Monday, July 4, 2011

Easy Chicken & Spinach Curry

Oh Monday night.. when you work full time, it's the hardest day to get through. You get home,you want to eat but imagination is low and creativity in the kitchen isn't that high on the radar either. However, I was craving Lamb Saag like nobodies business. I went to the supermercado and all they had in the way of affordable lamb were shanks. So I bought them thinking a nice,slow roast would make them perfect with that sauce and a pile of spinach. I also bought some F.R chicken drumsticks thinking I'd get clever and make chicken & veg soup for a couple of meals this week.

Then I got home.

The hunger gland kicked in and I knew there was no way I was going to wait 2 to 3 hours for shanks to get to that tender-fall off the bone-cut it with a spoon stage. So lamb saag became chicken saag. This is how it all went down;

  • Chicken
  • Spinach-
  • A splodge of oil (vegetable or olive)
  • A wodge of butter
  • Onion(s), chopped anyway you like 
  • Heaped tablespoon of Baba's Spice Mix *
  • Garlic (minced or smashed)
  • Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger ( minced or fine julienne)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh curry leaves- about 12 should do it- I love them.**
  • Chilli (you decide the heat)
  • Cream- you decide on light,full cream,pouring or coconut and the amount you want
Put on a CD and start prepping your ingredients. Have a sing song whilst your slicing and dicing.

In a heavy bottomed (hee hee hee) pan, heat the oil and butter. Add the onion,garlic,ginger,chilli and spice mix and sweat it down-careful not to burn. You want it translucent,not brown. Make sure your heat isn't too high. If using a cast iron pot, it retains the heat nicely so it should be a lower heat. Add your chicken thighs and keep turning till they change colour. Add your can of tomatoes and curry leaves,stir and cover. You may need about half a can of water to make sure it doesn't burn.

Let this simmer for at least an hour. Keep tasting to check the seasoning. Add your spinach. About five or so minutes before you think it's ready, add the cream. Don't do it early or the cream will split and then it all goes horribly wrong.

When you feel it's ready, serve with Basmati rice. Remember the culinary jazz aspect and improvise for the amount of people you're cooking for.

*My dear friend,Sabrina's sweet mum whom I will refer to hereon in as Mama Elias,gives me jars of her homemade chilli paste which kicks all chilli pastes arse as far as I'm concerned. She also put me on to this stupendous ready to go spice mix. I love making my own mixes,but when you're short on time but still want quality, Babas is the bomb. You can pick it up from most Asian grocers and it will set you back about $2.50.

**Curry leaves should always be used fresh or else they are shit. These can also be purchased at Asian grocers and are usually found near the front counter.

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