The first time I ever tried this tasty dish, I was at 30,000 ft on my way to Cyprus for a detachment. It has since become a firm favourite on our family menu, one that you can serve as soon as the heat of the summer burns off and the evenings seem to be getting shorter. Its spices are warming, not hot. It also manages to be fresh and peppy thanks to the generous helping of yoghurt. This recipe is simple to prepare and it’s no diva – just throw everything in the casserole pot and simmer for a few hours. It is ready when you are. It works even better in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
1 tbsp oil
4 chopped chicken breasts, or thigh meat if you prefer
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp curry powder
400ml can of coconut milk
100g tomato puree
200g spinach – frozen, wilted rounds work well
salt & pepper to season
1, Heat the oil over a high heat in a lidded, heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish. Fry the minced garlic until fragrant but not brown. Add the spices and fry for 1-2 minutes.
2, Add the chopped chicken, and coat in the garlic-spice mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the chicken is opaque. Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
3, Bring to the boil for a few minutes, then reduce to a very low simmer for at least 1 hour if you are cooking on the stove. As yo cook for longer and the butter in the dish reduces, you will see clear liquid pooling at the top of your curry. Delicious – your curry is now ready to serve. If you have used salted butter, the salty flavour will now be intensified so take care not to over-season.
4, Serve with Basmati rice and, if you have the resources, poppadoms and naan. These seemingly abundant items are very hard to come by in our current location so we make do with just rice!