The Curry Monster came knocking at my door recently. Does he visit your house too? If I allowed him to, he’d take up permanent residence with me but I don’t think Big Man would be overjoyed. He likes curry, but doesn’t have quite the same love affair with it as I do. Fair enough, two’s company, three’s a crowd! Sometimes I come across a dish like this which presses all the buttons for a curry lover and a curry liker alike. If you’re still with me, I’m sure that makes perfect sense…
The Curry Monster told me that he also fancied the tang of pomegranate molasses. I know, it just gets weirder and weirder. None of my old favourite books could help, so I went a-googling and I came across not only a fabulous recipe (which I adapted a little) but also an amazing blog. Do pop over, there’s plenty to enjoy.
Ingredients (to serve 2-3 people)
6 chicken thighs, skin on
200mls thick yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp gram flour/ chickpea flour
1 tbsp garlic paste
½ tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp chilli powder (or less if you want a mild flavour)
110mls pomegranate molasses
½ tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Add the gram flour and the yoghurt in a bowl. Mix well to get rid of any lumps to form a thick paste. Next add the ginger and garlic pastes, chilli powder, molasses and the garam masala powder and salt. Add the chicken and mix well making sure to coat them well in the thick marinade. Leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200c/ Gas mark 6. Line a baking tin with foil and put the chicken and marinade in. Roast for approx 40 mins (until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced) basting half way through cooking. I found that I had lots of lovely sauce which I love, Big Man less so. I drained the sauce off and gave the meat a further 5 minutes in the oven then served the chicken sprinkled with chopped coriander and the sauce on the side.
Serve with your favourite Indian bread, plain boiled rice and whatever else the Curry Monster tells you to cook.
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
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…
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....