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Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi

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Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi – chunks of tender chicken with peppers and onion in a deliciously spicy aromatic sauce.

I love to serve homemade versions of takeaway favourites. Ranging from Indian restaurant staples such as Beef Madras and Bombay Potatoes to kebab shop Chicken Kebabs and pittas. All healthier and much lower in fat when made at home.

My easy to make Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi is my take on a classic Indian jalfrezi. I’ve used chicken breasts but you could use chicken thighs if you prefer, both work brilliantly.

Adapted for the slow cooker but maintaining all the elements of a traditional jalfrezi. The chicken is fried in spices and the onions are fried with fragrant cumin seeds.

A serving of curry with wedges of lemon and naan.

Red and green bell peppers are added towards the end of cooking. This delivers a more crunchy bite with the peppers, so keeping the sense of a stir fry.

That said, if you’ll be pushed for time nearer to serving, add the peppers at the beginning of slow cooking.

Peppers being stirred into slow cooker.

For me, if the peppers are stirred in for the last hour of cooking, the timing is just right. It means I’ve time for getting the rest of the meal ready.

The jalfrezi comes together with a rich, spicy, tomato based curry sauce. The traditional Indian spices, the sourness of Tamarind paste and the sweetness of tomatoes combine to give that umami flavour.

Serve with freshly baked naan bread and you’ll have an irresistible healthy homemade takeaway, a perfect Friday night treat.

Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi being stirred.

What is Jalfrezi?

Jalfrezi is a spicy stir fry, derived from the Bengali word ‘jhal’, meaning spicy. The name relates to the original dish in which cooked meats were stir fried with vegetables.

A serving of curry with wedges of lemon and naan.

An Indian restaurant classic, a favourite takeaway and always available in the supermarket ready meals section, Jalfrezi has become one of the most popular curries in the UK.

How spicy is a Chicken Jalfrezi ?

Traditionally, Jalfrezi is a hot spicy stir fry but not as hot as a vindaloo. Our chicken jalfrezi sits somewhere between a hot Madras and a medium spiced curry.

A serving of curry with wedges of lemon and naan.

We’re talking a warming heat for a comforting spicy glow. But not enough spice to blow your socks off or make your eyes sweat.

In essence, an easy slow cooker chicken curry recipe which you can adjust so the spice level meets your taste.

What equipment do I need ?

  • A 4 to 6 person slow cooker – I used my 4.7 litre Crockpot

What ingredients do I need ?

All ingredients in bowls on a worktop.
  • Onions – I’ve used brown onions, thinly sliced.
  • Bell peppers – I’ve used red and green peppers but feel free to use either just red or green. The peppers should be thinly sliced so they cook enough during the last hour of cooking.
  • Chicken – I like to use chicken breast (cut into large bite sized chunks) to keep the dish low in fat. I chose cutting into chunks as this is the shape I most associate with a takeaway curry.
    If you use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast, you will need 500g.
  • Garlic, tomato paste, green chillies and fresh ginger form the body for the spicy tomato based sauce.
  • Tamarind – gives a tart almost tangy note to the jalfrezi. I find Tamarind paste easier to use than Tamarind pulp. Also, paste appears to be more widely available in supermarkets, grocery stores and online. If you prefer you can use lemon juice instead of Tamarind.
  • Spices – cumin seeds, ground coriander, turmeric, dried chilli flakes, fenugreek seeds, Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika and garam masala. An easier alternative is to use 2 tablespoons of medium curry powder.
  • Passata – I like to use sieved tomatoes in a slow cooker. These deliver a naturally thicker sauce without the need for additional thickeners.
  • Coriander/cilantro and lemon – chopped coriander and a squeeze of lemon. Both add a vibrancy and bring out the flavour in the finished jalfrezi.

How to make Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi

Scroll down for recipe card and ingredient list.

  • Toast cumin seeds.
  • Add oil and sliced onion and fry for 5 minutes.
Cumin seeds and onion frying in a a pan.
  • Fry off ground coriander, turmeric, chilli flakes, fenugreek seeds, Kashmiri chilli powder, salt, pepper, tamarind paste, green chillies, tomato paste, garlic and ginger.
Spices, chilli and garlic frying in a saucepan.
  • Add chicken pieces, coat with spice mix and fry.
  • Transfer to slow cooker.
Chicken being coated by spice mix and transferred to slow cooker.
  • Add passata and water to slow cooker. Give the jalfrezi a good stir.
  • Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours or on low for 4 1/2 hours.
Passata and water being added to slow cooker.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of garam masala and sliced bell peppers and stir. (Sliced bell peppers and garam masala can be added at the same time as passata and water. In this case, Cook for 3 hours on high or on low for 5 hours.)
  • Cook on high for an hour.
  • Stir in freshly chopped coriander and serve with lemon wedges along with rice or naan breads.

Can I store it ?

Yes, you can! Cool the jalfrezi completely, then portion into an airtight food safe container. Chicken Jalfrezi can be kept for up to three days in the fridge or three months in the freezer.

Close up of chicken jalfrezi with coriander and chilli slices.

How to reheat

Defrost in the fridge overnight if frozen. Reheat in a pan on the stovetop on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the chicken is hot all the way through.

What to serve with Jalfrezi

Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi goes well with Naan bread, roti or rice. For a homemade takeaway night why not try our Bombay Potatoes ?

A serving of curry with wedges of lemon and naan.

More Homemade Takeaway Recipes….

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Pin for later Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi

A serving of curry with wedges of lemon and naan. Peppers being stirred into slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi

Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi – chunks of tender chicken with peppers and onion in a deliciously spicy aromatic sauce.
Adapted for the slow cooker but maintaining all the elements of a traditional jalfrezi. The chicken is fried in spices and the onions are fried with fragrant cumin seeds.
4.99 from 69 votes
Print Pin Rate this Recipe Save Recipe
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 320kcal
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • 1 slow cooker – 4 to 6 person I used my 4.7 litre Crockpot

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbs rapeseed/Canola oil
  • 2 onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs tamarind paste or lemon juice
  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • 2 green chillies – chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 3 tsp grated ginger
  • 4 chicken breasts about 500g to 600g chopped into large chunks
  • 400 g passata
  • 100 ml water
  • 2 bell peppers thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbs chopped coriander/cilantro
  • lemon wedges

Instructions

  • Grease the inside of your slow cooker.
  • Heat a frying pan to a medium heat, add the cumin seeds and gently toast for about a minute.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to frying pan and fry sliced onion for 5 minutes before transferring to the slow cooker.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil to the frying pan, maintaining a medium heat.
  • Add the ground coriander, turmeric, chilli flakes, fenugreek seeds, Kashmiri chilli powder, salt, pepper, tamarind paste, green chillies, tomato paste, garlic and ginger. Cook through for two minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces, coat each piece in the spice mix and fry for about five minutes. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Add passata and water to your slow cooker and give the jalfrezi a good stir.
  • Cook on high for 2 ½ hours or low for 4 ½ hours.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of garam masala along with the sliced red and green bell peppers. Stir well and cook on high for an hour.
  • Stir in the freshly chopped coriander before serving with lemon wedges and rice or naan breads.

Notes

  • If you don’t want to buy all the individual spices just to make this curry, there is an alternative. You can add 2 tablespoons of medium curry powder instead.
  • Sliced bell peppers and garam masala can be added at the same time as the passata and water. This can useful if you won’t have time to add them later. This “add all at once method” should be cooked for 3 hours on high or 5 hours on low.
  • To store: Cool the jalfrezi completely, then portion into an airtight food safe container. Chicken Jalfrezi can be kept for up to three days in the fridge or three months in the freezer.
  • To Reheat: Defrost in the fridge overnight if frozen. Reheat in a pan on the stovetop on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the chicken is hot all the way through.
  • Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 898mg | Potassium: 1422mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2242IU | Vitamin C: 84mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 5mg

  • Fiesta Friday hosted by Angie at Fiesta Friday and co hosted this week by 
  • Jhuls over at The Not So Creative Cook.
    Recipe Rating




    Tom.

    Sunday 12th of June 2022

    Hi. Can’t wait to make this, it’s my very favourite curry. Do you cook for 41/2hrs then add the peppers the cook for a further hour. Thanks

    Sarah James

    Monday 13th of June 2022

    Hi Tom, yes, cook on low for 4 ½ hours or on high for 2 ½ hours before adding the peppers for a final hour on high. I hope you enjoy slow cooker jalfrezi as much as we do.

    Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook

    Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

    This screams my name and my mouth is watering!! What a lovely dish to share with loved ones! Thanks a bunch for sharing at Fiesta Friday party! I hope to see you next week.

    Sarah James

    Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

    Thanks Jhuls, it's a pleasure to share with the Fiesta party. looking forward to joining next week.

    Toni

    Friday 18th of March 2022

    I love how flavorful this is!! Awesome!

    Emily Flint

    Friday 18th of March 2022

    There are a lot of ingredients but this was totally worth it the flavors were amazing together!

    Sarah James

    Friday 18th of March 2022

    Thanks Emily, so pleased you enjoyed our chicken jalfrezi. There are a lot of spices but if you're pushed for time when you make it next, you could use 2 tablespoons of curry powder instead.

    Gloria

    Friday 18th of March 2022

    I love my slow cooker. This sounds so delicious. Love all the flavours of the spices in this recipe. Better than takeout.

    Sarah James

    Friday 18th of March 2022

    Thanks Gloria, you can't beat homemade food.