Saturday, October 29, 2011

Coconut chicken curry

This is a one-pot meal, to be served in bowls and eaten with a spoon. What surprised me was that the potatoes took a while to soften - I had thought that the coconut milk would tenderise them, but perhaps I acidified the liquid with the other ingredients. (If you want crunchy potatoes, try cooking them in tomato sauce.) Nevertheless, I think that new potatoes, which hold their shape, are the kind to go for here.

Serves 2, generously.


1tsp cumin seeds
1/2tsp mustard seeds
6 cardamom pods
1tsp turmeric
1/6tsp asafoetida
1/4tsp dried ginger, or (better) fresh
Cayenne pepper to taste

Sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tin coconut milk
150ml chicken stock (I confess I used half a cube and 150ml water)
2 sweet peppers, deseeded and cut into fork-sized pieces
8 new potatoes, cut into fork-sized pieces
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 large chicken supreme, cut into fork-sized pieces
3 spring onions, chopped
Chillis, chopped
1tbsp lime juice

Warm the cumin and mustard seeds in a saucepan over a gentle heat, until toasted. Grind them, with the cardamom, in a mortar.

In a large saucepan or casserole, warm about 2 tbsps of sunflower oil over a gentle heat, throw in the garlic, and then the onion. Cook gently, stirring, and adding a bit more oil if it threatens to catch. When the onion is soft, tip in the cumin, mustard seeds and cardamom, and cook gently, again stirring, for about three minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk and stock. Add the peppers, potatoes, and chickpeas, as well as the remaining spices. Bring to a simmer, and add salt cautiously (the chick peas will have been canned in salty water, and the stock cube, if you used one, is salty too). Cover, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the chicken and spring onions, and simmer for a further 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

Turn off the heat. Stir through the chillis (as many as you like), and the lime juice. Coriander would be nice, too.

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