Balti Chicken Madras, Homemade Chapati and Cucumber Mint Raita

Here’s a question: Have you ever been accidentally locked in a room somewhere, subsequently had a panic attack because you already pictured yourself dying of starvation in the very near future, and jumped up and down like a frog on crack after finally being found? Last time that happened to me I was luckily not alone – my beloved four-legged bestie kept me company in the tiniest lift on earth for what seemed like forever……. not going to lie, I think I even started crying and calling for my mother…… yeees ok so now we all know I am emotionally unstable, but I was only 12 at this point, ok? Anyhow, after about an hour I was saved and boy I did not set foot into that lift for at least a year.

Now, have you heard of Room Escape? After my childhood experience I never thought I would voluntarily lock myself into a room try to solving puzzles to get out. It was SOOOO MUCH FUN and I recommend you all try it. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like SAW. Although, admittedly, our game-master was pretty creepy – were it not for him I think we’d all still be in there searching for more riddles to solve:-).

As for this recipe, there really isn’t much to say: I love curry, I love raita, and who doesn’t love chapatis??

Balti Chicken Madras, Homemade Chapati and Cucumber Mint Raita


adapted from Complete Indian Cooking by Mridula Baljekar et al.

serves 4

You’ll need

For the Chicken Madras
275 g chicken, diced
1 red pepper, diced, optional
1 tin of chickpeas, optional
45 ml tomato paste
a large pinch of ground fenugreek
1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds (I didn’t add this as I didn’t have it..)
1 tsp grated ginger
1.5 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
300 ml water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions
2-4 curry leaves (again.. also didn’t add this as I didn’t know where to get hold of curry leaves in Switzerland..)
2 fresh chillies, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

For the Chapatis
225 g chapati flour or wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp salt
175 ml water

For the Raita
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and roughly grated, dried with a kitchen towel
2 cups of natural low fat yoghurt
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

  1. Firstly, the order in which to make start is probably the following: 1. raita, 2. chapati dough, 3. chicken, 4. chapati frying.
  2. For the raita: mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, taste, adjust the seasoning and chill until needed.
  3. For the chapatis: place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, make a well in the middle. Gradually stir in the water, mixing well with your fingers until it all comes together to a dough. Knead for 7-10 minutes. Cover with cling film and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Once rested, divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll out each piece into a circle. Heat a frying pan over high heat. When steam rises from it, lower the heat to medium and add your first chapati. Once it begins to bubble, turn it over, press down with a flat spoon, and turn it once again. Remove the chapati, wrap it in a piece of foil lined with kitchen paper while you cook the rest.
  4. For the chicken: in a bowl mix the fenugreek, tomato paste, fennel seeds, ginger, coriander, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric, lemon juice, salt and water.
  5. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions with the curry leaves until golden brown. Add the chicken and stir for about 1-2 minutes, sealing the meat.
  6. Stir in the prepared sauce (and pepper and chickpeas, if using) and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes. Now lower the heat and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Just before the chicken is done, add the chillies and fresh coriander. Serve with your chapatis and raita.
  7. Dig in!


Rating: Raita and Chapati’s 9/10, Madras 7.5/10. However, I don’t know what Indians would say to this…

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