A late post for the Friday Food Blog what with it being Saturday and all, but I did make this yesterday! It’s taken me years to be able to make a curry I prefer to a takeaway but I’ve finally nailed it with this simple plain curry. The secret is to take your time about it. The onions have to be completely soft and the spices must be cooked through and are best toasted whole first. It’s not something you whip up in half an hour but it’s still a simple recipe and time in the kitchen is half the fun! As my daughter is veggie and the rest of us like a chicken curry I ladle off some sauce to add chickpeas to, but I think it’s even nicer to have the two together.
Chicken and Chickpea Curry
3 onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1″ piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 red chilli, as hot as you like, seeds removed if you prefer it mild
3 tbsp tomato puree
6 large ripe tomatoes
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp ground garam masala
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp ground mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
500g chicken breast
1 tin chickpeas
a handful of fresh coriander
Heat some oil in a large saucepan/casserole pot then add the onions. Sweat (low heat, lid on) until completely soft (approx 40 mins). Then add the garlic, ginger and chilli and sweat for another ten minutes.
Heat a small frying pan (no oil) then add the three types of whole spices. Toast until you can hear the seeds start to pop then tip into a bowl. When cool place them in a grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until they’re a fine powder.
Put the spice powder back in the bowl and add the other spices along with the tomato puree. Mix with a small amount of water to make a paste.
Add the paste to the onions and stir well, turning up the heat a little. Cook for five minutes, adding a little more water if it begins to stick.
Chop the tomatoes into quarters and place in a blender. Whizz until smooth then pour into the pan of onions and spices. Add half a cup of water then cook the sauce through on a low heat for another ten minutes.
Remove any sinew from the chicken breast and chop into bite-sized pieces.
If you have a veggie in the family then ladle off some of the sauce into a seperate pan. Add a can of rinsed chickpeas to this.
If having both together then just add the chickpeas to the sauce.
Add the chopped chicken to the sauce and stir until the chicken is well covered.
Add salt and pepper to the curry/curries then place a lid on your pan/pans and cook on a low heat for 25 mins, checking occasionally and adding a small amount of water if it gets too dry.
Add chopped, fresh coriander before serving with rice or naan.