Sunday, 21 April 2013

Chicken, Courgette, Spinach and Cashew Nut Curry with Curried Aubergine

I love cooking and inventing curries as there is so much scope for experimentation. Obviously homemade curries are never going to taste as delicious as going to an Indian restaurant. They are far healthier however, and such fun to make! This is my own recipe where I use a 'bung it all in' technique, please expand your creativity and give it a try.

Ingredients (serves 6)

for the curry sauce -

1 tsp groundnut oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 heaped tsp mango chutney
1 tsp curry paste (I use Patak's Korma paste)
3 cloves of garlic
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
a few slices of chilli
a few kaffir lime leaves or curry leaves
10 whole coriander seeds
seeds from 2 cardamon pods
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 handful of fresh coriander, stalks included
salt and pepper
200g yoghurt
300ml chicken/vegetable stock (make 600g as you will need it for the rice)

for the rest of the curry -

4 chicken thighs, bones and skin removed, chopped - or - 4 chicken breasts, chopped
1 red onion, sliced
1 courgettte, chopped
4 handfuls of spinach leaves
2 handfuls cashew nuts

for the rice - 

1 cup basmati rice
1 red onion, sliced
half a chilli, to taste
3 tsp turmeric
3 tsp curry powder
6 whole cardamon pods
10 whole coriander seeds
2 cm piece of ginger, grated
enough chicken or vegetable stock to just about cover the rice (roughly 200-300g)

for the curried aubergine - 

1 whole aubergine, chopped into similar sized pieces
vegetable oil or olive oil if you're feeling naughty
2-4 tsp curry powder
2-4 tsp turmeric

1. Heat the oven to 180°c. Place all the ingredients for the curry paste/sauce, except the yoghurt and stock, in a mixing bowl and grind up using a hand blender or food processor. Once it resembles a smooth paste, mix in the yoghurt to form a yellow sauce and add the cut up chicken. You can either marinade the chicken in the sauce for a while in the fridge, or cook it straight away.

2. Place the chopped aubergine on a baking tray and drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with turmeric and curry powder. Place the aubergine in the oven to cook for 20 minutes. Occasionally remove the tray from the oven and stir or add more oil if they look too dry. These should be ready by the time the curry and rice is cooked.

3. Fry the onions in a large wok/frying pan in a little vegetable oil, then add the saucy chicken. Gradually add the stock so that the mixture doesn't stick and stays juicy. Cook the chicken for about 8 minutes before adding the chopped courgette. 

4. Now start making the rice. Add the onion, chilli and ginger to a frying pan with a little vegetable oil and fry for a minute or so. Then add all the remaining ingredients for the rice. Cover the pan with a lid, bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to very low. The rice should take roughly 10-12 minutes.

5. When the rice is almost ready, add the spinach and cashew nuts to the curry and stir until the spinach is cooked. 

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