Authentic Balti Recipes (2022)

Authentic Balti Recipes (1)

Balti is a fast cooked dish, traditionally over a high flame and served in the very bowl it's cooked in. It is made with vegetable oil and not ghee, producing a lighter tasting and healthier alternative to a traditional slower cooked curry. We believe the freshness of the flavours, due to this cooking process sets balti apart as a curry taste sensation!

To make an authentic balti you need a balti bowl.

An authentic balti bowl is made of thin pressed steel and is not the same as a ornamental copper or stainless steel serving 'balti bowl' (the name lifted from the real Birmingham Balti!) to serve Indian cuisine - such serving bowls cannot be used to cook with. A balti bowl is not the same as a heavier cast iron karahi, which doesn't have the quick heat application of thin pressed steel or a flat bottomed base for even heat distribution and isn't designed for cooking and serving the curry fast, sizzling and fresh as a one pot, one person dish. These unique qualities are what make the Birmingham Balti unique, both in flavour and health properties.

Recipe; Kindly provided by famous Birmingham balti restaurant 'Shababs' in Birmingham's Balti Triangle.

The success of every balti relies on a pre-prepared balti sauce which is added at the conclusion of the intense, high-heat stage. This sauce can be made in a large batch and even frozen if you like, to be kept for quick access whenever you fancy a Balti.

BALTI SAUCE or BASE GRAVY RECIPE (enough for 4 Balti's)


3x Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil

4x Chopped Onions

2cm length piece of peeled and grated fresh ginger

(Video) Best Authentic Birmingham BALTI - The 5 Golden Rules 🔥

l large crushed and peeled garlic clove

1 teaspoon The Birmingham Balti Garam Masala

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1tsp chilli powder

1 large grated tomato

1 teaspoon of salt

Handful of chopped coriander

300ml water


Heat the oil in a large pan over a moderate heat then add the onions, ginger and garlic, stirring regularly until onions are translucent. Add the tomato and stir into the mixture, then add the water and all the other ingredients, give it all a good stir and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely then blitz in a blender/food processer until smooth.



6 tbsp balti curry sauce or Base gravy

(Video) How to Make a Healthy, Authentic Chicken Balti in 15 Minutes | Family Recipe | Chef Hussain

3 tbsp Vegetable oil

1 grated tomato

2 small finely chopped onions

2 diced chicken breasts (dice in smallish pieces to ensure speedy cooking)

2 small chopped chillis (take the seeds out if you prefer a milder taste)

1 tsp of ginger paste

1 tsp of garlic paste

2 pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of The Birmingham Balti Garam Masala

4 teaspoons of The Birmingham Balti spice pot blend OR 1tsp ground Paprika, 1tsp dried fenugreek leaves, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tsp ground tumeric.


Fresh coriander to garnish


* Throughout cooking ensure you stir frequently and small splashes of water to avoid sticking and drying out

Heat oil in balti bowl until sizzling. Add chopped onion and tomato and cook until onions are translucent. Add ginger, garlic purees, chillis and give it a quick stir, add in 4 teaspoons of balti spice blend or individual spices and stir, add a splash of water. Add chicken, cook for a few moments then add 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala and 2 pinches of salt. When the chicken is nearly cooked add in 6 tablespoons of your balti sauce. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with Naan bread.

(Video) Authentic Balti Chicken to cook at home - Shababs Recipe | Misty Ricardo's Curry Kitchen

If you enjoyed this recipe try a Chicken and Mushroom Balti from the balti boom years as served in balti favourite 'I Am The King' Restaurant and featuring a secret ingredient!

Other featured recipes;

Balti Aphrodisiac

Balti Keema Dopiaza by The Royal Watan

Kashmiri Marinated Lamb Chops, BBQ Lamb Chops

Balti King Prawn by The Curry Kid

More Balti recipes below featuring our authentic bowls by leading curry chef and top selling curry author Dan Toombs 'The Curry Guy'

Balti Lamb and Chickpea

Balti Dhal Fry

Special Balti

Chicken Tikka Keema Methi Balti

Authentic Chicken Birmingham Balti

Balti Aubergine

Base Sauce 'The Curry Guy'

We also highly recommend checking out Richard Sayce AKA 'Misty Ricardo' author of 'Indian Restaurant Curry at Home' which features a Birmingham Balti cooked in our authentic steel pressed bowl. Below is a Lamb Balti and a Spinach and Mushroom Balti by Misty.

(Video) Joe Wicks' Bangin' Chicken Balti | This Morning

Lamb Balti Recipe from 'Indian Restaurant Cooking at Home'
by Richard Sayce (Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen)

Authentic Balti Recipes (2)
Lamb Balti by Richard Sayce

4 TBSP (60ml) Oil
1 Star Anise, 10cm Cassia Bark, ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Black Cardamom (seeds of), 2 Green Cardamom (seeds of), 3 Cloves
80g Onion, sliced into segments
100-125g Red and Green Pepper, sliced into 3cm triangles (about one third of each red and green)
1 tsp Ginger/Garlic Paste
¼ tsp of Cumin Powder (freshly toasted and ground)
½ tsp of Coriander Powder (freshly toasted and ground)
¼ tsp Fenugreek Seed Powder (freshly toasted and ground)
½-1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1 tsp Mix Powder
¼ tsp Garam Masala
¼-½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Kasuri Methi
200g Pre-Cooked Lamb (see Notes)
330ml+ Base Gravy, heated up
A handful of Mushrooms, cut into quarters (optional)
Half a Tomato, cut into segments
2 TBSP very finely chopped fresh Coriander Leaves

Special Balti Paste:
This makes a batch (about 2-3 times more than the 5 TBSP required for this recipe). All the following
ingredients are chopped and blended to a paste:
30-40g Onion
2-3 Red Chillies. (Optional. Remove the seeds unless you like it very hot)
2-3 TBSP fresh Coriander Stalks
4 Garlic Cloves
2 cm chunk of fresh Ginger
5-6 TBSP Tomato Paste
1 TBSP Tamarind Paste, or 2 tsp Tamarind Concentrate, or 1½ TBSP Tamarind Sauce/Juice
2 tsp Mango Chutney
2 tsp Poppy Seeds (optional)
1 TBSP Onion Paste/Bunjarra (optional)

1. In preparation, toast and grind the cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds to a powder, and make the special
balti paste (see ingredients).
1. Add the oil to a Birmingham Balti Bowl on medium high heat.
2. Throw in the star anise, cassia, bark, cumin seeds, cloves, and black and green cardamom seeds. Stir diligently
for 45-60 seconds to infuse the oil with flavour.
3. Next, add the onion and red and green pepper. Fry for 2 minutes until slightly softened, stirring frequently.
4. Now in with the ginger/garlic paste, stirring until the sizzling eases off and the sound of crackling can be
5. Add the cumin, coriander and fenugreek powder.

6. Also add the Kashmiri chilli powder, mix powder, garam masala, salt, methi, and a small amount of base gravy
(e.g. 30ml) to help the spices fry without burning.
7. Fry for 20-30 seconds, stirring constantly.
8. Add the 5 TBSP of special balti paste.
9. Turn up the heat to high while stirring constantly for 30-45 seconds, or until the sauce has reduced very
slightly, with small craters forming around the edge.
10. Add the pre-cooked meat of choice and mix well into the sauce.
11. Now add the first 75ml of base gravy, stir into the sauce, and leave on high heat (not stirring) until the sauce
is reduced slightly, oil separation is apparent, and the little craters form up again.
12. Add a second 75ml of base gravy, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan once when first
added, allowing the sauce to reduce again.
13. Optionally, throw in a generous handful of quartered mushrooms.
14. Now add the final 150ml of base gravy and tomato segments. Stir and scrape once when first added.
15. Leave to cook on high heat for 5-6 minutes, or until the desired consistency is reached (medium thickness)
and the peppers have softened but retain a slight bite. Add extra base gravy if desired to thin the sauce out if
you want. Avoid fiddling with it unless the curry shows signs of starting to burn.
16. A minute before the end of cooking add the fresh coriander leaves.
17. Also at this point taste and add a little salt, mango chutney and/or tamarind if desired.
18. Locate and remove the whole spices, and add optionally add a knob of butter ghee.
19. Spoon off excess oil from the top of the curry if you want to be health conscious.
20. Serve hot and fresh in the Birmingham Balti Bowl accompanied by naan, chapati, or paratha.

a. The recipe for my pre-cooked lamb, mix powder, and base gravy can be found in my Book, ‘Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1’
b. You can also find video tutorials for each recipe on my YouTube Channel
c. You can use chicken instead of lamb for this recipe if you wish, either raw or pre-cooked.
d. All spoon measurements are level unless otherwise specified. 1 tsp = 5ml, 1 TBSP = 15ml.

Spinach and Mushroom Balti

By Richard Sayce (Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen)

I have found that experimenting with leftovers can often be an inspiration for new recipes. This spinach & mushroom balti is a curry that I was pleased to stumble on. The flavours of the spinach and mushroom are brought together and accentuated with a balanced mixture of ingredients.

I like using an authentic Birmingham Balti Bowl to cook this curry. The thin pressed steel transfers a lot of heat while cooking, and imparts a distinctive and delicious taste to the balti.


  • 250g Raw Spinach
  • ½ tsp Salt (in two stages)
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • 150g Mushrooms of your choice, halved or quartered
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 5cm Cassia Bark
  • 1 tsp Panch Phoran
  • ¼ - ½ tsp Ajwain Seeds (Carom)
  • 2 Green Cardamom pods, split open
  • 50g Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely sliced
  • 2cm fresh Ginger piece, finely sliced
  • 30g Red Pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Mix Powder
  • ¼ tsp Chilli Powder (Optional)
  • ¼ tsp Garam Masala
  • 4 – 5 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 3 TBSP fresh Coriander Stalks, finely chopped
  • ¼ - ½ tsp Tamarind Concentrate
    or 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 225ml+ Base Gravy
  • Tomato segments
  • 4 TBSP Oil & fresh coriander to garnish


  1. Firstly, we prepare the spinach. Heat 1 TBSP of Oil in a medium or large sized pan.
  2. Add the raw spinach, ¼ tsp salt, and a pinch of ground black pepper.
  3. Cook for a couple of minutes or until the spinach goes soft, and wilts to a fraction of its original volume. Stir occasionally.
  4. Remove the spinach, drain, and squeeze all the excess liquid from it. Chop it up finely.
  5. Heat 3 TBSP Oil in a balti bowl, korai, wok, or frying pan on medium high setting.
  6. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes to brown them. It is normal for the mushroom pieces to shrink in size as they release water. Scoop the mushrooms out and set aside.
  7. Then to the same pan add the cassia bark, panch phoran, split green cardamom pods, and the ajwain seeds. Fry the whole spices for 30 seconds to infuse the oil with flavour.
  8. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper. Fry for a further minute, stirring sensibly.
  9. Now, add the mix powder, garam masala, ¼ tsp salt, and the chilli powder (if using).
  10. Fry for 20-30 seconds, stirring very frequently. Add a splash of base gravy (e.g. 30ml) if the mixture dries out, to avoid burning the spices and to give them enough time to cook properly.
  11. Next, add the tomato paste, the tamarind/lemon juice, the coriander stalks, and turn the heat up to high.
  12. Add the wilted, squeezed spinach and mix together well.
  13. Leave to cook for a minute. The spinach will still contain water which will need to be evaporated.
  14. Now add in 75ml base gravy, stir once, and leave to cook until the sauce is reduced a little, and small craters form again around the edges of the pan.
  15. Add the pre-cooked mushrooms and second 75ml base gravy. Stir then leave to cook for a further minute or two until the craters form again.
  16. Add a third 75ml of base gravy. Stir once again, and leave to cook down for a few minutes, or until the sauce has become thick and caramelised around the edges of the pan. Avoid stirring to let the sauce caramelise on the sides and bottom.
  17. Taste and add extra salt if desired.
  18. Top with 1 – 2 tsp of butter ghee just before serving, and mix gently. The ghee will add a rich flavour and give the balti an attractive appearance.
  19. Finally, serve in the pan you cooked it in, garnished with fresh coriander and tomato segments. Serve with naan bread for best results.


(Video) How To Make an Authentic Chicken Balti - (BIR) British Curry House Recipe

  1. All spoon measurements are level unless otherwise specified. 1 tsp = 5ml, 1 TBSP = 15ml.
  2. Find other recipes by Misty by checking out his book , ‘Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1’
    You can also find video tutorials for each recipe on my YouTube Channel


What is a traditional Balti? ›

Balti is a fast cooked dish, traditionally over a high flame and served in the very bowl it's cooked in. It is made with vegetable oil and not ghee, producing a lighter tasting and healthier alternative to a traditional slower cooked curry.

What is the difference between a curry and a Balti? ›

Balti curries are cooked quickly using vegetable oil rather than ghee, over high heat in the manner of a stir-fry, and any meat is used off the bone. This combination differs sharply from a traditional one-pot Indian curry which is simmered slowly all day.

What is a Balti sauce made of? ›

Water, Tomato (14%), Red & Green Peppers (5%), Modified Maize Starch, Dried Onion, Spices (2%) (Spices, Cumin, Coriander), Rapeseed Oil, Concentrated Tomato Purée (2%), Sugar, Garlic Purée, Ginger Purée, Salt, Acid (Citric Acid), Cracked Black Pepper, Cracked Coriander Seed, Paprika Extract, Dried Coriander Leaf, ...

What is the difference between a Bhuna and a Balti? ›

Dal Balti and chicken bhuna are often found in the menus of Indian restaurants. English translation of Balti is bucket and Bhuna is fried. If you order a Balti dish – it means a curry, stir-fried in plenty of spices and herbs, served with cilantro leaves.

What makes a Balti a Balti? ›

Baltis are cooked stir-fry style with vegetable oil not ghee, over a high heat. Any meat off the bone can be used, with onions, garlic, turmeric, and the spice mix garam masala frequently used to prepare the sauce. The meats most often used in a balti are lamb and chicken, but pork and prawns are also commonplace.

Is a Balti healthy? ›

The combination of both spices, allium vegetables and tomatoes used in a typical Balti, gives the dish some fantastic health giving properties! Balti's are particularly good for boosting your body's natural immunity and fighting off colds, thanks to the beneficial ingredients onions, turmeric, paprika and garlic.

What is the most popular curry in the UK? ›

Chicken Tikka Masala: The most popular Indian dish in England has roasted chicken chunks in a spicy curry. The curry is very creamy, but each restaurant has its way to prepare the dish. Some of the ingredients or cooking methods may vary, but the taste is mostly the same everywhere.

What do you eat with Balti? ›

The Balti is perfect for scooping up with a soft and doughy Previns Naan Bread. Garnish with chopped spring onion or finely sliced raw mangetout for a crunchy finish, or, for a more fragrant and light dish, try garnishing with heaps of our leafy Herb Salad.

Was the Balti invented in Birmingham? ›

Birmingham is the culinary birthplace of the famous 'balti'. Invented in the mid-nineteen seventies by a Pakistani Brummie restauranteur, the baltibowl he had specially designed and manufactured was made in Birmingham and still is in the Stirchley area of the City by the Birmingham Balti Bowl Company.

What is Balti cooking sauce? ›

A Tomato Based Sauce with Peppers, Cumin and Coriander.

What kind of curry is a Balti? ›

First things first, a Balti is a type of lamb or goat curry, although you may find variants using chicken and many other meats. If done correctly, you should always have it served to you in a sizzling, thin, pressed-steel wok that's called a 'Balti bowl' and it's this metal dish that gives the curry its name.

What are the hottest curries in order? ›

5 Hottest Curries
  • Zouk's Railway Curry – 5 Hottest Curries. Inspired by traditional Rajasthan curries, this hot, hot, hot lamb dish has fresh green chilli AND red Kashmiri chillies to blow your socks off. ...
  • Chicken Jalfrezi. A classic dish that's renowned for its spicy sauce. ...
  • Chicken Khabani. ...
  • Lamb Nihari. ...
  • Zouk Seafood Special.
20 Jul 2022

Is Jalfrezi hotter than madras? ›

various curries. How Does It Differ? Jalfrezi is usually a little less spicy and has additional fresh ingredients. Madras can get fiery hot like jalfrezi but it has a more dominant taste of fenugreek, cumin, and cilantro (coriander).

What is the hottest curry? ›

Phaal curry is the hottest curry in the world, so expect some heat, my friends! You can adjust the heat down with milder peppers, or go even hotter with superhot chili peppers, like the Carolina Reaper.

What does a Balti curry taste like? ›

The flavour comes from garlic, ginger, browned onions and aromatic spices (like cloves, bay leaves and cardamom).

What type of curry is a Balti? ›

First things first, a Balti is a type of lamb or goat curry, although you may find variants using chicken and many other meats. If done correctly, you should always have it served to you in a sizzling, thin, pressed-steel wok that's called a 'Balti bowl' and it's this metal dish that gives the curry its name.

What do you cook in a balti dish? ›

Similar to Indian curries, Balti dishes typically include marinated meats, vegetables and spices. They are meant to be cooked quickly in the manner of a stir-fry, and any meat is usually used off the bone for time-saving purposes.

Does a Balti come with rice? ›

It can contain any number of ingredients – but it's normally rice with some kind of meat and vegetables, stewed until most of the liquid has evaporated.


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