Fragrant Chicken & Chickpea Curry

Here’s another recipe request for SW. Hope you enjoy making this as much as I did!

I’ll be honest here – this isn’t a quick-fix kind of meal. I think the marinating, reducing, simmering, and garnishing are well worth the hassle . . . but, then again, I’m the sort of person who is quite happy to spend an entire day cooking a single dish!

If you do spend the extra time and effort, you’ll be rewarded with succulent chicken and rich, tangy gravy. The sides are optional up to your preference. I went with fluffy steamed rice, cheesy air-fried garlic naan, and homemade cucumber & coriander yoghurt (pictured below).

Of course, one should probably use ghee if they’re being “traditional”. I used a mixture of butter and coconut oil, but any unflavored vegetable oil will do to fry your aromatics. The last time I made this, I wasn’t feeling a super heavy meal so I threw in a bit of coconut milk. In saying that, sometimes all you want is that fulsome richness you get from regular cream! You can also stir in a final knob of butter right at the end if you’re after that glossy sheen.

This recipe can be gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, nut-free, and dairy-free.

Serves 3-4

Preparation time: 30 minutes (plus refrigeration time)

Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  • 500 grams chicken breast (or thighs)
  • 2 Tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-inch knob ginger, minced

Curry:

  • 2-3 Tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil/butter), divided
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-inch knob ginger, minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 x 400 grams can diced tomatoes
  • 1 x 400 grams can chickpeas, drained
  • 250 mL coconut milk (or coconut/regular cream, see above)
  • lime juice, stevia (or brown sugar), salt, to taste
  • fresh coriander, yoghurt, fried garlic/shallots, to garnish

Method:

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine in a bowl with the rest of the Marinade ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or, ideally, overnight).
  2. In a large frying pan or wok, heat 1 Tablespoon of ghee/oil over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry until beginning to brown. At this point, toss in the garlic and ginger and cook until golden.
  3. Lower the heat and stir in the onion, cooking until softened. Add the remaining spices and fry for a few minutes before tipping in the canned tomatoes. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced and darkened in colour.
  4. Remove the tomato mixture to a separate bowl. Wipe out the frying pan and add another spoonful of ghee/oil; increase heat to high. Fry the chicken (with its marinade) in two batches – you want it to develop a nice dark crust.
  5. Return the tomato mixture to the chicken in your pan. Add the chickpeas and coconut milk and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow it to bubble away for a few minutes, ensuring the chicken is cooked through. At this stage, season to taste with salt, lime/lemon juice, and a little stevia (or sugar). You can also stir through a blob of butter at this stage – but this is completely optional!
  6. Remove from heat and swirl through a few dollops of yoghurt, if desired. Sprinkle over freshly chopped coriander (and crispy fried shallots/garlic, if you have them!). Serve immediately with sides of your choice and enjoy! 🙂

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