Wednesday, 26 June 2013

43. Recipes // Chicken Jalfrezi

As some of you will be aware, I'm saving to move in with my boyfriend of (almost) 4 years, later on this year. So I've been getting into scrimping and thrifting; one aspect of which, is affordable meals. We both love food, and good food, not just beans or cheese on toast! I know how easy it is to spend an absolute fortune on food; sometimes we spend over £10 just on snacks for the night, or £20 on a big takeaway, but once we're living together and paying all these 'grown-up' expenses, we won't have cash to splash on fancy food.

Therefore, I've been looking for affordable meal ideas. But meal ideas that are tasty and healthy too! I don't want to be living off cheesy pasta or pot noodles - we love to cook our own food using fresh ingredients and we will continue to do this when we're living together too.

My parents are pretty good scrimpers too and we often feed a family of 6, for a whole week, on under £100; that's including breakfast, lunches and a cooked evening meal, as well as all the basics such as bread, milk, butter, etc. So today when my dad said he'd be working late, I jumped at the chance to try and create a family meal for under a fiver. Here's what I came up with!

Chicken Jalfrezi Curry with Rice
Ingredients (for 5 people)

500g of chicken (from a £3.99 1kg bag of frozen chicken breast, Aldi) = £1.99
500g of long grain white rice (around 40p for 1kg, Aldi) = £0.20
500g Jalfrezi Sauce (available in Aldi for around £1) = £1.00
1 x large onion (from Tesco) = £0.20
2 x garlic cloves (£0.25 for whole garlic, Tesco) = £0.10
1/2 x green chilli (60p for 60g) = £0.10
1tbsp of extra virgin olive oil = free; you'll always have some in the cupboard!
1tsp of Habanero red sauce (£0.99 at Aldi, approx. 30tsps in a jar) = £0.04
20g fresh ginger (15p for 70g) = £0.05
1tsp salt = free; you'll always have some in the cupboard!
= £3.68 / £0.74 per person

Dice the chicken (with a separate knife), onion, garlic, chilli and ginger 

Fry the chicken and onions together in olive oil for 3 minutes
Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 2-3 minutes

Add the curry sauce, Habanero sauce and chilli (if you want a kick)
Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes

In the meantime: prepare your rice, na'an or papadums 

Apologies for the poor quality photos; they were taken on my mobile.

The curry went down really well, as they always do in our household. It's such a simple meal as the sauce is ready-made and it only takes about half an hour from preparation right through to serving up the meal.

The only thing I would change next time, I would add some chunks of potato or carrot to bulk it up as there wasn't that much chicken. I'd probably serve it with some na'an bread or papadums with chutneys too, and some salad on the side. However, even with these extras, I doubt the meal would cost more than £5 to make!

As I'm also on a bit of a health-kick, I worked out the calories in one serving of this meal and it's only just over 600 calories which, for your main meal of the day, is pretty good I think. 

To cut calories, you could always eat the curry with salad instead of rice, or try brown rice rather than white or basmati. 

Love, Becci xo


  1. yum this looks delicious! I love chicken recipes :)


  2. I'll try it for sure :) I'm a big fan of indian-chicken recipes :)