Sunday, 10 October 2010

Chris's favourite curry (for now, at least)

I made this a couple of weeks ago for Chris to heat up for himself during the day before he went off for the late shift. He doesn't like things as spicy as I do and I pretty well made this up as I went along. No claims for authenticity or any of that malarkey; it's just a nice, rounded, autumnal curry with no hard edges.

As always, quantities to be altered for however many are eating, but a standard portion consisting of one medium-large chicken breast, half a tin of chickpeas (drained) and a reasonable portion of boiled rice on the side (say, 70g) would set you back 8 Points per serving. All the veg etc are free, so that's a good way of working it out :)

So. For two people, one of which is a large, hairy, hungry man:

2 courgettes, diced
2 red peppers (or one humungous one, your call)
1 small-medium butternut squash
1 carton organic chickpeas (Sainsbury's; any you can get your hands on are good), drained
1 can/carton chopped tomatoes in juice
tomato puree
two onions, diced fine
Garlic - LOTS. About five cloves. We like garlic.
2 large chicken breasts, about 300g each
1 Kallo chicken stock cube

Then for spices -
2 tsp ASDA tandoori blend
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
5 cardamom pods (whole, fish em out at the end)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2tbsp black onion seeds

So, it is the usual drill - brown the chicken, onions and garlic while the squash gently roasts at about 200, peeled and cubed and sprinkled with salt and black pepper.

Once the squash is soft, just take it out of the oven and wait until you're more or less ready to serve. Don't stick it in the curry, it'll go soggy.

When the chicken/onions/garlic are lovely and brown, mix all the spices except the onion seeds in a cup with some water to make a loose paste, and add to the pan. Cook it through gently, adding a healthy squirt of tomato puree while it does so. When that's looking good, add the chopped pepper and courgette, cover and allow to cook through and soften. Finally add the tomatoes, the stock cube and the onion seeds. Leave it to cook down (this isn't a fast curry) for at least 20 minutes or so but preferably up to an hour on a low heat.

When you're ready to eat, cook some rice. While the rice is on, take the cover off the curry to let it come down a bit, and add the drained chickpeas and roasted squash. Delishos, even if I do say so myself. Particularly sexy with some salad, mango chutney and some extra browned onions on top, but I'm not preaching ;)

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