Chicken Jalfarezi Recipe from Pakistan with Cumin, Garlic, and Ginger Root

Chicken Jalfarezi

Chicken Jalfarezi Recipe from Pakistan with Cumin, Garlic, and Ginger Root
Region / culture: Pakistan | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Servings: 4


Chicken Jalfarezi
Chicken Jalfarezi

Chicken Jalfarezi is a popular Indian dish known for its bold flavors and vibrant colors. This spicy and tangy dish is made with tender pieces of chicken cooked with a medley of vegetables and aromatic spices. It is a perfect dish to serve at dinner parties or family gatherings.


Chicken Jalfarezi is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent, where it was created as a way to use up leftover meat and vegetables. The name "Jalfarezi" is derived from the Bengali word "jhal," which means spicy, and "farezi," which means stir-fry. Over the years, the recipe has evolved and become a popular dish in Indian restaurants worldwide.


How to prepare

  1. Gather all ingredients.
  2. Cut the chicken into 2 x 2 inch pieces.
  3. Dice 6 oz (170 g) of tomatoes, 6 oz of onions, and all green peppers into 1 inch pieces.
  4. Melt the butter in a wok (or hotel pan - or other thin utensil).
  5. Finely cut 2 oz (57 g) of onions. Finely dice the garlic cloves and make a paste.
  6. Add the chicken pieces, finely cut onions, cumin seeds, salt, and garlic to the melted butter. Mix well.
  7. Cover and let the chicken steam over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
  8. Finely chop the remaining 2 oz (57 g) of tomatoes.
  9. Cut the ginger into julienne.
  10. Wash the cilantro and separate the leaves from the stem.
  11. Remove the cover. Add the red chilies, turmeric powder, green chilies, and finely chopped tomatoes.
  12. Mix well and let the chicken cook in this mixture over medium heat until almost all the water has evaporated.
  13. Add the julienne garlic when half of the water has evaporated.
  14. Add the diced green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Mix well.
  15. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro. Cover.
  16. Keep the cover in place for at least 5 minutes.


  • You can add other vegetables such as carrots, peas, or potatoes to the dish.
  • For a vegetarian version, you can substitute the chicken with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or tofu.
  • To make it spicier, add more chili peppers or chili powder.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to cut the chicken and vegetables into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking.

- Adjust the amount of chili peppers according to your spice preference.

- For a richer flavor, marinate the chicken in yogurt and spices for a few hours before cooking.

- Use a wok or a large skillet to cook the dish to allow for even heat distribution.

Serving Suggestions

Chicken Jalfarezi is best served hot with steamed rice or naan bread. It can also be served with a side of raita (yogurt dip) or pickles for added flavor.

Cooking Techniques

Stir-frying the chicken and vegetables in butter helps to seal in the flavors and create a rich and aromatic dish.

- Covering the dish while cooking helps to retain the moisture and cook the ingredients evenly.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for a juicier and more flavorful dish.

- Ghee (clarified butter) can be used instead of butter for a more traditional flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

You can marinate the chicken in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking. This will help to enhance the flavors of the dish.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the Chicken Jalfarezi with fresh cilantro leaves and a sprinkle of garam masala for a colorful and aromatic presentation. Serve it in a decorative serving dish for an elegant touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Chicken Jalfarezi pairs well with a refreshing cucumber salad, mint chutney, or a side of dal (lentil curry). It also goes well with a glass of lassi (yogurt drink) or a cold beer.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Chicken Jalfarezi can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply microwave or reheat on the stovetop until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Chicken Jalfarezi typically contains around 300-350 calories, depending on the portion size and ingredients used.


The carbohydrates in Chicken Jalfarezi mainly come from the vegetables used in the dish, such as peppers, onions, and tomatoes. A serving of Chicken Jalfarezi typically contains around 10-15 grams of carbohydrates.


The fats in Chicken Jalfarezi primarily come from the butter used for cooking. A serving of Chicken Jalfarezi typically contains around 15-20 grams of fat.


Chicken Jalfarezi is a protein-rich dish, with the main source of protein coming from the chicken breast. A serving of Chicken Jalfarezi typically contains around 30-35 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Chicken Jalfarezi is a good source of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C from the peppers and tomatoes, and iron from the chicken. It also contains a good amount of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6.


Chicken Jalfarezi contains dairy (butter) and may contain gluten if served with naan or roti. It may also contain nuts if garnished with cashews or almonds.


Overall, Chicken Jalfarezi is a nutritious and balanced dish that provides a good mix of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.


Chicken Jalfarezi is a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for spice lovers. With its tender chicken, crunchy vegetables, and aromatic spices, it is sure to be a hit at your next meal. Enjoy this classic Indian dish with your family and friends for a memorable dining experience.

How did I get this recipe?

I recall the feeling of curiosity that overcame me when I found this recipe for Chicken Jalfarezi tucked away in an old cookbook that belonged to my mother. I had always been intrigued by Indian cuisine, with its bold flavors and aromatic spices, and the thought of trying my hand at making one of these dishes myself was both intimidating and exciting.

As I read through the ingredients and instructions, I couldn't help but feel a sense of nostalgia wash over me. I remembered my mother spending hours in the kitchen, carefully measuring out each spice and stirring pots of fragrant curries that filled our home with warmth and comfort. It was in those moments that I first fell in love with cooking, and I knew that I had to try my hand at making this Chicken Jalfarezi.

I set out to gather all the necessary ingredients, making sure to select the freshest produce and highest quality spices. As I chopped onions, minced garlic, and diced tomatoes, the familiar scents of my childhood filled the air, transporting me back to my mother's kitchen.

I heated a generous amount of oil in a large skillet and added the chicken pieces, sizzling as they browned and released their savory aroma. Next, I added the onions, garlic, and ginger, watching as they softened and caramelized, infusing the dish with their rich flavors.

I carefully measured out the spices – cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili powder – and added them to the pan, stirring and tasting as I went along, adjusting the seasonings to my liking. The kitchen was filled with the heady scent of exotic spices, transporting me to a bustling Indian marketplace filled with vibrant colors and enticing aromas.

I added the diced tomatoes and bell peppers, allowing them to simmer and meld together with the spices and chicken, creating a fragrant and flavorful sauce that coated each piece of meat with a deliciously spicy coating.

As the dish simmered on the stove, I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. The Chicken Jalfarezi was coming together beautifully, with tender pieces of chicken bathed in a rich and fragrant sauce that promised to be a feast for the senses.

When the dish was finally ready, I spooned it onto a bed of fluffy basmati rice, garnishing it with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice. The colors and aromas were simply irresistible, and I couldn't wait to dig in and taste the fruits of my labor.

As I took my first bite, I was transported to a world of bold flavors and exotic spices, each mouthful a symphony of taste and texture that danced on my tongue. The Chicken Jalfarezi was everything I had hoped for and more – spicy, savory, and utterly delicious.

I savored each bite, enjoying the memories of my mother's kitchen and the joy of creating something truly special with my own two hands. As I finished the last morsel, I knew that this recipe would become a cherished favorite in my own collection, to be passed down through the generations and shared with loved ones for years to come.


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