It’s not often that I cook a meat dish, my wife is vegetarian so if I am going to indulge myself then I need to ensure that I cook something alongside it that she will enjoy as well. Last night I really fancied a Chicken Madras, not just because I had a yearning for curry, but also because I really enjoy making curries – it’s the alchemy of all the spices coming together, get it right and a curry really comes alive on your tastebuds.
Of course, making one curry dish meant that I had to make at least one other curry dish, and I ended up cooking a veritable feast. Channa Masala (chick pea curry, the recipe for which I will post in a day or two), Bombay Potatoes, carrot and ginger salad and naan bread. I spent a very enjoyable afternoon in the kitchen, a treat as it isn’t often I get the chance to devote so much time to cooking.
RECIPE – serves 2
4 long red chillies
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 tbsp ghee
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 fat garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 heaped tsp ground cumin
2 heaped tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or 2 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder)
1 heaped tbsp garam masala
1 heaped tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp flaked sea salt
fresh coriander leaves to garnish
Finely chop two of the chillies, and cut a long slit from stalk to tip on each of the others. Leave all the seeds in, this is a curry that needs a good amount of chilli heat. Chop each of the chicken thighs into eight bite-sized pieces. Put all the spices, salt and sugar into a small bowl and add a little water, mix to a paste and set aside – doing this prevents the powdered spices from burning when added to the hot pan.
Melt the ghee in a large pan or wok, over a medium-high heat. Gently saute the onion with a pinch of salt for ten minutes or so until soft and translucent – the salt helps to liberate the water in the onion and prevents it colouring too quickly. When the onion is soft, add the garlic, chopped chillies and spice paste, turn the heat up and stir-fry for a minute or so until aromatic. Add the chicken thighs and whole, slit chillies and cook on for a couple of minutes, keeping the pan moving so the spices do not burn and the chicken is coloured all over.
Now add the tinned tomatoes, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
Serve immediately alongside Basmati rice and garnished with coriander leaves.
Thanks are due to the Hairy Bikers for this one – two men who love a good curry and know how to cook it!