Saturday, 6 March 2010

Burb's Basic Chicken Curry

Ingredients (For 2 People)

2 Chicken Breasts
1 Tin Chopped Tomato
2 cloves garlic
1 Stem of Ginger
2 Finger Chilli’s
2 Large Onions
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1 Teaspoon Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Star Anise
5 Cardamom Pods
Knob of butter (matchbox size)
¾ mug of basmati rice

Equipment you will need:

Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 1 Wok or Large Frying pan, 1 Sauce pan, 2 soup bowls and a ladle.

Slice the chicken into strips about the size of your finger and leave in one of the bowls. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala over the chicken and mix thoroughly, leave this in the fridge while you get a few more things ready. Take your second bowl and put each of the other dried spices into the bowl Cumin, Coriander, Mustard seeds, Star Anise and Cardamom), now give it a good mix. Chop the onions into pieces about the same size as the chicken, cut the chilli lengthways and remove the seeds, chop the chilli as fine as you can (mind those fingers you need them to make the rest of the dish!). Now wash your hands thoroughly. Take a piece of ginger the size of a 10p piece and slice finely and leave with the chilli on the side of the chopping board. Crush and chop the garlic and put with the chilli and the ginger.


Heat the wok or frying pan up to a high temperature and add a capful of vegetable oil. You will know if the pan is hot enough because the oil will slide around the pan easily and quickly. Add the onions and fry until softened, once soften add the dry spices and keep the onion and the spices moving for a few minutes. Add the butter and the chicken from the fridge, keeping everything moving. Once the chicken has started to colour then add the chilli, ginger and garlic and stir for another two minutes. Add the tin tomatoes, mix thoroughly and add enough water to cover chicken. Once the water has just started to boil, turn the heat down to simmer for 30 – 40 mins. You will need to check back every 10 min to stir.

Almost There

The smells from the pan should be filling your nose with the aroma of India. Now put a pan of water on to boil, add a good pinch of salt. Once the water has started to boil add the rice and stir well. The water would have stopped boiling now because you put rice in the pan, so wait till it starts boiling again and turn the heat down to simmer. The rice will take 10 minutes.

Just before your rice is ready check the consistency of your curry, if it is too sloppy then you can thicken it with thickening granules or tomato puree. If the curry is too thick for you then add a little water at a time and keep stirring. Now for the taste test before you serve, add season to taste. In all the times I have made this I have never had to go overboard with salt and pepper, I have had to sweeten it a few times with a tablespoon of sugar or a good squirt of tomato ketchup. It is down to personal taste and the wonderful thing about Curry is because there are many spices in the dish you can tailor it exactly to your taste buds. Introducing the spices at different times of the cooking process will give a different flavour even though you are using the same quantities of spice. So just experiment with the flavours and get it right for you the important thing is not to be afraid of the flavours because they all go together.
You have adjusted the seasoning and the rice is ready! Drain the rice of any excess water and spoon onto a warm plate, ladle your curry onto the side of the plate. Tuck in and enjoy all your hard work.