Balti chicken is a delicious and popular dish that originated in the northern region of Pakistan, but has since become a beloved staple in many Indian restaurants around the world. This flavorful and aromatic dish is typically made with boneless chicken pieces that are cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce and served with naan or rice.
The word “balti” refers to the type of pot in which the dish is traditionally cooked. These pots are made of steel and are shaped like a wok, but with two handles on the sides. The shape of the pot allows the ingredients to cook evenly and quickly, while the handles make it easy to handle and serve.
To make balti chicken, boneless chicken pieces are first marinated in a blend of spices, which typically includes ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. The chicken is then stir-fried in the balti pot with onions, peppers, and tomatoes until it is browned and cooked through.
Next, a mixture of spices, including chili powder, paprika, and cumin, is added to the pot, along with some tomato puree and a little water. The dish is then simmered for several minutes until the sauce thickens and the chicken is coated in a deliciously spicy and tangy sauce.
Balti chicken is often served with a garnish of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Some people also like to add a dollop of plain yogurt on top to help cool down the heat from the spices.
One of the great things about balti chicken is that it can be easily adapted to suit different tastes and dietary requirements. Vegetarians can substitute paneer or tofu for the chicken, and those who prefer a milder flavor can reduce the amount of chili powder or omit it altogether.
In conclusion, balti chicken is a wonderful example of the rich and diverse flavors of Indian cuisine. Its blend of aromatic spices and tender chicken make it a hearty and satisfying meal that is sure to impress your taste buds. So next time you’re looking for a new and exciting dish to try, why not give balti chicken a go?