Chicken curry – spinach or creamy

As a vegie, I’m not keen on cooking meat and even though the hubby is a confirmed meateater (what Scot isn’t), he is often happy eating a vegie dinner. However, when in Dundee, I like to treat him and his brother in law to a Chicken curry. I’ve been using the same ingredients as the base of dhal and so far this week, they have tried chicken with spinach and a creamy chicken curry. The base is the same the only difference is the addition of either cream or spinach.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs groundnut oil
  • 25g butter (omit if you are dieting!)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 large sticks of cinnamon
  • 3 large onions blitzed in a chopper to make them tiny (the bro in law doesn’t like large pieces of onion. If you are ok with them, then just chop finely)
  • 6 cloves garlic and 2 inches of ginger made into a paste in a blender (blitz them with a teaspoon of water to help)
  • 6 green cardomoms
  • 6 cloves
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 fresh green chilies chopped lenghtways
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 250g canned chopped tomatoes (or 200g fresh chopped finely)
  • 3 tbs tomato puree
  • 500g skinless boneless chicken breast filets cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 pint vegetable stock
  • 4 tbs single cream or 200g fresh baby spinach (washed thoroughly)
  • Coriander to garnish

Cooking

  • In a large heavy based sauce pan, heat oil and butter over medium flame and add cumin seeds and cinnamon
  • When seeds start to sizzle, add the onions and cook until they begin to brown  (if you blitz them, this takes about 10 mins)
  • Add the garlic/ginger paste, cloves and peppercorns – cook for a few minutes
  • Add the spices and chillies and stir for a minute
  • Add the tomatoes and tomato puree and stir to combine
  • Taste this sauce to see if you need to adjust the spices.
  • Stir in the chicken pieces until they are well coated. If you are using it, stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts slightly
  • Add stock to just cover the chicken (with spinach, you need a little less) and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occassionally to preven sticking,  until chicken is done. If you can, cook this in the oven at 200 degrees
  • Once the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the cream if using
  • Garnish with coriander and serve with naans or basmati rice.

Hubby prefers the spinach version, his brother in law liked the creamy one. If you have any feedback or improvements, I’d be grateful to hear them.

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Red radish and spinach curry stirfry

Until tonight,I’ve only eaten radishes in salads where they add a great crunch and gorgeous colour. However, I was in an experimental mood and decided to try cooking the little balls of peppery-ness. Googling radish recipes came up with loads of links to Mooli / Daikon based recipes – these are the long white vegetable often seen in Asian stores. Bored of the search, I took myself to the kitchen to throw things in a pan and ended up combining red radishes with spinach – both of which are in season right  (though sad to say my radishes were from Morocco and my spinach from the fridge). The end result was pretty tasty though next time I’ll add in the radishes a bit later as they softened very quickly.  The radishes lost some of their hot pepper flavour and took on the taste of the spices well.  Adjust the quantities of ingredients to your taste – nothing here is set in stone.

AMENDMENT: I found this spicy the first attempt so have removed some of the spices added to make it milder.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs ground-nut oil
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji) or mustard seeds – optional
  • 3 echalion shallots or 1 medium onion sliced thinly
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 100g frozen leaf spinach or fresh spinach (next time will use more e.g. 200 g spinach)
  • 240g red radishes – top and tail then slice into thin slices
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste if you must!)
  • 1 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • Dash lime juice
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame seeds

Cooking

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy based frying pan over a medium high heat and add in the kalonji seeds
  • When the seeds start to sizzle add in the shallots/onions, garlic, ginger and chilies. Cook until the onions have browned slightly
  • Add in the spinach and cook until it has wilted (or defrost and cooks out a bit)
  • Add the radishes, spices, soy sauce and honey. Stir fry until the radishes start to soften (about 4 minutes), toss in the sesame seeds and cook for a further 2 minutes stirring to prevent any food sticking to the pan.
  • Add the lemon/lime juice to taste
  • Serve with noodles or rice. Tonight, I added a pack of Amoy Pad Thai noodles to the pan and let them cook in with the mix.