CHICKEN BALTI – a quick and easy family dinner

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This easy, straightforward recipe came together quickly and with no drama for our Saturday evening dinner this week. I do so appreciate a no-drama recipe!

I did sigh a little when I saw the word ‘marinade’, but it’s just for 15 minutes, so by the time I’d prepped the vegetables, the 15 minutes was over and done with.

This a delicious mildly spiced, creamy chicken curry, with masses of vegetables included – in fact I’d go so far as to say that without the chicken, it would make a perfect vegetarian dinner.

Let’s give it a go..


  • A large shallow frying pan
  • A medium sized glass or ceramic bowl
  • A grater
  • Chopping board and sharp knife
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Chicken marinating nicely!

INGREDIENTS: to feed 4-6 people:     

For the marinade:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated.
  • A finger of fresh Ginger, grated
  • Juice of a lime (or half a lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon of Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of mild Chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of  salt
  • 125mls plain yoghurt
  • 4 large Chicken breasts, each cut into 4-5 large pieces

For the Curry:

  • 2 tablespoons of oil – I used Irish Rapeseed oil.      Chicken Balti (3)
  • 2 medium Onions, sliced into crescents
  • 4-6 large ripe Plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 heaped teaspoonfuls of Sundried Tomato paste
  • 125mls cream
  • A bag of baby spinach leaves, or 3-4 Pak Choi, sliced

To serve:

  • A big handful of fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Basmati rice
  • Warmed Flatbread – optional


  • Put the Chicken pieces into the marinade, stir well to coat each piece, then cover and put to one side for 15 minutes. If you’re doing this ahead of time, cover and put the bowl into the fridge.
  • Prepare all the vegetables.
  • Heat the oil in the frying pan, then add the onions, and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until softened but not browned.

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  • Add the tomatoes, and stir in. Cook for a minute or two.
  • Add the chicken and all the contents of the marinade bowl with an added splash of water, and stir gently to combine everything together.

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  • Add the cream, then bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or so, until the curry has thickened up, and the chicken is cooked. If you’re serving this straight away, put the rice on now.

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  • Taste for salt at this stage.
  • Fold in the Spinach/Pak Choi. It will wilt quickly.
  • After a minute or two, stir in the chopped Coriander and  serve.

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  • It occurred to me as I was writing up this recipe, that once you have put the chicken in to marinate, you’ve nearly got this dinner made!
  • Don’t be tempted to cut the chicken into smaller pieces – it will dry out and over-cook if you do.
  • If you’ve ever made any of my recipes before you’ll realise that having Pak Choi and fresh Coriander is rare for me – a Friday morning visit to the Asia Supermarket is responsible for that! I prefer Pak Choi to Spinach, but that’s just a personal preference..
  • Don’t forget that you can make this without necessarily having all the ingredients! A tin of chopped tomatoes will do very well if you haven’t got the fresh variety; there’s nothing to stop you using some finely julienned carrots if that’s what you’ve got..
  • We both really enjoyed this for our Saturday evening tea, so I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as we did, and add it to your ever-increasing repertoire!


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I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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