Recipe from Bill’s Basics by Bill Granger
I have wanted to blog this recipe for some time – it is one of the first things I tried from Bill’s Basics and it has since become one of our favourite curries. I have tried so many curry recipes over the years, most of which involve lists of ingredients as long as your arm and lots of toasting and grinding spices so I was rather intrigued by this recipe’s simplicity and to be honest a little suspicious that the end result would have enough depth of flavour thanks to the concise list of ingredients. As it turns out this is a great little curry that is fresh and light and bursting with flavour but it isn’t overly fragrant or spicy and that makes it perfect for the whole family – it’s certainly one of my son’s favourites. It is also so quick to put together and the only thing that will take time is cooking – so once all of the ingredients go in the pot you can leave it on a low heat to blip away with the occasional stir to keep it from sticking. This is a perfect dish to prepare in the evening to be reheated for dinner the next day and it’s quite economical as apart from the spices, which you will get many dishes from once you buy them, there are only a handful of ingredients to buy. Bill’s recipe used lamb which of course needs a longer cooking time than chicken so although the meat will be cooked through sooner I do still give the curry one-and-a-half/two hours cooking as the as the sauce really does benefit from that time. This is also great made with chicken pieces on the bone. The original recipe doesn’t use garlic or coriander but I love both in curry.
- 5/6 chicken breasts, cut in to chunks
- large pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
- 1½ teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 8/10 green cardomom pods, bashed
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
- 4 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon of rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 large onions, finely sliced
- 250g natural unsweetened or Greek yoghurt
- 300ml water
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 handful of chopped coriander
Put the chicken pieces in a bowl, add in the spices, salt, ginger and crushed garlic and toss together to coat the chicken well. Leave covered at room temperature for half an hour.
Place a large heavy pan or casserole over medium-high heat and add the oil and butter and then the onions, stirring well to coat the onions. Cook until soft and translucent – for approximately 5 minutes. Add in the chicken pieces and cook for a further 5 minutes until lightly browned.
Next add in the yoghurt – I tend to add a tablespoon at a time and stir it in so that it doesn’t curdle. Add in the water and the tin of tomatoes, stir well and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionaly to make sure it doesn’t stick or dry out too much – you want the sauce to thicken but not evaporate completely. Leave to cook for around an hour and a half and then add in the chopped coriander, lime juice and sugar, stir well and cook for a further 5/10 minutes. Check seasoning. Serve with rice and flatbreads.
Leftovers: if there is any leftover (which doesn’t happen often here) this is great served cold in a pitta, wrap or bagel with some lettuce, mango chutney and a little mayo for lunch.