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Paneer and Chicken Balti Recipe

Balti chicken curry recipes are increasing in popularity all around the world as more and more people are discovering this delicious and spicy style of cuisine. Paneer and chicken Balti is a type of curry or soup or stew that gets its name from the pot in which it is cooked; the Balti, a large, cast iron pan or pot that resembles a wok.

Balti dishes are said to have originated in Pakistan and were first introduced to the United Kingdom by immigrants from South Asia in the 1990s where they remain popular today. With spices such as coriander, cumin, ginger, and turmeric along with fresh garlic and red onions you can expect a mouthful of flavors that combine together perfectly in this paneer and chicken Balti dish.

Our Balti chicken curry recipe calls for homemade paneer or a fresh, curd cheese originating in India that is incredibly easy to make although it does take some time to prepare. When making this paneer and chicken Balti, you will need several hours to make the cheese although the end result will be more than worth the effort. Serve your paneer and chicken Balti with pitas or crusts of bread and side dishes of rice or salad.

Ingredients –

  • ½ gallon whole milk
  • ½ lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • Muslin or cheesecloth
  • ¼ vegetable oil
  • 1-½ cups red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-½ cup water
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) chopped tomatoes
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped


Paneer Preparation:

  1. In a large saucepan, make paneer by gently bringing the milk to a boil over medium heat stirring frequently. Do not use high heat or allow the milk to boil over or burn, as this will alter the taste of the cheese.
  2. Once the milk has reached the boiling point, gradually stir in the lemon juice and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until small curds begin to surface. After 5 minutes or when the curds begin to clump together, remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  3. In a colander in the sink draped with muslin or cheesecloth, strain the liquid for about an hour. Squeeze the remaining liquid and press the paneer inside the cloth into a square or rectangle. Place it on the countertop with a heavy weight on top, such as several large books or a few wooden cutting boards, and leave in place for 2 hours. The paneer should harden after a few hours and be ready to cut into small cubes.

Chicken Balti Preparation:

  1. Heat a heavy skillet or Balti pan over high heat and coat with vegetable oil. Add onions and cook until soft before adding garlic and ginger stirring frequently. Mix in turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and salt then cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add ½ cup water and stir-fry over high heat for 2 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Do not allow to burn.
  2. Add the tomatoes, un-drained, along with 1 cup of water and cook over medium to high heat for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Add the chicken to the mixture reducing the heat and simmering for 15 minutes while stirring often.
  3. Add green pepper and red pepper flakes to the mixture and simmer for 25 minutes. If the curry becomes too thick, you can add more water. Stir in the chunks of paneer and mix well together before adding the cilantro leaves for garnish.

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