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Friday, November 2, 2012

Chicken JalFraizee ~ Beloved Chicken dish of Kolkata

After celebrating 7 days of Durga puja with family and friends, I am back with a festive and very popular recipe of Kolkata, Chicken Jalfraizee. You can prepare this on any special occassion, and why special occasssion, you can make this any day, to bring happiness to our family, every day is special, right? I prepared this also one such day, when my daughter demanded that she wants to eat something spicy with Chicken and you don't need any special ingredients too for this recipe. It's very easy-to-make and takes not much time.

   As you know, every recipe has an origin and a history, jal fraizee((also jhal frezi, zalfrezi, and many alternative spellings) is also no exception. It has a very contradictory story of origin. But there is no doubt on the popularity of this dish. This article shows that Chicken Jalfrezi/Jal fraizee is the new national curry/dish of England replacing Chicken Tikka Masala. 
    I am a proud owner of a famous cookbook, "The calcutta Kitchen" by The famous British Food reporter, Simon Parkes and The famous Bengali Cook, Udit sarkhel. I have adapted this recipe from this cookbook. About the origin of this recipe, from my research on the web, it is confirmed that this dish is invented by Bengali cooks working in British homes during the British Raj, then settled in Calcutta. Then it slowly passed down to the Anglo-Indian community of Calcutta. It was a very popular dish in all country clubs in Calcutta that time. Still, you will see this dish on most restaurant's menu card.
     Jhal Fraizee/Jal fraizee, where "jal/jhal" means 'hot' and fraizee is a colloquial way of saying 'fried'. So, on the whole, this is a stir-fry chicken dish with boneless chicken and the main ingredients are onions, bell pepper, garlic and tomatoes. Traditionally, it is done with roasted chicken. The taste is also best when made with roasted chicken. This recipe was invented by the khansmas(cooks of British) to use up leftover roasted meat.

Now let's move on the recipe :::::::
Ingredients :
Chicken breast : 4(large) / 1 whole chicken, roasted
For marination :
Ginger : 1" piece, peeled
Garlic : 2-3 fat cloves, peeled
Onion : 2, medium-cut into slices
Tomato : 2, medium- seeded and cut into long slices
Green Bell pepper/capsicum : 1, seeded and cut into strips
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2 tsp.
Juice of 1 lemon
Mustard oil : 2 tblsp.

For the Sauce :
Ginger : 1" piece, peeled
Garlic : 4-5 cloves, peeled and grated
Onion : 3, medium, peeled and finely chopped
Tomatoes : 5, medium, finely chopped

Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2 tsp.
Cumin powder : 1 tsp.
Coriander powder : 1 tblsp.
Vegetable oil :2 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tblsp.
Fresh Coriander leaves : a small bunch, finely chopped

Method : 
  • If you have roasted chicken, take the skin out and take out the meat off the bone. If you are using chicken breasts, cut breasts into thin strips and apply some salt. In a bowl, take ginger-garlic paste, mix in turmeric, red chilli powder, half of the lemon juice and mix everything well. Rub this paste to all chicken breasts strips and keep it aside for at least 1/2 an hour till 1 hour. 
  • Heat mustard oil to smoking and then cool slightly, then add slowly chicken breast strips to the oil. Stir-fry rapidly for 3-4 minutes in medium flame, stir-fry time depends on the thickness of the chicken strips. Remove from the pan. In the same oil, stir fry the onions, pepper pieces and tomatoes and add to the chicken. 
  • For the sauce, in the same oil, add vegetable oil, heat and add cumin seeds. When they crackle, add chopped onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes until it start darkening, then add ginger-garlic paste and ground spices. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander leaves, and then sugar and salt to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes softens and mix well in the sauce. 
  • Now add sauteed chicken and vegetables. Mix well and add very little water and in slow flame, cover and cook until chicken is cooked and sauce gets a medium-thick consistency. This should take about 5-6 minutes. Lastly add rest of the half lemon juice. Mix well. Remove from heat.
  • Serve hot with any Pulao and any Indian flatbread. I served it with Indian flatbread, Paratha.

I'm sending this festive dish to my ongoing event, "Spotlight : Festive Food"
to my co-host, Cuisine Delights, This event will go on until 15th Nov.,'12. So friends, please link you festive recipes to my event. Thanks............

Friday, November 02, 2012 / by / 7 Comments


  1. Fingerlicking chicken jalfraize,am yet to try them. You are pulling me to try soon.

  2. Would love it with chapathis... Nice one

  3. Hi i am Reading your posts every week twice really ur posts are very useful to me and also every one who looking for the same i hope to see like this in future also 5star Hotels in kolkata, For more information’s on
    Budget 5star hotels in Kolkatathank you..!

  4. Vimi i agree with you...Would love to eat this with chapatis...

  5. Looks very yummy.. love it with simple flavored rice :)
    I made Paneer Jalfrizi last week.. will be coming up on monday!

  6. Looks delicious, Indrani! Thanx for sharing!!


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