For me there is nothing like a bit of spice to make me feel a little better. Whether it is a sprinkling of cayenne pepper on half an avo, some fabulous chilli oil made and immediately mopped up with some artisanal bread or drizzled over a steak, some cinnamon and ginger in a chocolate desert or the ever-popular perennial curry. All these wonderful aromas lift my spirits. Winter, summer, I would be lying if I said I really cared! Today’s dish is a wonderfully satisfying curry, you can make it as fierce as you like, but it is soothing and cooling too because of the addition of yogurt. It is a wonderful meal to rustle up with very little prep and it does not require hours and hours, although, as with any curry, it will always improve with time and is best enjoyed the next day! For all the fans of my korma, this is another fabulous dish to have up your sleeve, quick and tasty. This meal is made for sharing, call up some friends and share a meal.
Chicken thighs (I love using deboned skinless ones, but use whatever you prefer)
Tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
1Tblsp best curry powder mix you can get (I love my man at Blubird Centre for this
Curry leaves and whatever spices you like to add (optional)
Chilli, chopped (optional)
Coconut oil for frying
Salt & pepper
Coriander, roughly chopped
Heat a Tblsp coconut oil in a nice deep saucepan on a med-high heat, now brown your chicken thoroughly on all sides. If the thighs are huge, I halve them before frying. Remove and set aside, turn down the heat. Put onions, ginger and garlic in the pan with the oil and fat, if you like a little more fire, include a chopped chilli. Turn gently until the onion is translucent, then add the curry powder and turmeric. You can add some coriander or cumin at this point too, whatever your taste fancies. I love fresh curry leaves for their heady scent. Keep it as simple or make it as authentic as you want. I like to add turmeric to my cooking whenever I can seeing as it is one of the most powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and cancer fighting compounds around! Give the spices a few minutes to cook before adding the chopped tomatoes. Give a good stir and mix all the ingredients together, now add the cooked chicken and the juices and stir again. You need to give the tomato some time to cook and lose its acidity; if you need to, add a little water and put on the lid, giving it about 10 mins on a lowish heat. Lift the lid and give it a whiff, does it smell good? Does it smell cooked? Give the sauce a taste, remember there is no seasoning yet. If the acidity has softened nicely, add the yogurt and stir it through. Now season with salt. Add a good squeeze of lemon and stir through, taste again and adjust seasoning. Allow the sauce to thicken and cook for about 10 mins so the chicken is cooked through, but take off the heat before the lovely sauce cooks away! Yum, I love this served on fragrant organic basmati rice, or cauliflower rice or mash with a generous sprinkling of chopped coriander on top. This is comfort food without any guilt – eating at its best. Enjoy!