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I like my curries flavourful and quite spicy. I’m not a huge fan of the creamy ones or the mild, coconutty ones, I prefer them to pack a punch so I went about creating one to warm us up on a wet, rainy English summer evening!
Looking through the spice cupboard, I pulled out all the staples for an authentic curry. I picked out Garam Masala, Cumin, Turmeric, Coriander Seeds (which I ground myself in a pestle and mortar, but you could use Ground Coriander), Chilli Flakes and Cardamom Pods. These are all spices used in a lot of Indian cooking and I thought the flavours would be great in the curry I was picturing in my head. Also, turmeric is such an important spice in decreasing inflammation in the gut so I always try to add it to my meals wherever possible.
I started by dicing up the onions and crushing the garlic and ginger. I then fried these off in 2tbsps oil (leaving 1 tsp remaining to fry the rice in later) until they had softened and browned a bit.
Then I chopped up the bird’s-eye chillies – these really pack a punch, less is definitely more (only use one if you’re not a huge fan of spice) – and added them to the pan to fry off for another couple of minutes.
Next up I added the spices and fried them off for a minute or two with the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger, to release the flavours. I added the chicken next and cooked it off for about 5 mins before adding the chicken stock.I brought the whole thing up to them boil and then turned the heat down low to allow it to simmer away (with the top off so that some of the liquid could evaporate).Leaving the curry to simmer for an hour means that the onions melt into the stock which creates the sauce for the curry. They almost dissolve, thickening the liquid, and leaving the top off of the pan allows the rest of the liquid to evaporate. You’ll know it’s done when your sauce is no longer liquid but is thick enough to coat and stick to the chicken a little bit – so it’s just past the watery stage.
When the curry was almost ready it was time to get on with the rice – Basmati for Dan and cauliflower rice for me. I riced half a small head of cauliflower by pulsing it in the food processor until the pieces were small enough to resemble rice. Then I stir fried the cauliflower rice in a tsp of olive oil , plenty of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice. This only takes a minute or two until the cauliflower begins to soften. I washed Dan’s rice in a sieve under the tap to remove the starch and then added it to a pan of boiling water to cook for 15mins.At this point you are ready to plate up but make sure to remove the cardamom pods before serving. I piled the cauliflower rice into a bowl and added some of the chicken and the delicious sauce. A dollop of yoghurt on the top and it was ready to serve.Because the chicken had been cooking for so long, it was really tender and had absorbed all of the flavours from the sauce. The yoghurt just took the edge off the spiciness and was a perfect accompaniment and the cauliflower rice worked really well, soaking up a lot of the sauce and adding an extra texture. The whole dish was tasty, spicy and very satisfying – it really warmed us up on a cold evening – Can’t predict the British Summertime!