Lighter chicken katsu
For the chicken, pour the buttermilk into a wide, shallow dish. Season with pepper and a small pinch of salt. Pat the chicken breasts dry with kitchen paper, then put them in the dish and turn them over in the buttermilk to coat well. Leave in the fridge for 1 hr. Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick frying pan. Tip in the panko breadcrumbs and flour, and toast in the dry pan for 2-3 mins until they turn pale brown, stirring regularly so they don’t burn. Tip the crumb mix into a bowl, season with pepper and set aside to cool. To make the curry sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Tip in the onion, garlic and ginger, and fry for 6-8 mins until the onion is tender and starting to brown. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, chilli powder and tomato purée, and fry for 1 min, stirring to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour in the stock and 250ml/9fl oz water. Add the carrot, soy sauce and honey, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20 mins, uncovered, until the carrots are tender. Mix the cornflour with 2 tsp cold water, stir into the sauce and simmer for 1 min. Remove from the heat. Whizz the mixture to a smooth purée in a food processor. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, set over a large bowl, pressing it through well with the back of a wooden spoon so enough of the purée goes through to help thicken. Season with a small pinch of salt and set aside. Sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and chilled. Heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Line a baking tray with foil and sit a wire rack (preferably non-stick) on top. Tip the crumb mix onto a large plate, then lift the chicken breasts from the buttermilk (leaving the marinade clinging to it) and roll each one in the crumbs, coating evenly. Heat 1½ tsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add 2 chicken breasts and fry for 1½ mins (without moving them), over a medium-high heat – adjusting the heat if necessary, so that they don’t burn. Turn the chicken over, add another ¾ tsp of oil to cover the base of the pan, and fry for 1 min more. Using a fish slice, transfer the chicken to the wire rack, then wipe any crumbs from the pan and repeat with the rest of the oil and chicken. Bake the chicken in the oven (on the wire rack) for 15 mins until cooked and crisp. Warm the sauce through briefly, remove the chicken from the rack and slice each one into 5 pieces. Serve with the sauce, sticky rice and mixed leaves.