Ingredients4 chicken breasts cut into small chunks
50g ghee or vegetable oil (not olive oil)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled
2 tbsp water
2 cardamom pods, cracked open
1 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 level tsp ground coriander
1 level tsp ground cumin
Half tin coconut milk or half a block of creamed coconut
125g plain yoghurt
125g single cream (or milk)
Chopped fresh coriander (optional)
Handful toasted sliced almonds or cashew nuts (optional)
Vegetables of your choice (whatever your child will eat) carrots, mushrooms, peas, sweetcorn or pepper work well.
Handy HintAdjust the spices according to taste. Fresh chillies can be added to the paste or cayenne pepper added if you like a hotter spicier curry. The onion, ginger and garlic paste can form the basis for any home-made curry paste. The chicken can be substituted with vegetables, prawns, tofu or lamb. Ghee is clarified butter. You can clarify butter yourself at home or buy ghee in tins from Asian supermarkets.
Method1. First, make a paste by blending the onion, garlic and ginger and water in a blender (or food processor).
2. Melt the ghee or heat up the oil in a heavy based saucepan or wok.
3. Add the cardamon, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves and ground coriander and cumin.
4. Stir fry for 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the spices.
5. Add the onion garlic and ginger paste and fry, stirring, until it turns a light golden colour, about 6-8 minutes on low heat.
6. Add the chicken pieces and vegetables if using. Fry, stirring regularly, until the chicken has all changed colour on the outside.
7. Add about 100ml water or chicken stock (or enough to cover the chicken pieces) and the coconut and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and leave to simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is tender and the liquid has reduced.
8. Now mix the yoghurt and cream together and slowly add to the chicken, and then heat through gently, taking care that the curry doesn't boil at all, for about 4 minutes. Beware, if it does boil the yoghurt could split leaving you with a curdled mess.
9. Before serving, pick out the cardamom pods, cloves and bay leaves and discard.
10. Sprinkle over the toasted nuts and chopped coriander if using. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread.