This deliciously intense Beef Balti (Balti Gosht) is ALL the flavour and fragrance of Pakistan and North India in one delicious serving. A thick glossy sauce clings to meltingly tender beef and it’s almost too much to bear!
This beef Balti recipe creates one of my most favourite of Indian/Pakistani dishes. It reminds me so much of back home in the UK. No night out would be complete without a visit to one of the many Balti Houses for that distinctive Balti taste! It is said that Balti Indian dishes originated in the northern part of the country along with origins in northern Pakistan too.
What is a Balti Curry?
Indian Balti curries are not strictly curries. I mean, they ARE, but if we're getting technical - the technique and specifically the Balti Pan is what makes it different. The word balti translates as 'bucket', but unsurprisingly this name didn't take off as a name in English speaking countries. We kept the term Balti which sounds much more exotic, right!?
Balti spices are similar to those of regular curries, but the cooking technique differs. The pan, much like a two handled, flat bottomed wok is used over a high heat to cook the dishes. The meat is often marinated or pre-cooked so that the dish can be finished quickly over a high temperature, a little like a Chinese stir fry.
The consistency of Balti dishes are typically thicker and drier than a regular curry. This fast method of cooking creates a wonderful glossy sauce that intensifies the more it's reduced. This is probably why I love them so much! There's nothing better than a super tasty balti beef!
Is Balti Spicy?
Yes and no! Everyone has their own spice preference. This recipe produces a moderate spice - you can feel the chilli, but it's not going to blow your head off. If you want spicy balti, I suggest you check your chilli powder spice on your tongue and add as much as you think you'd like. Be sure to cook the spice out and don't just add raw chilli powder to increase the heat (you'll ruin the taste) - chilli powder needs proper time to cook out for a fuller flavour.
How do I serve Balti Beef?
Traditionally, balti cuisine is served in a 'Balti serving dish' - a smaller, two handled version of the Balti pan. You can of course serve it in whatever you like. I dropped my nice Balti serving dish recently and one handle fell off, so I used a nice copper frying pan for this photo!
In India and Pakistan, Balti is typically served with breads. The rule of thumb is to remember about Indian cuisine is that Bread is king in the North, Rice is king in the South. The thick quality of this beef Balti means it's perfect for picking up with breads. I buy the frozen, ready to cook paratha breads. 30 seconds each side in a dry frying pan creates the most wonderful flaky bread that is the PERFECT partner! Any Indian bread will suffice and even rice, of course.
What meats can I use for balti?
Mutton, Goat or Lamb Balti Recipes follow the same method as this version. For poultry, like chicken or Duck I cook for 30 minutes in the water instead of 1 hour. If you're using poultry I suggest thighs and legs, not breast - which will dry out.
Other North Indian and Pakistani Curries
If you like rich, flavourful curries, you should most definitely try my amazing and complex Bhuna Gosht or maybe the equally tasty Mughlai Chicken and/or Indian Goat Curry (Bohra Muslim Style). Or maybe cook the wonderful Imperial Chicken Curry from Dehli or one of my favouite Pakistani dishes Lahore Chicken Curry. All are amazing, tried and tested recipes. If you're just in the mood for a tasty curry then why not sample one or more of my 10 best chicken curry recipes?!