The complex flavours of Indian curries are governed by three key base ingredients – ginger, garlic and turmeric. Scientists have found traces on pots used for cooking in India up to 4000 years ago. The addition of coconut milk mellows the spices while still allowing the flavours to shine through. Indian cuisine has now become one of the world’s most widely loved and eaten cuisines. The recipe below is a great way to introduce those who might be reluctant to try these divine flavours. It is very subtle and you can adjust the amount of chilli to suit sensitive palates. This is something the whole family can enjoy, even the kids. Enjoy!
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
COOK TIME: 20 MINS
SERVES: 4-5 PEOPLE
2-3 tablespoons canola oil (or ghee if you have)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cinnamon quill
3 cardamom pods, bruised
3 heaped teaspoons ground turmeric
3 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded, cut in thin, lengthways strips
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 400ml can coconut milk
6-8 free-range chicken thighs
Salt to taste
150ml natural yoghurt
1 large handful coriander, chopped
1. Heat oil in pan to medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic and cook for 5-6 mins until onion is soft and fragrant, not browned.
2. Stir in turmeric, coriander cinnamon, and cardamom pods, cook for further 2-3 mins.
3. Slice chicken and pop into the pan with the spices and onion mix. Thoroughly coat then stir in canned tomatoes, coconut milk and fresh chilli. If you want more liquid, add a little chicken stock.
4. Simmer for about 15 mins until chicken is cooked through.
5. Transfer to serving dish and pour over yoghurt and sprinkle fresh coriander. Serve with basmati rice or naan and poppadom.
NB: For more intense flavours, toast whole cumin and coriander seeds then crush in a mortar and pestle.