There are some food awareness days/weeks we particularly look forward to and National Curry Week is certainly one of them.
It’s not just because Asian food is one of our specialities here in the SK kitchen, although that obviously makes events like this even more interesting (we don’t get as excited for World Porridge Day for example!).
We get excited about it because curry has become such a staple in our diet. When was the last time you had a curry? I bet if we carried out a poll most people would say they have one at least once a week. It’s become as British as a roast dinner!
The good thing is you don’t even now have to go to a restaurant for a good curry. Whether it’s Indian, Thai or Chinese, there are so many good ready-made curries (we remember boil in the bag curries so you have never had it so good) that you can now buy from your local supermarket, with the usual accompaniments of course, and you will often have change left from a tenner.
Despite what you might think, they are also very easy to make from scratch. The only thing you really need is a good selection of spices, so as long as you have the likes of turmeric, curry powder, coriander, cumin etc, you can’t really go wrong.
Before we share this week’s recipe, what do you think is the most popular curry in the UK? Chicken Tikka Massala? No, it’s the simple Chicken Korma. It may be a little surprising given it’s considered bland and while it wouldn’t be our first choice, what we do agree on is that the best curries are not the hottest ones. Of course, when were were young and stupid we all tried to take down a Vindaloo or a Phall, but what’s the point in eating something that renders your taste buds useless? As you get older, you learn that the best curries are the ones you can actually taste and enjoy.
And there endeth the lesson!
Chicken Tikka Masala
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 large knob of fresh root ginger, chopped,
1 red chilli, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
Seeds from 4 cardamom pods
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato purée
250ml creme fraiche
Chopped coriander leaves, to serve
1. For the tikka masala paste put the garlic, ginger and spices into a food processor and blitz. Then add the creme fraiche.
2. Mix the creme fraiche with the paste and stir in the chicken. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours.
3. Heat the oil and butter and cook add the onions on a low heat until they are soft and golden. Add the peppers and cook for a further five minutes.
4. Add the chicken to the onions and peppers, along with the tomatoes, purée and 200ml water. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
5. Add the coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice and poppadums and naan bread.