Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Long Weekend and a Mild Chicken Curry

I don't know about others, but for me to have three days off work (in a ROW!!!) on the weekend to celebrate Easter, combined with the knowledge that I would have the luxury of time to cook more leisurely than usual, meant that I could relax and unwind.

This weekend saw the cooler mornings linger a little longer, leading me to believe that Summer has well and truly departed and Autumn has settled right in.

On Sunday afternoon, following an extended lazy few hours in bed, Byron and I pulled on our jeans and similar black t-shirts (How rock star... Wait! Is it just me or have we started to dress alike??) and drove to the market to purchase pumpkin and potatoes for dinner. I entrusted Byron with the meat purchase and to my excitement, he brought back a bag of gorgeous pink chicken thigh fillets. The sleepily churning cogs in my mind went into overdrive because it was at that moment that I realised what our delicious dinner was going to be..

Mild Chicken Curry

Serves 6

2 Tbs olive olive oil
1/2 large brown onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced (or crushed if you're a rock star)
1 small chilli, deseeded and finely diced
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs turmeric
1 Tbs finely grated ginger
1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into smallish chunks
3 chicken thigh fillets, cut into small pieces
3 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock if omitting the chicken for a vegetarian dish)
1 can diced tomatoes (you can used whole peeled tomatoes if you prefer)
4 small washed potatoes, chopped into small pieces, skin on
1 small carrot, sliced
1 bunch of coriander, washed
1 can chickpeas
1-2 bay leaves
1 cup boiling water

Brown rice
1 Pandan leaf
4 slices fresh ginger
Thick natural or Greek yoghurt

In a large pot (I used my Chasseur, because it's perfect) heat one tablespoon of olive oil over low heat, add the onion, garlic and chilli and stir with a wooden spoon until soft. Add the cumin, turmeric, freshly grated ginger and pumpkin pieces and stir to coat evenly.

In a fry pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium to high heat. Seal the chicken, then add it to the pot. Pour in the stock, and canned tomatoes then increase the heat to bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer.

When the pumpkin has slightly lost it's firmness, add the potato and carrot. Cut the stems from the coriander and chop into small pieces, add the coriander stems, bay leaves and chick peas, and simmer the curry for about 20-30 minutes. If required, you can add a cup of boiling water.

Your kitchen will fill with the beautiful aromas of the spices as they bubble away on your stove. Our entire apartment filled with the deliciously fragrant curry. It was enough to rouse Byron from his dreamy state on the lounge and being to murmur things such as, 'Mmmm smells good', and 'When can we eat it?'

Stir in the coriander leaves briefly, then serve the curry on brown rice. Brown rice really is ideal with this dish, however we had white rice on hand and it worked a treat. Byron cooked the rice with pandan leaves and slices of fresh ginger, which were removed just prior to serving.

I love how some of the pumpkin pieces become slightly mushy as it makes the curry thick and the coriander adds a distinct asian flavour to the dish, it's divine.

Best served with a dollop of thick natural yoghurt and fresh, bright green coriander leaves.

The absolute best thing about curry is that it's flavours further develop over night so that you end up with a more complex and delicious meal the following day and with ample to share, it's wonderful to reheat for friends who might happen to be enjoying an Easter long weekend too.

What did you you do for Easter?

Bella xx

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