How not to cook a Balti (with acknowledgement to James Martin)

Jame Martin
Jame Martin

James Martin seems a decent bloke but this celebrity chef got it badly wrong when he cooked a supposed Balti as part of his feature on Birmingham in his current Great British Adventures series. So what did he get wrong? You can apparently cook a proper Balti in a frying pan and serve up in a separate dish (WRONG!!). You can use ghee (WRONG!!). It’s Indian cooking (WRONG!!). It takes around 25 to 30 minutes to cook (WRONG!!). Using coriander is controversial (WRONG!!). You need to add sugar as it can be slightly bitter (WRONG!!). 

Programme Researchers if you haven’t been sacked yet …. a proper Balti is fast cooked in under 10 minutes using vegetable oil and is a Brummie Pakistani invention that uses a thin pressed steel bowl to both cook and serve up in. Coriander is traditionally sprinkled on the balti before serving and it has a sweeter taste without the need for sugar due to caramelisation that occurs over a high flame. 

3 Responses to How not to cook a Balti (with acknowledgement to James Martin)

  1. Bob 15th January 2021 at 5:55 pm #

    Yeah, ok, calm down.

  2. judith 20th November 2022 at 2:23 pm #

    This was HIS take on the dish….. so where is YOUR recipe if everything he did was wrong????

    • Andy Munro 24th November 2022 at 10:30 am #

      Hi Judith.
      I’ve every respect for James Martin as an entertaining chef but on Balti he got it all wrong. Balti is the method of cooking a ‘curry’ rather than the ingredients and the distinct differences are fast cooking using veg oil and not ghee and critically cooking and serving in the balti bowl which is a Birmingham designed two handled, flat bottomed pan made of thin pressed steel. Analysis shows cooking and serving this way, you get three times the amount of iron, half the fat than a normal curry and also get a unique caramelisation … the ‘meilleur’ effect. So James demo was just cooking a curry and not a proper balti.

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