A quick and easy chicken curry, which is also incredibly versatile.
This really has to be one of the quickest chicken dishes ever, with staple store cupboard ingredients. It can be whipped up in no time, and never fails to impress. It’s been a popular dish with our children who are living away from home as it is quick to prepare, and needs very few ingredients.
Please note that surprisingly all of our recipes are quite mild in terms of spices, as well as salt, the latter primarily due to health reasons and the former because believe it or not, we don’t like spicy food! Yes, we really are the exceptions to the rule. However, if you like a punch in your food, please feel free to increase the chilli level. The beauty of Indian cuisine is that you can adapt it to suit your taste buds.
Serves 4 as a main meal with rice/naan/chappati, a salad and dollops of plain yogurt or raita.
Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes
Freezing – only chicken (the leeks and spring onions are not suitable to freeze when raw)
500g skinless and boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into small pieces – it is important that they are an even size so that the cooking time is the same. You can use chicken breast if you prefer, although I find it is a drier meat.
½ level teaspoon salt
½ level teaspoon turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
3 plump cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 inch piece of root ginger – finely sliced into julienne pieces
Zest of 1 lemon, juice of half a lemon, unwaxed if possible (Excess lemon juice can be put into an ice cube and frozen if you are unlikely to use it anytime soon)
2 heaped tablespoons tomato puree
¼ teaspoon cayenne/chilli powder
4 – 5 spring onions – chopped into small pieces
1 small leek – finely sliced
½ level teaspoon garam masala – as a garnish at the end
- Rub the zest on the chicken pieces. This can be done ahead, store in an airtight container in a fridge overnight.
- Heat the oil on a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces, stir for 3- 4 minutes. Cover with a lid.
- Add the salt, cumin seeds, turmeric, and chilli powder/cayenne pepper. Stir well, cover again with a lid and reduce the heat.
- Keep stirring frequently, after about 10 minutes add the ginger and garlic. If the mixture is sticking to the bottom of the pan at any stage, add a dash of water. (You may want to add a tiny bit more oil if you prefer). Add the tomato puree and half of the lemon juice. Add more lemon juice if you like a zing! Cover again and cook for a few more minutes.
- The chicken will be cooked when a piece comes apart easily. Garnish with the chopped spring onions, leeks and garam masala.