Being British, I cannot get enough curry! This is one that I made up and adapted over a fair few years now and I have finally come up with a recipe that I’m really proud of. The sweet spicy sauce covers the chicken like silk, without any cream needed! It’s a treat for all senses. This is the ultimate comfort food. Don’t be worried about the amount of spice used as it is all vital to the final result. I can honestly say that this is as authentic tasting as any curry you would order from your favourite Indian restaurant.
What I’ve found is that the key to a really good curry is to make a good paste of chilli, garlic, ginger and onion. Then, have all your ground spices separate which you add to the oil first and let it simmer for a few minutes. The smell is amazing. It’s one of those moments when you have someone coming for dinner and they can smell it half way down the road with their mouth watering. Simmering it really does let the flavours infuse the oil and is probably one of the most vital steps to making a curry taste like a proper curry! The flavour is 10 times better this way. Only a few minutes or so on a low heat as you really don’t want to burn them!
After that, all I do is add the paste and then the chicken pieces, coating them in the oil creating the next layer of flavour. I always use chicken thighs in a curry because they are tender and have a better flavour. Chicken breasts tend to get a little tough after a while and can really dry out. Add the stock, tomatoes and mango chutney then bring to the boil. Don’t be worried about how runny the sauce is at this stage. I like to simmer it with the lid on for half an hour and then take it off, turn the heat right up and stir occasionally for about 10-15 more minutes to thicken it up. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, then I would advise you to stir a little more often to avoid it sticking to the bottom. You will see it transform from a watery stew consistency to a lovely velvety sauce that is nice and thick. No need to add any cream or flour to thicken it, I promise you! Serve with rice and any other little extras you may like. I added Naan bread and onion bhaji.
Serves 4 – 6
- 800g-1 kg chicken thighs
- 400ml chicken stock
- 1 can 400ml tinned tomatoes
- 2 heaped Tsp Mango Chutney
- 1 Tsp turmeric
- 1 Tsp fennel seeds
- 1 Tsp mustard seeds
- 1 Tsp Fenugreek
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 Tsp ground coriander
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 cloves garlic (or one large)
- 1 red chilli
- 1 thumb size piece or ginger
- 1 large white onion
- Open the Cardamom pods and pop the seeds inside into a pestle and mortar. Followed by the fennel and mustard seeds. Crush into a fine power and then stir in the rest of the spices.
- Roughly chop your onion and then chuck it a blender followed by the ginger, garlic and chilli. Blend into a coarse paste. Then dice your chicken into thumb size chunks.
- Add two tablespoons of oil to the pan and turn to a low heat. Add the spice blend to the oil and simmer for two minutes moving constantly.
- Add your paste, stir it then follow with the chicken pieces. Stir it, coating the chicken in all the spices and paste, then brown off for 3-4 more minutes on medium heat.
- Measure 400ml of chicken stock, using your own or add boiling water to a stock cube in a jug. Add the tomatoes, stock and mango chutney to the pan, stir and bring to the boil.
- Once it is brought to the boil, turn the heat down, put the lid on and simmer for half an hour. After around 25 minutes you may want to think about putting your rice on for the remaining 15 minutes depending on the cooking instructions on the packet.
- Finally, take the lid off, turn the heat up and reduce/thicken the sauce stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. This will take around 10 – 15 minutes. It really depends on how thick you like your sauce to be.
- Season to taste, plate up and tuck in!