Now, everyone knows that I love to make my own curry spice mixtures, my masalas, and even my own pastes, but time does not always afford me such a luxury, to be honest. So I normally keep around some basic commercially produced pastes for when I am in a rush. I don't go for very complicated ones, but just the basic, starter-for-ten pastes that I can then add to.
In this recipe, I started with some Pataks Mild Curry paste, a pretty straightforward item, but there are a lot of interesting pastes out there. Lazziza is a great company and their spices are nice and hot.
I am a great believer in cooking curries in a wok or frying pan, especially chicken. The modern chicken (unlike the old boilers) is a very tender affair and does not appreciate being cooked to death – again. Cooking in a frying pan is faster and kinder to the dear bird!
- 1 chicken - jointed
- 1 very large onions
- 1 inch cube ginger
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons Curry Paste - a nice basic one
- 2 teaspoons ground Garam Masala
- flesh of one Coconut - cut into cubes
- juice of half a Lemon
- 10 Curry Leaf
- 8 small green Chilli Peppers - Optional
- 1 large handful coriander leaf - Chopped
- 3 tablespoons Ghee
- 2 tablespoons Cream - Double (Heavy)
- 1 tin coconut milk
Joint the chicken into 8 pieces – see here for instructions, but leave the bones in for flavour.
put the garlic, onion and ginger into a blender and blitz into a paste.
Heat the ghee in a large frying pan to a medium heat and add the onion mixture. Always go for the biggest pan you can so that the chicken is not all cramped together.
Cook for at least 10 minutes, stirring to make sure it does not burn. This first bit of cooking is essential to a good curry, don't cheat on the time!
Add the garam masala and chillies, if you are using them, and cook for a minute. For a milder curry, de-seed and de-vein the chillis, or leave them out of course. But they do add a nice fruitiness as well as heat. Add the curry paste and stir well. Cook for two minutes.
Put in the chicken pieces and cook till they are brown and nearly done. Remove the chicken and keep warm on one side.
Add the curry leaves and the coriander leaf and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the coconut milk (don't shake the tin and just scoop out the thick white coconut, leaving the water aside), stir well, reduce the heat and leave to cook for 10 minutes till it gets thick. If it gets too thick for you, add the coconut water.
In a separate pan, heat a little oil and fry the coconut flesh till it is just turning colour. Drain on kitchen towel.
Add the chicken and the coconut to the curry and continue cooking till the chicken is fully cooked. Stir in the lemon juice and the cream. Cook for a couple of minutes more till the oil rises and then serve.
You can serve this with rice, but I prefer it with bread and a nice dry veg curry. It is a rich curry, so dont serve huge portions. If you want it less hot, deseed the chillies or leave them out. I like hot curries with coconut flesh personally – it is a wonderful contrast between the sweetness of the coconut, and the surprise of the chillies!