Nothing beats a good curry on a Friday night whether you are home alone, cooking for your family or for a crowd of people. I have loved curries for a very long time and whenever I go home one of the first things I want to eat is a curry from a local Indian restaurant or takeaway. Here in Canada where I live there aren't really any Indian restaurants so when I get that curry craving I make my own which is just as delicious and hits the spot perfectly!
My Friday Night Chicken Curry
This makes a lovely, creamy and mildly spiced curry with plenty of sauce to mop up with naan bread. The heat of the curry depends on how hot the fresh chilli is and also the curry powder you use. If you prefer a really mild curry simply use less chilli or miss it out completely. Also if you prefer a thicker curry half the quantity of chicken stock and cream.
I tend to use chicken breasts for this recipe and just add them for the last 10 minutes of cooking, to keep the chicken nice and moist. If you prefer however, you could easily use chicken thighs instead. This is a good option if you want to make the curry in advance as the thighs can quite happily cook for a while without drying out. If using thighs I would suggest 8-10 good sized boneless and skinless thighs and simply add them to the pan after the onion and garlic have sautéed.
Serve this curry with saffron and cardamom rice (see below), mango chutney, raita and lots of naan bread.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
5 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp curry powder
1 stick of cinnamon, broken in half
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated
100ml passata or crushed tomatoes
400ml tin of coconut milk
250ml chicken stock
½ tsp sugar
2 small bay leaves
125ml whipping (double) cream
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
In a large saucepan or wok heat the oil then add the sliced onions. Cook over a medium heat for roughly 5 minutes until they have softened but not browned. Add the garlic and chilli and continue to cook for a further minute before adding the cardamom pods, turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon stick and half of the ginger. Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes then add the passata, coconut milk, chicken stock, sugar, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Leave to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes before adding the chicken and half of the cream. Simmer and reduce again for a further 7 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick and continue to simmer gently for a further 2-3 minutes or until the chicken is properly cooked through. Just before serving add the remaining cream, ginger and half of the coriander. Serve with the rest of the coriander sprinkled over the top of the curry.
Cardamom & Saffron Rice
285g/ 10oz basmati rice
Small pinch of salt
Small pinch of saffron strands
3 cardamom pods, crushed
2 tbsp coriander, chopped (optional)
Cook the rice according to the packet instructions adding the salt, saffron and cardamom to the water. Once it is ready, drain well then fluff up with a fork. Just before serving scatter over the chopped coriander.
250ml/ 1 cup plain natural yogurt
½ cucumber, cut in half lengthwise
1 fat spring onion, finely sliced
Handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt & pepper
Remove the seeds from the cucumber halves then cut each piece into 4 batons, then cut across the way so that you have small diced pieces. After that simply combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Season to taste and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.