Fighting fit spicy chicken curry

Mallika Basu - Fighting fit spicy chicken curry

Just as I thought life was getting back to normal, I got home to this: A grown man, bright red, sprawled across the sofa under an oversized blanket. With nothing but a roll of toilet tissue and cup of hot lemon and honey for comfort. "I'm dying, " he croaked. Clearly a terrible attack of man flu. (Read: common cold, blown completely out of proportion) Beats me every time. Give a man a deep wound. A dislocated body part. He will battle on courageously. Give him a common cold. He surrenders defeat. It was time for me to spring into loving, dutiful wife mode (it's been a while...). Never mind all that alternative medicine, paracetamol malarky. What a grown man needs to cure a sinus is hearty, spicy chicken curry, cooked by his loving wife. It took half an hour to make and ten minutes to polish off our plates. And he's back at work today. Now that's my kind of speedy recovery.

Method:

The trick with this recipe is to keep the flame high throughout and stir like your life depended on it.

In a medium pot, bring the oil to heat over a high heat. When it’s hot add the sugar and watch it caramelise. Then add the onion and stir for five minutes until they turn a warm golden.

Now add the pureed ginger and garlic and keep stirring, until the whole mixture turns a pale caramel brown.

Next add all the powders, bar the garam masala. Stir for two minutes, making sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If they do, add half a cup of hot water and scrape them off.

Chop finely and add the tomato and the diced chicken. Stir for five minutes until the chicken is well coated in the masala and the tomato pieces start disintegrating.

When they do, stir in the yogurt. Cook the chicken on a medium heat for another 10 minutes. There is no need to add water as the chances are the chicken has enough in it already.

Finally, stir in the garam masala powder and the soaking kasoori methi, along with its water. The kasoori methi or dried fenugreek is optional but it gives the curry a rich and bitter taste that balances the sour taste of the tomato and yogurt.

Serve this spicy chicken curry with a hot green finger chilli poured over some super healthy brown basmati rice.

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