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Top Tips - Balti

Top Tips - Balti

There is a lot of speculation over the name Balti. The most popular is that it comes from the two-handled dish in which it is served. The phrase “Balti cooking” could also have been coined and abbreviated from the Baltistan region of Northern India.

However, it seems that Birmingham is taking credit for creating this dish and subsequent style of cooking. The first Balti houses that sprang up in the Midlands all shared a similar cooking technique: a fast stir fry method along with a thick, rich tomato sauce. Back then they would “Balti” just about anything, including a dish called Exhaustive Balti, so called because it had so many ingredients that you would be exhausted just to eat it!

We have created our version with this thick rich tomato sauce in mind and a fresh tangy finish from some vinegar. You don’t have to cook it in a Balti or Karai pan, but it will add to the authenticity!

Balti curries often have a mixture of ingredients in them. Try combinations like: chicken and red peppers, cauliflower and mushroom, or prawn and pea. You really can be as creative as you like. The idea is that it is a one pot dish often just served with naan bread which you can use to scoop the curry out of the dish.

For tips on a traditional way of cooking poultry in your curry, have a look at our Guinea Fowl Balti recipe.

If you come up with any winning combinations we would love to hear from you. Pictures are always greatly appreciated!