Chicken Jalfrezi

KCTS 9 Cooks

Chicken Jalfrezi
Meena Cleland, Kelowna

Classic chicken with bell peppers and onions in a quick and easy stir-fry recipe.

serves 8

8 boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup onions, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon each coriander powder and cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon each turmeric and cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 cups diced red, green and orange bell peppers
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons garam masala
chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the cumin seeds and when they start to crackle and change color, add the onion, ginger and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne and salt and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the chicken pieces and saute for 5 minutes, until the pieces turn opaque. Add the tomato paste and saute for another minute. Add water and simmer over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is fork-tender.

Add the peppers and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar and garam masala and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Meena blogs at


Great article! I recently received RawSpiceBar's indian spices- garam masala and tandoori spices for making chicken tikka masala and it was pretty spot on. It's tough to find freshly ground kashmiri chiles and other high quality hard to find spices. Look forward to receiving next month's spice blends from them and worth looking into if you're an adventurous cook.

Garam Masala is on almost every supermarket spice shelf in the Pacific NW, and always in my kitchen!


You can find every imaginable spice at:

You can also find a recipe for Garam Masala at but those who have not HEARD of Garam Masala probably won't have all the spices required to put it together.

Here's one of favorite ways of using it OTHER than a curry.
Cut Butternut squash into 3/4 inch cubes (about), sprinkle with garam masala and chili powder--(the kind they sell as a blend to make CHILI CON CARNE, not raw HOT STUFF). Add a little salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil. Bake until the squash is tender. I make mine in a Halogen. DELISH!


Central Market and PCC have bulk spices available - I don't know for a fact, but would guess that Whole Foods does as well. You can get as much as you need. But I like Becky's thought that if you like the spices that make up the blend, you may well find more uses for the garam masala. I know we have in our cooking.


Good Grief - where do you come up with such far-out ingredients. I've never heard of garam masala. What department of the grocery store should I look in? I just won't any more buy such expensive tid-bit (the rest going to waste) for your recipes. No. No. No.


Garam Masala is actually a blend of spices. I purchased it in a well-stocked grocery store, under a popular spice brand name. It may not be a common as say, cinnamon, however, if you have a grocery that carries a wide range, it should have garam masala. When I first used it years ago, the recipe book I was referencing gave a "recipe" for a similar blend of spice ingredients in case garam masala isn't available. Now that I've explored a wider range of recipes, especially East Indian curries, I come across it quite often as a listed ingredient. If you like pungent spices, like cinnamon and cardamom, it's worth buying it. I think you'll find more excuses to use it.

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