I didn’t necessarily plan on posting a chicken curry recipe here as what can anyone really say about chicken curry? Everyone has their own recipe, and if they don’t, they have a take-away service of choice.
Chicken curry has always been on my recipe rotation. My mother makes chicken curry; I grew up eating chicken curries for years on a Monday night and have eaten more homemade variations than I care to recollect. When I make it for myself, I generally follow a tried and trusted Tikka Masala recipe by Nevin Maguire, which I particularly like due to its soupy quantities: more liquid than food; rice, veg and chicken bobbing in a piquant pool of orangey-red sauce. A curry to be only consumed with a soup spoon.
Yesterday, I made chicken curry for the first time in months as I wanted to use up the veg I had over-eagerly bought the previous weekend. Rather than Masala, I opted for a Korma as I had a carton of Greek yoghurt to use up also. However, it would be dishonest of me to dress up my desire to make chicken curry as merely a means to clear out my fridge. In fact, I really rather love chicken curry, and more than that, I love making it. I like preparing large quantities of veg and tumbling them into the same pan; it is equally satisfying to watch the curry marble and change colour as different ingredients are added.
This is a recipe I have largely devised myself, and I have to say that I was pleased with the result. It is mild and not as soupy as the aforementioned Masala, but has a good flavour nonetheless. Although lately I may find that every day presents a new challenge or hurdle to overcome, it’s nice to know that I can always rely on an old standby for supper.
Makes about 3 portions
You will need:
400g of chicken fillets (Diced or cut into pieces. I used mini chicken fillets, already cut into slivers)
¼ jar of Patak Korma paste
160ml tin of coconut cream
100g of Greek yoghurt
½ white onion
A thumbnail sized piece of red chilli, deseeded
1 red pepper, sliced
½ courgette, sliced
A handful of cherry tomatoes (5-6), chopped
A handful of mushrooms, sliced
Two handfuls or so of spinach
A bunch of coriander with stalks
½ tsp of sugar
Salt and pepper
Knob of butter
Olive oil for frying
Enough rice for your needs (I prefer the slightly nutty crunch of brown rice, around 60g per portion)
If you are using brown rice, begin by cooking it. Otherwise, you can put on white rice once you’ve already started the curry.
For the curry, finely slice the onion and chilli, and fry in a large frying pan or saucepan with plenty of olive oil. Add the curry paste, turn up the heat and allow to bubble, before turning down to a medium heat.
Add the vegetables at intervals. Begin with red pepper, fry for a minute or two, then add the courgette with the butter and the mushrooms. Season the veg at this point.
Add the chicken and season also. Fry at a high heat until the chicken is lightly golden on both sides. Add the coconut cream and yoghurt. Allow to boil slightly before turning down. Add some of the coriander (leaves and a few stalks).
For a little sweetness and depth of flavour, add the cherry tomatoes along with some sugar. Add the spinach, and allow the curry to simmer for about ten minutes until the veg is soft and the chicken is cooked through. Season to taste.
Once the rice is cooked, drain and serve in a warm bowl. Top the curry with the remaining coriander and some flaked almonds, if you have them.
Edit: I have made this recipe a few times since but replaced chicken for baby and sweet potatoes. This is handy if you have some potatoes lying around, which need to be used up. The sweet potatoes (baked in the oven first and then added to the pan) are soft and sublime and are actually far tastier than chunks of chicken. In addition, for those on a budget, a can of regular coconut milk works just as well.