Quick Chicken Jalfrezi

chicken jalfrezi
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Just one bell pepper can add flavor to the quickest curries!

This quick Chicken Jalfrezi is a testament to how one ingredient can transform a dish completely. If you look through the ingredients you can see they consist of items used in any chicken curry. The only difference is a bell pepper, also known as shimla mirch. This is the story of how one shimla mirch changed everything. I also love how Chicken Jalfrezi is traditionally cooked with boneless chicken. It’s not just me switching out the bone-in chicken for my convenience. 

Multipurpose appliances can be great, but a pan works for a quick meal too.

A few years ago I bought an instant pot and went through a phase, which is why this was originally called ‘Instant Pot Chicken Jalfrezi’. In the last year I’ve found myself using it much less. My recipes are generally 30 minute meals, and this quick chicken jalfrezi recipe omits the need for a pressure cooker. I’ve updated it to a stove top version, and I’ve added a note at the bottom with the instant pot version, so you can use it if your heart desires.

Get your tomatoes right!

I learned a tomato trick when it comes to curries. Always use ripe tomatoes when you’re cooking curries. A crunchy tomato will only be appreciated in a salad, but when it comes to breaking it down into a masala, ripe tomatoes are your best bet. It cuts down the cooking time drastically. I always use Roma tomatoes for my Pakistani recipes. They taste the best and break down perfectly, and also help with the quick part of the recipe.

How to keep your chicken from drying out.

As for the chicken, you can substitute the chicken breast fillets for chicken thighs. I use chicken breast in my home for everything, even biryani. If you follow my instructions to the t, your chicken won’t dry out, promise. I don’t know why chicken breast gets a bad rep for drying out. It just doesn’t take a long time to cook, so it dries out when you over cook it. That’s why I cook the masala before adding the chicken.

Spices and substitutions.

The garam masala in this is completely optional. I don’t use garam masala much in my cooking, and I use it sparingly when I do. My favorite spices, as you can tell from all my recipes, are cumin, coriander seeds, turmeric and Kashmiri laal mirch. They’re enough to deliver flavor without the heart burn. In fact, if you have these spices I just listed, you can make a variety of Pakistani and Indian curries.

chicken jalfrezi

Quick Chicken Jalfrezi

A super quick and easy Chicken Jalfrezi recipe that will make your meal memorable!
Prep Time 10 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 3


  • 1 pound boneless chicken thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp oil flavorless
  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri laal mirch
  • 3/4 tsp coriander seeds coarsely ground
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds coarsley ground
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • Fresh Cilantro & Green chillies for garnish


  • Fry your thinly sliced onions in the oil until they are a light golden brown. ( Then add the chopped tomatoes and the ginger and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, then cover and cook for 5 minutes. Take the lid off and sauté for another minute, breaking down any large pieces of tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
  • Add your chicken and all the spices and seasonings barring the garam masala. Sauté for 2 minutes, until everything looks mixed well, then cover and cook for about 8 minutes.  
  • Add in your sliced bell pepper and garam masala. Mix well, then cover and cook for 3 minutes. You don’t want the peppers to get soggy, just a little steamed through. Serve with steamed basmati or naan.

Instant Pot Version

  • Turn your instant pot to the sauté setting and set a timer for 10 minutes. Add the oil and sauté your onions till al light golden brown. Then add the tomatoes along with the ginger and garlic and sauté for a couple minutes. The timer should have run out by now. At this point add the chicken that you have cut into thin strips. Add all the spices and seasoning barring the garam masala. Add 2-3 tablespoon of water. Set your instant pot to the pressure cooker setting and put the timer on for 8 minutes. Once the timer is done release the steam and turn on the sauté setting for 5 minutes. Add the sliced bell pepper and garam masala and sauté till the masala is a thick consistency. 


You don’t want to overdo frying the onions because they will continue cooking with everything else. If you feel that the onions are getting too brown, add a splash of water to stop the cooking process before adding the rest of your ingredients. 
Don’t overcook the bell peppers. Cooking them for just 3 minutes is enough to steam them through while keeping a light crunch. 
You can adjust the level of spice by cutting down the chili flakes and Kashmiri laal mirch. 
Keyword Bell pepper, Chicken, Chicken Jalfrezi, quick chicken jalfrezi

Did you try this quick and easy recipe?

Did you try this recipe? If you did, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!

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[…] I find myself making it on it’s own, with a bowl if raita, or as a side with Chicken Handi or Chicken Jalfrezi. Either way it’s delicious, and it’s the perfect simple meal that takes you home, even […]

[…] Instant Pot Chicken Jalfrezi […]


Great recipe, thank you for sharing!

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