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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ?
- 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.
- Fry off ground coriander, turmeric, chilli flakes, fenugreek seeds, Kashmiri chilli powder, salt, pepper, tamarind paste, green chillies, tomato paste, garlic and ginger.
- Add chicken pieces, coat with spice mix and fry.
- Transfer 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.
- 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.
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
More Homemade Takeaway Recipes….
Pin for later Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi
Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi
- 1 slow cooker – 4 to 6 person I used my 4.7 litre Crockpot
- 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
- 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.
- 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.