As Big Man was out and about today, and not home for lunch as he usually is, I thought I´d make the most of the opportunity to cook a curry – he´s not a big fan of them. So, not having a ton of spices to hand but finding a jar of curry paste in the “despensa”, that´s a Spanish Larder, I concocted something quick-ish and delicious from what I found in the fridge. Please bear in mind that I am not great at giving measurements. This recipe could well have been made with no meat and lots more different vegetables. I also like my curries with a lot of “sauce” so how much water you add to your curry is entirely up to you. Start with a mug full and when is has reduced stop, if you like it “drier”, or add another mug and reduce just a little more. It´s all down to personal taste.
- Two small chicken breasts (from our own hens) diced
- One medium tomato, peeled and diced (or about a third of a tin of tomatoes)
- A mug full of split lentils, rinsed then cooked in twice their volume of water for about 10 minutes and drained
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- About an inch of fresh garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
- A small red pepper (the last from our vegetable garden from last summer, can you believe it in January?!) finely chopped
- 8 leaves of chard (again from the veggie garden) with the white stalk removed (and given to the chickens) finely shredded
- Three large tablespoons of Madras Paste (or whatever you fancy)
- About a third of a block of cream of coconut dissolved in 150ml of hot water then beaten – but feel free to leave this out if you want a lower cal version of the curry
- Vegetable Oil
So, in a medium (but deep) frying pan I softened the onion, garlic and ginger in about a tablespoon of oil for several minutes until it was transparent then added the tomato and red pepper for a further 5 minutes or so. The heat was low to medium, so everything was “sweating” rather than frying.
Then I added the curry paste which I cooked off for about 2 minutes then threw in the chicken pieces, stirred it around for a few moments and added a mug full of water and the lentils. I let this reduce, then added the shredded chard (but you could use spinach or just leave it out) and another mug full of water.
When this had reduced by about half I added the creamed coconut, cooked for about 3 minutes gently and that was it! If I´d had some fresh coriander to chop finely and sprinkle over, I´d have added this too. Unfortunately I didn´t, so I just had to imagine it…
I served it with basmati rice, poppadums and a small bowl of yogurt to dollop and dunk.
It serves four if, especially if you make a side dish to go with it, two hungry people if not…
or just me today and leftovers tomorrow. Enjoy!