Chicken Balti With No Base Gravy

Chicken Balti without base

This is slightly different to the standard Chicken balti as it requires no base gravy but still has that great Birmingham balti flavour. I tend to call this the 3 x reduce balti. As you start by frying the onions it develops a richly sweet deep flavoured balti. The meat can be exchanged for any you prefer and fresh chillies added to give it some fire if you wish.  Don’t add the chicken until the 3rd reduction else you can overcook the chicken and can become tough.


Enough for 1 person

1 Large Chicken breast
1 medium-sized Onion
2 heaped teaspoons of tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic + same amount of ginger
teaspoon Methi
1/2 teaspoon tandoori masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of mixed power or madras curry powder.
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (add more if you want it hotter)
handful of Coriander
3 tablespoon oil


Water down the tomato puree so it's quite runny, and place it in a cup, you need about 1/2 a cup once watered down.
place the garlic and ginger in a blender and blitz until smooth, add water so again it's quite runny.
Take 1/2 the onion and finely chop and fry in a tablespoon of oil until golden brown. Allow to cool then blitz in a blender, add enough water to make it like tomato ketchup.
The other 1/2 of the onion slice.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a balti bowl and fry the garlic & ginger paste for 2 minutes stirring so it does not burn on high heat.
Add the onion liquid and stir in, as it starts to thicken add the watered-down tomato puree and the sliced onion and stir.
As this sauce starts to thicken add all the dry spices, I tend to gather all the spices before and just pour them all in together. Stir for a minute and if it starts to catch add a drop of water.
Add a full cup of water and allow to reduce stirring from time to time and scrape any that have stuck to the sides back into the sauce. Add 1/2 the chopped fresh coriander.
Once thick add a further cup of water and repeat.
Once this has thickened again add the raw chicken chopped into bite-sized cubes and add a cup of water.
Lower the heat and allow to simmer and reduce to desired thickness,  (check the chicken is cooked by cutting 1 in half) add more water if not.

Sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander and serve

You can add a tomato quartered near the end of cooking.