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Chicken Jalfrezi is an indulgence blend of chicken and vegetables. This traditional Pakistani chicken curry is so appetizing and soul-soothing. The ketchup gives it reddish hues, and soy sauce makes the taste more umami.  

chicken jalfrezi

I go for chicken jalfrezi whenever I want to introduce my taste buds to unusual tastes. Just like Black pepper chicken the Jalfrezi also offers a complex taste profile because of the mix vegetables. 

I first tasted this recipe in my hostel life, and from that time, I’ve been a big fan of Chicken Jalfrezi. I have mastered this recipe and made many changes to make it super palatable and umami. 

Chicken Jalfrezi is an easy-to-follow recipe; it only takes 30 minutes and is the ultimate remedy for your appetite. You need basic vegetables like capsicum, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Unlike other chicken recipes, we don’t sauté onion initially. Instead, we first fry garlic and ginger paste to give our recipe a more robust taste. 

Origin Of Chicken Jalfrezi

chicken jalfrezi recipe

According to, the chicken jalfrezi has been handed down for two centuries. Jalfrezi is a Bengali word which means to stir-fry the spices. 

This chicken curry is thick and has an overpowering taste. The South Asian people are passionate fans of such fiery and robust dishes, which is why the chicken recipe became hugely famous in the 19th century.

Now, every chicken lover in India and Pakistan is aware of this cherished chicken curry. 

After a lot of testing, I have found that the Chicken Jalfrezi is a versatile recipe; you can alter the vegetables and spices, add an egg, cheese, or yogurt. Keeping all variations in mind, you should never compromise on the thickness of the gravy– the chicken jalfrezi always has dense gravy. 

Why You Will Love Chicken Jalfrezi 

  • Diverse Flavors: Unlike chicken Karahi or chicken Achari, which focus only on one taste profile, the Jalfrezi has a kind of nuanced flavors: sweet capsicum, savory soy and chili, robust ginger-garlic, and umami chicken goodness.

  • Vibrant Hues: Oh! How can I forget those vibrant hues that come from tomatoes paste and ketchup, making this chicken curry a real overpowering delight? 

  • Versatile: Jalfrezi is a more versatile recipe; you can play with flavors by adding or eliminating a few ingredients and spices. I’m using the omelet (egg) pieces as an addition to give my recipe a more Indo-Chinese touch. 

  • Time Saver: Spending time in front of the stove is a real snoozefest for most females. But in the case of chicken jalfrezi, you’re at ease, as this is a saving recipe requiring no chef skills.


ingredients of chicken jalfrezi
  • Chicken: Boneless or Bone-in, both chicken pieces can be used for Jalfrezi. I’m using a mix of both variations. But few folks prefer boneless chicken to make it more juicy and tender. This time, my fridge decided to go vegetarian; no boneless chicken was in sight! 😄

  • Oil: You can use any kind of cooking oil. 

  • Onions: Like Chicken Dopiaza, I will use white onions at the last stage of the recipe. Green onions are also preferable to elevate the color and texture of the curry.

  • Tomato Paste: I will use a food processor to get the tomato puree. This prime ingredient makes the gravy thick, colorful, and flavorful. Besides the paste, a few chopped tomatoes are the back support for the texture. 

  • Garlic & Ginger Paste: Use the mortar & pestle to make the paste of garlic and ginger. Both of these ingredients will make the dish aromatic and add a strong flavor to it. 

  • Tomato Ketchup: This is like a secret ingredient in chicken jalfrezi and adds a strong and tangy flavor. Plus, tomato ketchup will sharpen the hue of gravy. 

  • Vinegar & Soy Sauce: Vinegar is a must-have ingredient to make our recipe a little tart, whereas the soy sauce will add a more umami flavor. You can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar. 

  • Spices: No need to use any fluffy spices or garam masala. Just basic ground like turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and mixed masala.

How To Make Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe?

  1. Sauté The Garlic and Ginger Paste: First, add the oil to the pan and heat it. Now sauté the garlic ginger paste on low flame for 1 minute. Avoid adding onions at the start, as they will give our curry a more scorched look. 
garlic ginger paste
  1. Add Chicken: In the second step, add chicken and stir. I prefer to add a splash of water in the pan to speed up the chicken cooking process. It helps prevent overcooking and gives a perfect, juicy finish. Simmer it for 10 to 12 minutes on medium flame. 
add chicken pieces
  1. Add Spices: Now it’s time to add ingredients for the taste. First, toss all the ground spices and give a gentle stir. Next, add soy sauce, vinegar, tomato puree, and tomato ketchup. Stir a stew and leave on a medium flame for 2 minutes.
add spices
soy sauce
Soy Sauce
add ketchup
  1. Add Egg: Meanwhile, crack an egg, beat it, and smash it on a grill to make an omelet. You must cut the omelet into small pieces. You can also complete this step before beginning the recipe. That way, waiting longer after completing step 3 is unnecessary.
add egg
  1. Add Julienne of Vegetables And Egg: In the last step, add the capsicum, white onion, egg pieces, tomatoes, and green onions. Stir the medley and simmer it for 4 minutes on medium heat. 
add onions
all vegetables

Nabeel’s Pro Tip

Sometimes, a small change to the recipe can have a huge impact. This time, I initially sautéed the ginger garlic paste instead of onions. And this minor tweak brought a more robust and aromatic flavor to the chicken jalfrezi. 

Further, to enhance the flavors and make the recipe tarter, you can add lemon juice to it. 

But here’s a key tip to always keep in mind: opt for fresh vegetables for a more enjoyable and flavorful experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Few people love the tanginess, but luckily, you can adjust the zesty flavor of chicken jalfrezi by adjusting the amount of red chili powder and green chili pepper. 

To get the thick gravy, add the extra tomato paste and close the lid after adding that paste. With a closed lid, the moisture from tomatoes won’t evaporate, and this will make the gravy dense. 

Capsicum is a must-have ingredient for the chicken jalfrezi recipe, and you can’t ignore this one. But in case it’s not available in your fridge, you can use Japaleños, green onions, or Pimiento peppers. 


chicken jalfrezi restaurant style

Chicken curries are not so versatile, but Jalfrezi is the only one with many variations and flavors. Being a nuanced flavor recipe, you can alter the ingredients and adjust their amount. 

Like last time, I added 2 tablespoons of yogurt to foster a creamy and sweet experience. 

This time, I have added an omelet to give a more reboot touch and to make my chicken jalfrezi more nutritious. 

Add garlic chili sauce, cumin powder, and tomato ketchup to uplift the flavor profile. 

What To Serve With Chicken Jalfrezi Curry

Here are the following accompaniments that you can serve with chicken jalfrezi to make it a more delicacy. 

  • White rice or basmati rice. 
  • Roti, naan, Paratha, or chapati. 
  • Riat and salad.
  • Mint chutney

More Chicken Recipe

chicken jalfrezi

Chicken Jalfrezi

Chicken Jalfrezi is an indulgence blend of chicken and vegetables. This traditional Pakistani chicken curry is so flavorful and soul-soothing. The ketchup gives it reddish hues, and soy sauce makes the taste more umami.  
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani


  • 0.6 Kg Chicken
  • 1 Cup oil
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3 Tomatoes paste
  • 1 White onion
  • 1 Green onion
  • 1 Capsicum or Bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 Tomato ketchup
  • 1 Vinegar
  • 1 Turmeric powder
  • 1 Red chili powder
  • 1 Coriander powder
  • 1 Mix masala (optional)
  • 1 Salt (according to your taste)


  • Heat the oil and add the garlic and ginger paste. Stir it for one minute on low flame.
  • Add the chicken pieces and a splash of water to speed up the cooking process. Simmer the stew on a medium flame for 12 minutes at least.
  • Add ground spices, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, and ketchup. Stir well and simmer for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Whip up an omelet and cut it into small pieces. You can also do this step before starting the recipe.
  • Whip up an omelet and cut it into small pieces. You can also do this step before starting the recipe.
  • Add capsicum, white onion, egg pieces, tomatoes, and green onions in the final step. Stir and simmer for 4 minutes on low-medium flame.



For more juiciness and tender flavor, I prefer boneless chicken. Plus, marinate the chicken one hour before starting cooking. For marination, you can use yogurt and 1 tbsp of vinegar, 1 tbsp of red chili powder, and 1 tbsp of turmeric powder.
If you’re going with marinated chicken, reduce the amount of spices in curry by one-half.
Keyword Chicken Jalfrezi
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