Cod Balti Jalfrezi

Cod Balti Jalfrezi

Cod Balti Jalfrezi

I first came across this recipe many years ago in curry guru Pat Chapman‘s epic tome “The New Curry Bible”.

The version we now cook is a slightly tweaked version of Pat’s, insofar as I make it much more coconutty, as well as considerably hotter.

When I say “we”, I really mean “I”. The Paleovirtus womenfolk are not keen at all on fish or seafood curries, especially ones laced with this much chilli.

The base concept for this dish is brilliantly simple.

Balti curries are wonderfully aromatic. Jalfrezi curries are extremely quick to prepare.

So, if you cross the fragrance and taste of the Balti with the preparation technique of the Jalfrezi, you’re in curry heaven. Simmer a nice piece of fish in that luscious sauce and you’ve achieved a kind of culinary nirvana.

And yes, I am only cooking it because my wife and daughter are away for the weekend.

The cat and I miss them a lot, but being home alone can have its compensations.

Let the fire be unleashed….

Cod Balti Jalfrezi


  • 420g cod fillet, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 habanero chillies, finely chopped
  • an orange bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp lovage seeds (aijwan)
  • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 250ml coconut cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • coconut oil


  • In a very hot, dry, non-stick frying pan, dry-roast the lovage seeds until they start to release their fragrance – it should only take a few seconds or so. Take care – they will soon burn. Quickly remove the seeds from the pan, and set aside to cool.
  • Place the ground coriander, curry powder, ground cumin, and salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Add just enough water to produce a thin paste. Stir well, and set aside.
  • Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat in a large, lidded, non-stick pan. Stir fry the spring onions and orange bell pepper for 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and chillies. Stir fry for a further 3 minutes.
  • Add the spice and water paste. Stir fry for a further 3 minutes.
  • Add the coconut cream to the pan. Stir well, and bring to a low simmer. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the fish pieces to the pan. Stir well to coat with the sauce, and return to a low simmer. Cook until the fish starts to flake and is just cooked – it should have lost its raw, translucent colour and be white all the way through.
  • When the fish is just cooked, add the chopped coriander, lovage seeds, garam masala, and lemon juice. Stir well. Cook for a few seconds more, then remove the pan from the heat.
  • Serve, together with a side of cauliflower rice.


  • You could, of course, use any colour of bell pepper here.
  • One variation you might like to be aware of replaces the ground coriander and cumin with a similar amount of both spices in their whole seed form, which are then roasted along with the lovage seeds, and introduced at the last second along with them, too.


5 thoughts on “Cod Balti Jalfrezi

    1. paleovirtus Post author

      Thanks. Glad you liked it.

      I honestly can’t recommend Pat Chapman’s “New Curry Bible” highly enough.

      You get the recipes for the curry-house versions of all your favourites, as well the “old country” originals.

      I’m having some Afghani vegetables tonight, and then an old school Goan pork Vindaloo tomorrow… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tastehitch

        Great recommendation and a purchase that will be made sooner rather than later.

        It’s funny how a decent cookbook can just shape your cooking for the better. I’m baking a lot of bread at the moment and Anne Sheasby’s ‘Bread’ has been bloody marvellous.


      2. paleovirtus Post author

        I know exactly what you mean.

        I’ve been trailing my cookbook collection around with me since 1991. Couldn’t / wouldn’t be without ’em, especially my copy of “Tesco’s Chinese Wok Cookery”, which I still refer to even today…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Afghani Sabzi | PALEOVIRTUS

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