Slow Cooker Chicken Balti Curry – an easy crockpot version of a takeaway favourite. A delicious aromatic curry of chicken, onions and peppers in a spicy Balti sauce.
This healthy Balti recipe needs only ten minutes prep time, a few Indian spices and a handful of simple ingredients. It’s so easy – just add all your ingredients and let the slow cooker to do its magic.
This is my take on a classic Chicken Balti. Whilst adapted for the slow cooker, the recipe maintains the essential thick, spicy Balti sauce.
Easy straightforward steps and totally fuss free where green chillies and mild Kashmiri chilli powder deliver a tasty medium heat. The heat can easily be toned down by adding less chilli and removing the seeds.
A guaranteed crowd pleaser, this Balti is a pure delight when served with homemade naan bread. Crack on with Bombay Potatoes and rice and you’ll forget all about restaurant takeaway menus and supermarket ready meal aisles.
What is a Balti ?
It’s an Anglo Indian dish, popularised in what was known as the Balti triangle in Birmingham throughout the 1970’s. Since then Balti houses have become popular all over the UK.
Apparently, the word ‘Balti’ has nothing to do with the recipe as such but refers to the cooking pot used. A Balti will use meat or vegetables in a thick, tomato based and medium spiced sauce. It is traditionally served with naan bread so you can mop up the delicious curry gravy from your Balti bowl.
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, diced.
- Bell peppers – I’ve used a red pepper as a contrast to the sourness of green chillies. The pepper should be cut into regularly sized small chunks so it cooks evenly.
- Chicken – I like to use chicken thighs (cut into large bite sized chunks). Thighs deliver more in flavour, but if you prefer a lower fat content, feel free to use chicken breast. Both work well in this recipe.
- Garlic, tomato paste, green chillies and fresh ginger form the body for the spicy tomato based sauce.
- Spices – ground cumin seeds, ground coriander, turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika and garam masala. 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.
- 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 with sliced red and green chilli – optional but adding a vibrancy and a measured kick to the finished Balti.
Can you put raw chicken in the slow cooker ?
Yes, you can ! It’s perfectly safe to put raw chicken in the slow cooker. The USDA cites the safe cooking temperature for chicken as 74°C / 165°F. In my case, my Crockpot reaches the simmer point and stabilises for both “High” and “Low” at about 98°C or 209°F.
Simply check the temperature specifications published by the manufacturer of your slow cooker.
However, regardless of the slow cooker brand, I would advise against putting frozen chicken in a slow cooker.
How to make Slow Cooker Chicken Balti
This Slow Cooker Chicken Curry couldn’t be easier to make. It’s an easy dump and go slow cooker recipe, perfect for busy days when prep time is limited.
- First, grease the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Next, lay the chicken pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Then cover with diced onion, chillies and pepper followed by the spices, garlic and tomato paste.
- After that, stir in the passata and water.
- Lastly, cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours.
- To serve – add a handful of chopped coriander / cilantro and stir.
Can I store it ?
Yes, you can! Cool the curry completely, then portion into airtight food safe containers. Chicken Balti can be kept for up to three days in the fridge or three months in the freezer.
How to reheat Slow Cooker Chicken Balti
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 piping hot all the way through.
What to serve with Balti Chicken
More Homemade Takeaway Recipes….
- Beef Madras Curry
- Slow Cooker Chicken Jalfrezi
- Kerala Chicken Curry
- Chicken kebabs complete with homemade pittas
Pin For Later
Slow Cooker Chicken Balti
- 4 to 6 person slow cooker – I used my 4.7 litre Crockpot
- 500 g skinless and boneless chicken thighs about 6 or 7 chicken thighs
- 1 diced onion
- 1 red bell pepper cut into small chunks
- 2 green chillies – chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 tsp grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tbs tomato puree
- 400 g passata or sieved tomatoes
- 100 ml water
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
- ½ red chilli finely sliced
- Grease the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Lay the chicken pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Cover with diced onion, chillies and pepper.
- Sprinkle with the spices and seasoning.
- Add garlic, ginger and tomato paste.
- Stir in the passata and water.
- Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours.
- To serve, sprinkle with fresh coriander/cilantro and a few chilli slices.
- If you don’t want to buy all the individual spices specifically for only this curry, there is an alternative. You can use 2 tablespoons of medium curry powder instead.
- To store: Cool the Balti completely, then portion into airtight food safe containers. Chicken Balti 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 piping hot all the way through.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.