I was gifted a Cast Iron Balti Dish and immediately started researching recipes and the type of cuisine to prepare in it. I learned A LOT! Balti is a cooking method traced back to Southern Asia and is named for the dish in which it is made. It’s similar to Indian curries and contains meat, vegetables, and spices. The main difference is how the dish is served but the ingredients used are cooked the same way. Balti dishes are stir-fried with vegetable oil over high heat in a flat-bottomed wok. Most often lamb is used, but you can find chicken or pork recipes as well.
The sauce is a delicious and rich curry that is tomato based with plenty of onion, garlic, and spices, that complements the tender chicken very well. It’s really flavorful and tasty, fragrant…and SPICY!
Start by heating oil in the Balti dish over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until soft. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and ginger. Stir to combine.
Add the turmeric, cayenne, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, salt, and garam masala, and stir to combine.
Increase the heat to high, add the chicken and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minutes then reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the tomato paste and heavy cream and stir to combine. Add the water and stir to combine.
Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and absorbs some of the flavors.
While the dish simmers, cook the rice according to package instructions. Set aside and keep warm until the chicken is done.
Remove the Chicken Balti from the heat and serve over rice. Garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
The recipe can be found here.
I think the Greek Yogurt tastes best with this dish vs. sour cream but use what you prefer. Traditionally Balti is served with rice on the side and perhaps some naan bread. Feel free to skip the rice and/or naan bread and enjoy the Chicken Balti as is. I personally need the rice to cut some of the heat and enjoy the added texture to each bite. Naan bread would be ideal for scooping the chicken and sauce and would also cut some of the heat, if needed.
Don’t forget – it’s best to use high quality, fresh ingredients when cooking from scratch.