Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Tikka Masala
Last night I was craving a really good curry, having not had one in absolutely ages. Usually in this situation I head to the supermarket and grab a jar or pre-made curry paste to get me started or if I’m feeling lazy, a jar of ready made sauce. If I’m feeling ever lazier still, I’ll grab the phone and order a takeaway curry. Now, while takeaway curries might be yummy and by far the easiest option, they are also chock full of naughty fats that I could be doing without so soon after Christmas.
I had a wee bit of spare last night so I decided to try and have a go at doing a curry from scratch, toasting and grinding my own spices and making up the curry paste. It did take a wee while longer to prep everything but it really was worth all of the extra effort. The curry was absolutely delicious and despite being really rich and flavoursome, actually tasted really fresh and felt quite light too, something you just don’t get with a takeaway which is full of ghee.
I can’t take credit for this recipe, it came from the Jamie Oliver website (click here for original recipe) but I did make a few wee tweaks of my own to suit my own tastes. You can have a play around yourself to get it exactly how you like it.
4 chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
5 cm piece of ginger
½ a bunch of fresh coriander
1 fresh red chilli
1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
½ x 400g tin of coconut milk
1 small handful of flaked almonds
fat-free natural yogurt
2 tablespoon tomato puree
Tikka Masala Paste
1-2 fresh red chillies
2 cloves of garlic
5 cm piece of ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons numeric
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 bunch of fresh coriander
2 tablespoons ground almonds
To make the curry paste, halve, deseed and roughly chop the chilli(es), then peel the garlic and ginger.
Place a frying pan over a medium-high heat and scatter in the cumin and coriander seeds. Lightly toast for a few minutes, or until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove from the heat. Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or whiz to a powder in a food processor. Once ground, add the toasted spices to a food processor along with the remaining paste ingredient and ½ teaspoon of sea salt, then whiz to a smooth paste. Put aside.
Slice the chicken lengthways into 2cm strips. On a clean chopping board, peel, halve and finely slice the onions. Peel and finely slice the ginger, then pick the coriander leaves and put to one side, finely chopping the stalks along with the chilli.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole pan over a medium-high heat, add the onions, chilli, ginger and coriander stalks, then cook for around 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden. Add the chicken and half of the tikka masala paste, stirring well so everything is nicely coated. Season with salt and black pepper, add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a spoon, and the coconut milk, then bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the meat is tender, then add in 2 tablespoons of tomato puree to thicken the sauce.
Divide the curry between bowls, sprinkle over the almonds and coriander leaves. Add a dollop of yoghurt and a wedge of lemon to each bowl. Delicious served with fluffy rice.