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Garam Masala

katsu

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.

spatchcock

Spiced yogurt spatchcock chicken

Pop the chicken in a large dish and slash the legs a few times with a sharp knife. Mix together the lemon juice, chilli powder and 1 tsp salt. Pour this over the chicken, turning so that it coats both sides. Cover with cling film and chill for 1 hr. Meanwhile, whizz the remaining ingredients (except the oil) and some black pepper in a blender until smooth. Remove the chicken from the fridge and spoon over the spicy paste, making sure it covers both sides. Chill for at least 4 hrs, preferably overnight. Light a lidded barbecue and let the flames die down. Once the coals have turned ashen, mound them up on one side. Drizzle the skin of the chicken with the oil and place, skin-side down, on the side of the barbecue with the coals underneath. Cover with the lid and cook for 15-20 mins until charred. Flip the chicken over and move to the side with no coals underneath. Close the lid and cook for a further 20-25 mins until cooked through. Check that the juices run clear; if not, return to the barbecue for a further 10 mins, then check again. (To cook in the oven, heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, place on a wire rack over a tray and cook for 45-55 mins. To char the skin, grill for a further 5-10 mins if needed.) Leave the chicken to rest for 20 mins, then scatter over the coriander and serve with chapatis warmed on the barbecue, raita and your favourite chutney.

One-pan roast butter chicken

Butter chicken

Heat the butter in a large pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 5 mins until soft. Add the chicken and continue to fry until turning golden brown. Add the garam masala, garlic, ginger and passata. Leave to simmer, uncovered, for 20 mins. Just before serving, stir in the cashew nut butter and cream, season to taste and serve scattered with coriander, and with the cooked rice and wilted spinach on the side.

curried chicken new potato traybake

Curried chicken & new potato traybake

Put the drumsticks in a large bowl with 1 tbsp oil, the garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric and 2 tbsp yogurt. Toss together with your hands until coated. Leave to marinate for at least 30 mins (can be left in the fridge overnight). Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Put the potatoes in a large roasting tin with the remaining oil and plenty of seasoning. Add the chicken drumsticks and bake for 40-45 mins until cooked and golden.

Scatter the tomatoes, onion, coriander and some seasoning over the chicken and potatoes, with the remaining yogurt served on the side.

peanut butter chicken

Peanut butter chicken

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Brown the chicken in batches, setting aside once golden. Fry the garlic, chilli and ginger in the other 1 tbsp oil for 1 min. Add the garam masala and fry for 1 min more.

Stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk and tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan and add the chopped coriander. Cook for 30 mins until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with the remaining coriander, roasted peanuts and rice, if you like.

spiced pork fillet with shallots apple

Spiced pork fillet with shallots & apple

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Season the pork well and roll the fillet in 1 tbsp of the garam masala. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the pork well all over. Remove from the pan and wrap tightly in foil to create a rounded sausage shape, twisting the ends so you have a cylinder. Can be done the day before and kept in the fridge.

Heat the butter in an ovenproof frying pan and sizzle the shallot, cut-side down, for 5 mins until slightly charred. Baste with the butter in the pan and add the pork roll, still in its foil. Put in the oven for 20 mins, turning the pork once. Remove the pork and shallot, and keep warm.

Sizzle the flour in the pan over a medium heat, then add the wine and reduce until there’s almost no liquid left. Add the stock, simmer to make a sauce, then add the rest of the garam masala and keep warm

Cut the fillet, still in its foil, into two and slice each piece on the angle lengthways so you have four pointed pieces. Remove the foil and pour any juices into the sauce. Finely slice each apple cheek, then fan out one on each plate, sitting a piece of pork on top. Put a slice of domino potatoes (see recipe in ‘Goes well with’, right) beside it, with a shallot and another piece of pork on top. Drizzle with sauce and serve.

cashew curry 0

Cashew curry

Put the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and coriander stalks in a small food processor and blitz to a paste.

Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cashews and toast for 1-2 mins until light golden. Set aside and return the pan to the heat. Add the oil and stir-fry the paste for 5 mins to soften. Add the garam masala and cook for a further 2 mins.

Add the tomatoes and stock to the pan. Mix well, then tip into a blender with the cashews and blitz until smooth. Return to the pan, season and bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer.

Cook for 30 mins until the sauce has thickened then add the chicken, cover with a lid and simmer for another 15 mins, until the chicken is cooked through. Add the yogurt and cream (if using), and stir well to make a creamy sauce.

Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve with the greens.

One-pan roast butter chicken

Easy butter chicken

In a medium bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients with some seasoning. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with the marinade. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hr or overnight.

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, green chilli, ginger and some seasoning. Fry on a medium heat for 10 mins or until soft.

Add the spices with the tomato purée, cook for a further 2 mins until fragrant, then add the stock and marinated chicken. Cook for 15 mins, then add any remaining marinade left in the bowl. Simmer for 5 mins, then sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve with rice, naan bread, chutney, coriander and lime wedges, if you like.

coriander rice

Coriander chicken with rice & spiced vegetables

Use a stick blender or mini food processor to whizz up all the chutney ingredients, then chill.

Heat the oil in a large, lidded frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and fry for 9-10 mins, then add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Cook for a few mins more, then add the chicken. Brown well, then add half the coriander chutney and reduce the heat. Cover and cook for 15-20 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.

Rinse the rice in a sieve, then tip into a large, lidded saucepan. Stir in all the ingredients for the rice. Pour over enough boiling water to cover the rice by 1cm, cover, bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins. Turn off the heat and leave to steam-cook with the lid on for 20 mins. Fluff up with a fork, then season.

Put the broccoli and green beans in a pan and add 100ml boiling water. Cover and cook over a medium-high heat for 4-5 mins. Drain and return to the pan with the oil, ginger, chilli flakes and some seasoning. Cook for another 2 mins, then serve with the chicken, remaining chutney and the rice.

miso caramel chicken wings

BBQ tandoori chicken shawarma

Tip all the ingredients, except the chicken and lemon wedges, into a blender or a smoothie bullet with 1 tsp sea salt and whizz to a smooth paste. Pile the chicken into a bowl or large plastic container, pour over the paste and mix through so the chicken is completely coated. Cover and marinate for at least 4 hrs or up to 48 hrs – the longer, the better.

Light a lidded barbecue, and let the flames die down. Once the coals have turned ashen, pile them up on one side with a few coals scattered around the other. Starting and ending with half a baking potato, thread all the chicken onto two long metal skewers – so that both skewers go through each piece of meat – packing the thighs down between the potato halves so that they are really compact. Place the large chicken kebab to the side of the barbecue with only a few coals underneath. Pop the lid down and cook for 45-50 mins, turning every 15 mins, or until cooked through – prise the chicken pieces apart in the centre to check, or use a digital cooking thermometer; it should read 70C or more. Leave to rest for 5 mins. If cooking in the oven, heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 8. Sit the kebab across a roasting tin so it is suspended, or rest a wire rack over a roasting tin and place the chicken on top. Cook for 45-55 mins or until cooked through. Warm the naan on the barbecue or in the oven.

Bring the kebab to the table to carve, wrap with warm naans, and serve with the other salads and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

house tandoor chicken

Tandoor chicken

Slash the flesh of the chicken pieces roughly 1cm apart. Put the chicken and all the first marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hrs, and up to 4 hrs.

Blend all the ingredients for the second marinade together. Remove the chicken from the first marinade and put it in a clean bowl. Add the second marinade and rub it into the chicken, then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hrs.

Light a barbecue with a lid, load the coals on one side and get them to a point where they are white-hot, then let them cool a little. Don’t put the chicken directly over the heat, otherwise the spices will burn. Barbecue on a medium heat with the lid on for 10-15 mins or until cooked through, turning them once. (Or heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook the chicken on a baking tray for 30 mins or until cooked through.) Sprinkle with mint and spoon over some green chutney, if you like. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

sali murghi

Sali murghi

Melt 1 tbsp of the ghee in a pan and add the chicken, skin-side side down. Once the skin is golden and crisp (around 5 mins), remove from the pan and set aside (you may need to do this in batches). Melt the remaining ghee in the pan, add the cinnamon, cardamom and cumin seeds, and fry until fragrant – around 5 mins. Stir in the onions along with a big pinch of salt and fry for 5 mins until browning in places.

Blitz the green chilli with the garlic and ginger, add to the pan and cook for 2 more mins, then stir in the spices and cook for a few mins more, splashing in a little water to prevent the spices from sticking. Tip in the chopped tomatoes.

Return the chicken to the pan, coating it with the curry base, then splash in the white wine vinegar followed by the jaggery. Add 100ml water, then cover and simmer for 30 mins. Remove the lid and stir in the apricots and coriander, then cook for 10-15 mins longer, until the gravy reduces.

Meanwhile, make the sali. Pat the potato matchsticks dry with kitchen paper. Pour vegetable oil into a small, deep saucepan until it’s a few cm deep, and heat over a medium-high heat. Add a handful of the potato matchsticks at a time and fry for around a minute, until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and season generously. Serve the curry with the sali piled on top.

coconut and almond chicken korma

Coconut and almond chicken korma

Crumble saffron into a small bowl, add the milk and leave to steep

Place the coriander seeds, salt and peppercorns into a pestle and mortar and crush

Add the roughly chopped ginger and garlic and pound to create an aromatic paste.

Place the chicken into a large bowl and add the yoghurt, gram flour, turmeric and the paste from the pestle and mortar. Stir thoroughly, cover and leave to marinade for an hour or longer if possible.

Heat oil or ghee in a pan and add the cloves, cardamom pods, cassia and the dried red chillies and fry for a few minutes until fragrant.

Add the minced onions and fry gently on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they just begin to brown.

Add chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes on a medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Place the lid on the pan, reduce the heat and leave to cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Pour in the creamed coconut, with the ground almonds and poppy seeds then stir to thicken.

Increase the heat and simmer until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want. Pour in the saffron milk for added decadence and remove the pan from the heat.

Garnish with the garam masala and fresh coriander. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice for added freshness, then serve.

chicken jalfrezi 1 3

Chicken jalfrezi

Take the chopped chicken and coat it in the cumin, ground coriander and turmeric then leave it to marinade in the fridge while you make the sauce.

To make the sauce, fry the onion with the garlic and green chilli in a large pan, for around 5 mins, until browned. Add 300ml water to the onion mixture and simmer for around 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the plum tomatoes in a food processor and give it a good whizz (aim for a smooth consistency). Heat another large pan and gently fry the ground coriander, cumin and turmeric in a splash of oil for about a minute. Add the tomatoes to this pan and simmer for around 10 minutes.

Next, whizz your onion mixture in the food processor and add it to the spiced tomato sauce. Season generously, stir, then simmer for 20 minutes. You can make large batches of this sauce and freeze it for later use.

Fry the marinated chicken in oil and stir continuously. After a few minutes, turn down the heat and add the other half of the onion, the red pepper and chillis. Stir until the onions and pepper soften (and the chicken is cooked, of course).

Add the sauce you prepared earlier to the cooked chicken and simmer for around 10-20 minutes, adding a splash of water if it gets too thick. Just before you dish it up, stir in the garam masala and chopped coriander leaves. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread.

chicken bhuna

Chicken bhuna

To make the onion purée, bring a small pan of water to the boil and add half the chopped onions. Boil them for 5 mins until soft, drain and puree with a hand blender or mini food processor.

Heat a large saucepan on a high heat. Once it’s hot add the oil and remaining chopped onions and reduce to a low heat. Cook the onions slowly and gently for 15-20 mins until golden brown in colour.

Make a paste of ginger purée, garlic purée, curry powder, tumeric powder, chilli powder and a splash of water. Add to the pan of onions and stir in well. Fry for a couple of mins. Add the diced chicken and stir in well.

Mix the yogurt, tomato purée and onion purée together in a jug with 800ml water. Pour into the saucepan and mix well. Turn up the heat until the sauce begins to boil. Simmer for 15 – 20 mins. Stir occasionally.

Finally sprinkle in the garam masala and stir in well for the final 2 mins before serving.

next level tikka masala

Next level tikka masala

Remove the skin from the chicken and slash each thigh two or three times. Put into a bowl or plastic container and toss with the lime juice and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside while you make the marinade.

In a small food processor, blitz the ginger and garlic to make a paste, adding a splash of water if needed. Set aside half of the paste for the sauce. Tip the remaining marinade ingredients into the food processor, then blitz to a smooth paste. Pour the paste over the chicken and marinate for at least 4 hrs (overnight or 24 hrs is even better).

To make the sauce, heat 2 tbsp of the ghee or butter in a large shallow pan with a lid. Cook the onions for 15 mins over a medium heat until starting to brown. Add the spices and remaining garlic and ginger paste, and cook for 2 mins. Stir in the tomato purée, ground almonds, a pinch of sugar and vinegar. Cook for about 1 min. Pour in the passata, then fill the jar or carton halfway up with water and add this too. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cook for 2-3 hrs until you have a thick, red sauce. Can be kept chilled in the fridge for up to 48 hrs while you marinate the chicken.

Set the grill to its highest setting. Lift the chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess back into the dish and reserve for the sauce. Arrange the chicken on a large baking tray cut-side up. Put under the grill for 10-15 mins until charred and starting to blacken. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside with the cooking juices. Reheat the sauce, adding the reserved marinade, then tip the chicken and any pan juices with the crème fraîche or cream into the curry sauce. Cook for 40 mins until the chicken is completely tender. Stir the remaining butter or ghee in at the end. 

Leave the curry to sit for a few mins, then season with the garam masala and smoked salt, if using. Sprinkle with coriander and flaked almonds, then serve with naan bread and rice, if you like.

One-pan roast butter chicken

Slow cooker butter chicken

In a medium bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients with some seasoning. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with the marinade. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hr or overnight.

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the butter, ghee or oil. Add the onion, garlic, green chilli, ginger and some seasoning. Fry on a medium heat for 10 mins or until soft.

Add the spices with the tomato purée, cook for a further 2 mins until fragrant, then add the stock and marinated chicken. Tip everything into the slow cooker, then cook for 6-7 hrs until the chicken is tender.?

Sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve with rice, naan bread, chutney, coriander and lime wedges, if you like.

Saffron chicken korma

Combine the yogurt with the garlic and ginger pastes in a large bowl or casserole dish. Add the chicken thighs, then spoon over the marinade, making sure that the chicken is totally covered. Cover and chill for 30 mins. Gently warm the milk in a pan. Don’t let it boil; it should only be tepid as you do not want to scald the saffron. Touch the surface of the milk to check the temperature, then when the milk is tepid, take off the heat, add the saffron strands and leave to infuse.

In a deep pan or wok that has a lid, heat the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and fry gently, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelised, about 10-15 mins. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions from the pan, leaving as much of the oil in the pan as possible, and place on a plate to drain. Spread the onion rings across the plate so they crisp as they cool.

Add the whole garam masala to the pan with the oil in. After a few seconds, add the ground coriander and continue to cook, stirring. After 1 min, add the marinated chicken to the pan along with the marinade from the container. Keeping the heat on medium-high, continue stirring gently. After 5 mins, or when the oil separates from the yogurt and comes to the surface, add the chilli powder and 1 tsp salt. Lower the heat, cover the pan with the lid and simmer gently for 35 mins. The chicken is ready when the edges have softened and are slightly curled.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the saffron-infused milk, ground almonds and sugar. Stir the chicken gently to avoid breaking it up.

Before serving, taste to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. Garnish with the flaked almonds and the fried onions.

One-pan roast butter chicken

One-pan roast butter chicken

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put the lemon halves in the chicken cavity. Stir all the ingredients for the curry butter together and season with salt and lots of pepper. Use your fingers to stuff the curry butter under the skin and smear it all over the meat.

Place the chicken in a flameproof roasting tin, on a trivet, if you have one. Roast for 20 mins, then turn the oven down to 180C/160C/gas 4. Continue to roast for 40 mins, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the tin and leave to rest while you make the sauce.

If your roasting tin is flameproof, place it directly on the heat, if not, scrape all the buttery goodness from the tin into a saucepan and set over a low heat to make the sauce. Gently sweat the garlic and ginger in the curry butter. Scatter in the cardamom, cloves and fennel seeds and cook for 2 mins, then add the ground spices and cook for another 2 mins. Pour in the passata and gently reduce by half before adding the cream and reducing by a third. To finish the sauce, pour in the resting juices, season and add a squeeze of the roasted lemon from the cavity of the chicken. Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce.

chicken vindaloo

Chicken vindaloo

To prepare the chicken, mix the lemon juice, diced chicken, vinegar, garlic and ginger together in a large bowl with the dried spices. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours, or overnight. 

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the spices, onion and salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion is browned but not burnt, about 10-15 mins. Reduce the heat to medium and add the marinated chicken. Cook, stirring, for another 5 mins. Add a splash of water, reduce the heat slightly, cover and simmer for 15-20 mins until the chicken is cooked through. 

Garnish with some coriander and crispy onions and serve with flatbreads, if you like.

old delhi style butter chicken

Old Delhi-style butter chicken

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with 1½ tsp salt. Add the chicken pieces and mix together until well-coated, then cover the bowl and chill for 1 hr or overnight in the fridge.

Heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9. Transfer the chicken pieces to a large baking tray (discard any remaining marinade), and cook for 10-15 mins. Turn the pieces after 10 mins so they colour evenly on both sides. The chicken doesn’t need to be completely cooked through at this point as it will cook for a few more mins in the sauce.

Meanwhile, for the sauce, slice the tomatoes in half and put in a large pan in a single layer with 125ml water, the grated ginger, garlic, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf. Simmer, covered, until the tomatoes have completely disintegrated, about 20-25 mins. Remove the whole spices and blend the tomato mixture with a stick blender, then pass it through a sieve to make a smooth purée. Return to a clean pan, add the chilli powder and simmer for 12-15 mins. It should slowly begin to thicken. When the sauce turns glossy, add the chicken pieces and any of the reserved roasting juices from the tray. 

Slowly stir in the butter, a couple of pieces at a time, and simmer for 6-8 mins until the chicken is cooked through. Add the chopped ginger, green chillies and cream, then simmer for a min or two longer, taking care that the sauce doesn’t split. Stir in 1 tsp salt, fenugreek leaves, if using, and the garam masala, then check the seasoning, adjust if necessary, then add the sugar. In a separate pan, warm all the ingredients for the spiced butter, if using, until the seeds start to pop (see below). Spoon over the curry, scatter with the coriander, onion, chilli, and a drizzle more cream, if using. Serve with naan, pilau rice and chutney.

Air fried chicken ae7f4ba

Air-fried chicken

Toss the chicken thighs in the oil, making sure they are all well-coated.

Mix the flour with the seasoning, then toss with the chicken thighs – it will be a very light coating, but you can double the flour and seasoning if you prefer a thicker coating.

Arrange the chicken in one layer on the tray of an air fryer without a paddle, and program to cook for 35 mins. Check the thighs are cooked by pulling the flesh on the underside of one away from the bone – it should come away easily and there should be no pink remaining. Cook for another 5-10 mins if needed. The skin should have bubbled and crisped up, and any excess fat from the chicken will have dripped into the base of the fryer (you can discard this). Don’t leave the chicken in the fryer, or the steam will make the skin soft again.

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Chicken & couscous one-pot

Toss the chicken thighs in half the spices and a pinch of salt until completely coated. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan with a lid. Fry chicken, skin-side down, for 10 mins until golden brown, turn over, then cook for 2 mins before removing from the pan. Pour the rest of the oil into the pan, then fry the onions and garlic for 8 mins until golden. Stir in the rest of the spices, then cook for 1 min longer. Pour over the chicken stock and scatter in the olives. Bring everything to the boil, turn down the heat, then sit the chicken, skinside up, in the stock. Cover the pan with a lid, then simmer gently for 35-40 mins until the chicken is tender. Put the kettle on, then lift the chicken onto a plate and keep warm. Take the pan off the heat. Stir the lemon juice and couscous into the saucy onions in the pan and top up with enough boiling water just to cover the couscous if you need to. Place the lid back on the pan, then leave to stand for 5 mins until the couscous is cooked through. Fluff through half the parsley and the lemon zest, then sit the chicken on top. Scatter with the rest of the parsley and zest before serving.

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Low-fat chicken biryani

In a mixing bowl, stir together the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and yogurt with some pepper and ¼ tsp salt. Tip in the chicken pieces and stir to coat (see step 1, above). Cover and marinate in the fridge for about 1 hr or longer if you have time. Warm the milk to tepid, stir in the saffron and set aside. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Slice each onion in half lengthways, reserve half and cut the other half into thin slices. Pour 1½ tbsp of the oil onto a baking tray, scatter over the sliced onion, toss to coat, then spread out in a thin, even layer (step 2). Roast for 40-45 mins, stirring halfway, until golden. When the chicken has marinated, thinly slice the reserved onion. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté or frying pan. Fry the onion for 4-5 mins until golden. Stir in the chicken, a spoonful at a time, frying until it is no longer opaque, before adding the next spoonful (this helps to prevent the yogurt from curdling). Once the last of the chicken has been added, stir-fry for a further 5 mins until everything looks juicy. Scrape any sticky bits off the bottom of the pan, stir in the chilli powder, then pour in 100ml water, cover and simmer on a low heat for 15 mins. Remove and set aside. Cook the rice while the chicken simmers. Heat another 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan, then drop in the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves and cumin seeds. Fry briefly until their aroma is released. Tip in the rice (step 3) and fry for 1 min, stirring constantly. Stir in the stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 8 mins or until all the stock has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave with the lid on for a few mins, so the rice can fluff up. Stir the garam masala into the remaining 1½ tsp oil and set aside. When the onions are roasted, remove and reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Spoon half the chicken and its juices into an ovenproof dish, about 25 x 18 x 6cm, then scatter over a third of the roasted onions. Remove the whole spices from the rice, then layer half of the rice over the chicken and onions. Drizzle over the spiced oil. Spoon over the rest of the chicken and a third more onions. Top with the remaining rice (step 4) and drizzle over the saffron-infused milk. Scatter over the rest of the onions, cover tightly with foil and heat through in the oven for about 25 mins. Serve scattered with the mint and coriander.

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Cumin-scented chicken curry

Pull the skin off the chicken using kitchen paper to get a good grip. Set the chicken aside. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat – a wok is great for this. Fry the cumin seeds for just a few secs until they give off a lovely nutty aroma, then tip in the onions and turn the heat down low. Cook with the lid on until the onions are soft and squidgy, but not yet starting to colour – 10 mins. Scatter in the ginger, garlic and chillies and fry for a minute or so, then sprinkle in the turmeric, garam masala and paprika. Stir in the chicken and peppers and continue frying for about 10 mins until the spice mixture clings to the chicken and the onions turn russet brown. Add a splash of water if they start to catch on the bottom of the pan. Stir the tomato purée into the yogurt, turn down the heat a fraction and swirl the yogurt into the pan followed by 125ml/4fl oz cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook gently without a lid for about 30-35 mins until the chicken is tender, stirring in a little more water if the sauce becomes dry – it should thicken and take on a warm reddish tinge. Add salt if you want to. (Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.) Reheat in a covered casserole in the oven at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 20-30 mins or until bubbling (you may need to stir in a splash of water if the sauce is too thick). Scatter over coriander before serving.

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Healthier chicken balti

Put the chicken in a medium bowl. Mix in the lime juice, paprika, chilli powder and a grinding of black pepper (step 1), then leave to marinate for at least 15 mins, preferably a bit longer. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick wok or sauté pan. Tip in the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, whole chilli and cumin seeds, and stir-fry briefly just to colour and release their fragrance (step 2). Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and fry over a medium-high heat for 3-4 mins until the onion starts to turn brown. Add the remaining oil, then drop in the chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 mins or until it no longer looks raw. Mix the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander and garam masala together. Tip into the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 mins (step 3). Pour in the passata and 150ml water, then drop in the chunks of pepper. When starting to bubble, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins or until the chicken is tender. Stir in the tomato, simmer for 2-3 mins, then add the spinach and turn it over in the pan to just wilt. Season with a little salt. If you want to thin down the sauce, splash in a little more water. Remove the cinnamon stick, chilli and cardamom pods, if you wish, before serving. Scatter with fresh coriander and serve with warm chapatis or basmati rice, if you like.

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Light chicken korma

Cook the ginger, garlic and onion in a large pan with the oil until softened. Tip in the chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 5 mins, then add in garam masala and cook for 1 min further. Pour over the stock and simmer for 10 mins until the chicken is cooked through. Mix together the fromage frais and ground almonds. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the fromage frais mixture. Sprinkle over sliced almonds, garnish with coriander and serve with boiled rice, chapatis or plain naan bread.

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Yogurt & almond chicken curry

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Whizz the chillies, almonds, ginger, garlic, cream and 300ml water to a paste. Heat the oil in a large, deep ovenproof casserole and add the onion, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and 2 tsp garam masala. Fry, stirring for 1 min, then add the paste. Bring to a simmer and season with salt. Add the chicken, turning each thigh to coat it, then bring back to a simmer. Blob the yogurt over the top. Bake in the oven for 40 mins or until the chicken is cooked through (spoon any excess fat from the surface). Sprinkle with the remaining garam masala and the coriander. Serve with naan or rice.

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One-pan prawn & tomato curry

Heat the oil in a deep-sided frying pan and cook the onion for 8-10 mins until it starts to turn golden. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for 1-2 mins. Stir in the sugar and spices for 1 min, then splash in the vinegar and tomatoes. Season with salt and simmer for 5 mins, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the prawns, reduce the heat and cook for 8-10 mins until cooked through – if the sauce gets really thick, add a splash of water. Remove from the heat, stir though most of the coriander. Serve straight from the dish scattered with the remaining coriander and the rice, yogurt, chutney and salad in separate bowls.

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Family meals: Mild chicken curry

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan. Fry the onions gently for 5 – 10 mins until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, mustard seeds, garam masala and cumin and cook for 1 – 2 min allowing the aromas to release. Add the chicken and cook for 10 mins over a gentle heat, flipping occasionally and making sure the spices don’t catch. Pour in around 300 ml boiling water until almost covering. Stir in the stock cube and cinnamon stick. Simmer for around 45 mins – 1 hour with the lid off so there is a small amount of thickened sauce at the bottom of the pan. Remove the cinnamon stick. Stir in the yogurt and sultanas, heat through gently and serve. Scatter with coriander, if using.

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Aromatic prawn & cashew curry

Put the onion, ginger, garlic, chillies and coriander stalks in a small food processor, or pestle and mortar, and mix to a paste. Meanwhile, heat the butter or ghee and oil in a large pan. Add the paste to the pan and stir-fry for 5 mins to soften. Add the garam masala and cook for a further 2 mins until aromatic. Meanwhile, toast the cashew nuts in a small pan until golden. Tip half into the food processor and blend until finely ground. Set aside the remaining cashews. Add the blended cashews, the tomatoes and the chicken stock to the pan. Season and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered with a lid, for 45 mins. Add the prawns and cook for a further 2-3 mins until they turn pink, then add the yogurt and double cream and stir well. Scatter with the coriander leaves and the remaining cashew nuts, and serve with rice and naan bread.

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Aromatic chicken curry

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan, then fry the onions gently for about 10 mins until softened and lightly golden. Add the spices and chicken, then fry for 2 mins, stirring to coat the meat. Dissolve the creamed coconut in 500ml boiling water, then pour into the pan and stir well. Season with salt, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with basmati rice or naan bread.