After the thigh deep snow of last week, the weather here has adjusted itself to normal. As befits horizontal rain and hurricane force gales, today's recipe is a cheap and comforting curry. It's chunky, nourishing, and (as we discovered) lovely with wine by torchlight during a power cut. Even better, the leftovers keep well in a fridge and can be bulked out with more stir fried veg to make it stretch further. What's not to like?
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
1 onion, cut into wedges
7-8 cardomom pods, split and husks removed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon caster sugar
half a teaspoon salt
2 small chillies, red or green, deseeded and finely chopped
1 pepper (any colour) deseeded and cut into strips
2 tomatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
400g tin plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons low fat natural yoghurt or creme fraiche
Rice or toasted pitta bread to serve
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon water
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium to high heat. Add the chopped chillies, garlic, spices, sugar and salt, and the tinned tomatoes. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
2. Chop the chicken and add to the sauce. Cook for another few minutes, turning the chicken regularly until its outside surfaces are no longer raw. Add the yoghurt or creme fraiche, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
3. In a separate pan, heat the second tablespoon of olive oil over a high heat. Add the chopped onion and peppers, and cook until they are lightly browned but not soft. Add the quartered tomatoes, and fry for a couple more minutes.
4. If you would like your sauce thicker, mix the cornflour and water into a smooth paste add to the chicken mixture and stir.
5. Add the stir fried vegetables, mix well, and serve with rice or pitta bread.