Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Pin It Do It - Chicken Balti

I recently pinned this yummy looking curry and Roz immediately tried it out.  She forgot to take any pictures though, bad blogger - tut tut, so I decided to have a go myself since she loved it so much!

I made a mistake though in following the recipe.  I hadn't realised when I planned to make this that it used a curry paste.  I'd copied the list of ingredients into an email to myself and headed off to the shops without noticing.  I therefore bought a paste but was a bit disappointed that it was a bit of a cheat.  It also turned out that the paste did ruin it slightly as it turned out to be pretty sweet which we didn't really like.  I wish we'd realised before and planned to make our own paste which it turns out is what Roz did.

I'm sharing the recipe anyway as we made some adjustments in the end which made it much nicer and I would make it again using my own paste next time.

15g butter
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
25g chunk of fresh root ginger,
peeled and roughly chopped 
2–3 tbsp medium curry paste 
or balti curry paste 
1 tbsp tomato purée 
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
175ml just-boiled water 
½ tsp flaked sea salt 
1 tsp caster sugar 
4 fresh ripe tomatoes, quartered 
200–225g bag of baby spinach leaves

To prepare the sauce base, melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. You need a pan with a lid, so if you don't have one handy, use a large non-stick saucepan instead. Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the pan, then cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until very soft. Stir occasionally.

Remove the lid from the pan and turn up the heat. Cook the onion mixture for 2–3 minutes more, stirring constantly, until well coloured. Add the curry paste to the pan, turn down the heat slightly and cook with the onions for 3 minutes more, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomato purée.

Blitz the spiced onions with a stick blender or tip them into a food processor and blend until as smooth as possible. Tip the onion mixture into a bowl and set aside. If you like, you can keep the mixture, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Cut each chicken breast into 7 or 8 bite-sized chunks. Place the pan used to cook the onion mixture back over a medium heat and add the remaining oil and the chicken pieces. Fry the chicken for 3 minutes, turning often, until lightly coloured all over.

Next, add all the spiced onion mixture, water, salt, sugar and tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes.

Add the spinach in a few handfuls, allowing each to soften a little before adding the next.

Cook for a further minute, stirring regularly, or until the chicken is cooked through, the tomatoes are softened and the spinach has wilted. Serve with warmed naan bread or freshly cooked rice.

Like I said, it was a bit too sweet for us so next time I would leave out the sugar and would try to avoid using a ready made paste.  After tasting it with the rice, it was still too sweet and a bit bland, there was no depth of flavour despite cooking the onions and garlic for a while and simmering all the flavours together at the end.  We added a bit more salt, a little more curry paste for some extra spice and some yoghurt to mellow out the sweetness.  It ended up much nicer.


Unknown said...

Bex I actually did the same as you and didn't realise I needed paste! I simply mixed lots of yummy smelling spices (turmeric, paprika, cumin etc) with some oil and improvised! We really loved ours and I also added lots of mushrooms :)

Need to make it again soon!

Ailsa Britain said...

Looks lovely - I'll definitely be trying that one!

Unknown said...

I think I'll be trying it with our own home made paste and keep in mind your alterations!

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