In the last week or two it seems that many of the food articles I’ve read, whether online or in magazines, included recipes for all sorts of curries from several parts of Asia. On top of that Emma raved about a chicken and apricot curry from Rick Stein’s ‘India’ that she’d made last week. So, this week it’s curry from me too – a light chicken and apricot curry with influences from both Madhur Jaffrey and Rick Stein. It’s not very hot but if you like more spicy heat add more chilli flakes.
Ingredients (for 4)
8 chicken thighs, boned, skin off
2 tbsp tomato puree
5 tbsps plain yoghurt
1½ cups water
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2-3 cms piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
Piece of fresh turmeric, grated (about 1-2 tsps)
5-6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
5-6 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
5-6 whole cloves
1-2 whole dried chillies
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
Handful of dried apricots
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
In a food processor blend together with garlic, ginger and onion till paste like.
Heat some oil in a heavy pan or pot. Brown the chicken on both sides, in batches if necessary. Remove the chicken from the pot and add whole spices – cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves and whole chillies. Stir for a minute and then add the paste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring. If it sticks to the top of the pot, add 2-3 tsps water.
Mix together the tomato puree, yoghurt and the water and add that to the pot together with the rest of the ingredients including the chicken. Stir and cover. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the chicken is tender. You may need to add more water if the chicken starts to stick.
This is delicious as is served with rice. I got a bit carried away and made a selection of side dishes to go with it.
A cucumber raita is refreshing with any curry – chop up 1-2 Lebanese cucumbers and mix the pieces with plain yoghurt, some salt and black pepper, ground roasted cumin seeds (toasted and ground in a mortar and pestle), pinch of cayenne pepper and a handful of finely chopped coriander.
Banana and tamarind chutney is also great – you need to think ahead a bit and soak a 5-6 cms square piece of tamarind in hot water for at least 4 hours. From time to time break it up with your fingers. Then push as much of the tamarind pulp as you can through a sieve making sure to scrape the underside of the sieve.
Discard the remaining seeds. To the smooth pulp add sliced banana, 1½ tbsps coconut sugar, 1 tsp salt, a good pinch of cayenne pepper and ground roasted cumin seeds.
Finally I made one of Mahur Jaffery’s cauliflower dishes which combined florets of cauliflower with freshly grated turmeric, green chilli, plenty of fresh coriander and 3-4 aromatic spices.
PS Jason always has plenty of fresh herbs & spices including turmeric, various chillies, coriander and more.