back to Birmingham, where it was first served in restaurants. Balti houses are popular restaurants in the UK where balti-style curries are served.
This British fusion dish is said to be invented in the late '70s when restaurant chefs began to serve dishes that were lighter and milder. The flavors and style of cooking the Balti are inspired by Kashmiri cuisine.
Chicken: Use bone-in, skinless chicken.
Onion: This is a key ingredient. Do not cut back on it.
Ginger, garlic, and tomato: They, along with onions, form the base of the curry.
Spices: We use cumin seeds, bay leaf, garam masala, and chili powder.
Yogurt: Use plain unsweetened yogurt.
Cashew: This adds richness to the curry.
Grind the cashew into a smooth paste using little water (steps 1,2).
To this, add yogurt, chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Blend it well (steps 3,4).
Heat oil and add cumin seeds and bay leaf. Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute until the onion is light brown, around 4-5 minutes (steps 5,6).
Add the tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes soften, around 2-3 minutes (steps 7,8).
Carefully add the chicken pieces and saute for one minute (steps 9,10).
Next, add the yogurt mixture and mix well. Saute for one more minute. Add one cup of water and mix well. Deglaze the pot (steps 11,12).
Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 5 minutes (step 13).
Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release (step 14).
Add cilantro and mix well (steps 15,16).
This chicken bolti calls for lots of onions but very few spices, and that is what sets it apart from any regular curry. Do not cut back on onions.
This recipe I am sharing is quite mild. You may choose to adjust the amount of chili powder to increase the heat.
When making the cashew-yogurt mixture, grind the cashew first into a smooth paste and then add yogurt. We want a smooth and well-blended mixture. If we grind everything together, the cashew will be coarse which will impact the texture of the final dish.
I have used bone-in, skinless chicken in this recipe. The cooking time for it is 5 minutes of pressure cooking and 10 minutes NPR. If you use bone-in chicken breast, pressure-cook it for 4 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of NPR.
Use this recipe and replace chicken with potatoes or other veggies of your choice to make balti vegetables. Adjust the cooking time of vegetables (you can refer to this Instant Pot vegetable korma as a guide for the cooking time). This recipe also works well with turkey, although keep in mind that the cooking times may vary.
This dish is great for meal prep. Make it ahead and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also freeze it for 3-4 months. Double or triple this recipe to make a large batch and freeze it.
Try this super easy and delicious mutton curry made in an Instant Pot. Or check out this delicious Bengali fish curry that uses minimal ingredients. Check out my collection of Indian chicken recipes here.
Yes. You can follow this recipe and make the curry on a stovetop. Follow this recipe up to step 6 of the Recipe card, then add 2 cups of water and simmer for 20-25 minutes (or until the meat is well cooked).
This curry can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. It also freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for 3-4 months.
This murg balti is:
- unique, mild, and flavorful,
- very easy to make,
- great with roti or naan.
Balti Chicken Curry in Instant Pot
- 2 lbs chicken bone-in, skinless (approximately 1 kg)
- ¼ cup oil
- 1-2 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 10 cashew
- 2-3 large onions (approximately 3 cups) finely chopped
- 2 inch ginger finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro)
- ½ cup water
- Wash and clean the chicken.
- Grind the cashew into a smooth paste using little water.
- To this, add yogurt, chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Blend well and set it aside.
Making the curry:
- Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil.
- Add cumin seeds and bay leaf.
- Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute until the onion is light brown (4-5 minutes).
- Add the tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes soften (2-3 minutes).
- Add the chicken pieces and saute for one minute.
- Add the yogurt mixture and mix well. Saute for one more minute.
- Add ½ cup of water and mix well. Deglaze the pot.
- Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 5 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Add cilantro and mix well. Serve with roti, naan or rice.