Curry – a word so commonly misused; thought off as the greasy thick paste so heavy on the stomach, that heartburn becomes only inevitable. Well.. not so the case if they are home-made from scratch with fresh ingredients and only using a fraction of the oil usually used for its’ preparation. This recipe is no different, and in fact is very fresh, light and summery. I wish I could claim the recipe to be my entire creation, however, it is a skill best left to the masters of spice, and me, only to learn and follow instructions. The dish reminded me of my university days, the days when I began experimenting the wonderful and exciting world of culinary creations. Being a student and obviously slightly broke, I used to browse second-hand book shops for something enticing, often leaving the shop empty-handed. Until one day I conjured up the courage and got a full priced newly released cookbook by Anjum Anand – Indian Food Made Easy. Her style was fresh, modern and her recipes were lighter to what my perception of Indian food was. It became one of my favourites and I still use it along with some other new publications.
Anjum suggests using a blender to combine the dry spices and the wet ingredients to form a thick green paste. If you own one of those powerful blenders, then by all means mix everything all together. I had to grind the dry spices first, blend the wet ingredients and then mix them together. If you don’t have a blender, I suggest using a pestle and mortar to grind the dry spices, and then carry on with the rest of the ingredients.
Radish and Coriander Green Chicken – Serves 6 – Adapted from Indian Food Made Easy
Note: Recipe can be easily halved, or any extra paste can be frozen. The original recipe calls for 120 g coriander, but I have split that between 30 g coriander and 90 g radish leaves. You can easily replace the radish leaves with spinach or other leafy greens.
- 30 g / 1 cup fresh coriander stalks
- 90 g / 3 cups fresh radish leaves, thick stalks removed
- 1 medium red onion
- 1/2 or 1 green chilli, de-seeded
- 5 garlic cloves
- 12 g fresh ginger (about a large thumb size)
- 12 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 cloves
- 1 shard of cinnamon
- 6 green cardamom pods, peeled
For the curry
- 1 tablespoon ghee, butter or vegetable oil of your choice
- 1/2 medium onion, or 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
- 1 kg chicken breasts (about 2 large ones), cut into cubes
- 200 ml water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
Blend together the ingredients for the paste, that is if you have a powerful blender with the ability to grind dry and wet together. Otherwise, do as I did, grind the dry spices separately and then combine with the wet ingredients. Add a splash of olive oil, if need be, to loosen the mixture in the blender.
Heat the ghee (or oil) in a saucepan and fry the onion/shallot until soft and beginning to brown. Add the paste and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often over a medium to high heat, adding a splash of water if necessary. Stir in the chicken, water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over a low heat until the chicken is cooked, around 18-20 minutes.
Uncover and cook off all the extra water in the pan over a high heat, stirring often. Then adjust the seasoning and stir in the lemon juice. Chop the reserved coriander and stir in. Serve with rice, flat bread or grain of your choice. Of course served with Mr A’s salad in our household!