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Nisha's cheeky Birmingham chicken balti

Our Alison loves having a taste of India a little bit closer to home so Nisha's cheeky Birmingham chicken balti is right up her street.

"Balti means bucket," Nisha explains. "The dish is a spin on Indian food that the people of Birmingham created. It’s sweet and tasty and I’m serving mine with rice. Naan is often a popular way to eat this dish too, you just scoop it up."

Here's how to make your own balti.

Serves: 4


80ml of vegetable oil

2 large white onions, cut in half and thinly sliced

5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp garam masala

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp chilli powder

1 ½ tsp cumin powder

2 bay leaves

600g diced chicken thigh and breast mixed 

400g canned, chopped tomatoes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 small bunch of fresh coriander


1. Put the oil in a large, heavy pan and set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the sliced onions, ginger and garlic and fry for eight minutes until the onions have softened and turned a deep golden brown.

2. Add the garam masala, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder, bay leaves and chicken and fry for five minutes or until the chicken starts to brown, stirring so it is well coated with the spices. 

3. Add the canned tomatoes, 450ml of water, salt and sugar and bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Finish the curry by stirring through the chopped coriander. Add more water, if necessary, to loosen to your taste just before serving.

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