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Murgh Jhalfrezi – Monica's Spice Diary – Indian Food Blog

Murgh Jhalfrezi

I decided to teach this recipe as part of my Facebook Live cookery sessions on the hottest day of the year. Not sure if that was clever. The word “jhal” actually means hot in Bengali though – so I suppose it was somewhat fitting.

It’s a fiery, dry (semi saucy) dish that can almost be described as an “Indian stir fry”. Scooped up with some fresh chapatis off the tava, it’s a real delight! I hope you enjoy.

Murgh Jhalfrezi

Servings 4


For the chicken marinade:

  • 500 g skinned chicken thighs cut into small bite-size pieces
  • 2 heaped tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder

For the masala:

  • 2 tbsp ghee & 2tbsp oil
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion 150g, half finely chopped & half thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and grated
  • 3 ” ginger grated
  • 2 fresh tomatoes 170g, finely diced
  • 1 ½ tbsp double concentrate tomato purée
  • 1-2 green bird eye chillies finely chopped
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chilli
  • 1 green pepper thinly sliced
  • ½ red pepper thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp roasted cumin powder optional
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • 80-100 ml water


  • Pre-heat your grill at the maximum temperature setting. Place all “marinade” ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Now, place the marinated chicken on a foil lined oven tray.
  • Grill chicken for 8-9 minutes until cooked (the chicken should be white all the way through). Remove from grill and keep aside.
  • Heat the ghee and oil in pan on a medium heat setting. Once hot add the cumin seeds. Then add the onions along with ½ tsp salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  • Now add the garlic and ginger and mix. Continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and purée to the pan and stir. Place a lid on top and cook for 2-3 minutes allowing them to completely soften.
  • Reduce heat slightly and add the green chillies, coriander powder, paprika, turmeric, garam masala and the remaining salt and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. When you see the oil begin to separate from the masala paste, add the grilled chicken along with the sliced peppers and water.
  • Mix well and place on a medium/high heat. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes. Finish with roasted cumin powder a sprinkle of fresh coriander. Taste for salt and chilli and adjust accordingly. Remove from heat.