Aromatic chicken curry bowls with fluffy cardamom basmati rice is the perfect dinner when served with fresh tomato and onion salsa.
So here we are. The very first post of 2015. I’m not going to say “Wow, how the heck is it 2015 already?” even though I really want to. Like really, really want to. Instead I’ll say that I am so not ready for this year, even though we’re 14 days in already. First of all, we’ve just come back from a 3 weeks+ idyllic holiday at the coast where days were spent lazing on the beach, eating fresh mangoes and litchis by the box-full and sipping gin & tonics as the sun dips below the horizon. We slept late and relaxed the time away and it’s always quite hard coming back to reality after that, right?
But to add insult to injury, this it the year that my darling babies go to the first grade. Big school. Wait. What? How? How were they just teeny tiny newborns the other day and now I’m marking school uniforms and making sure all their pencils, pens and books are in their bags? You know, as a parent there are many things people prepare you for but I feel like there should be even more emphasis put on the fact that time goes by scarily fast once you have kids. And perhaps some type of course where mothers can learn to deal with it all. Because me? Not so much. I was the one this morning hiding my red, watery eyes and runny mascara behind big sunglasses before sobbing some more on the way home.
So despite the intense heat we’ve been experiencing this week, I needed some quick, fiery comfort last night. I have also been craving proper curry for the better part of a month now so I knew that curry was the way to go. I decided to make a relatively easy chicken curry bursting with deep, aromatic flavours. I served the curry with Basmati rice which I cooked with cracked cardamom pods which infused the rice just ever so slightly with it’s heady aroma and topped the bowls off with a super-quick tomato and onion salsa of sorts, some fresh chillies and a few fresh coriander leaves. A dollop of cooling yoghurt wouldn’t be out of place here so you could definitely add a bit should you want that creaminess.
This definitely hit the spot and sorted out my blues big time (bowl-food in general does that, right?), and it took all of 30 minutes to get this from prep to plate which I think is quite impressive, considering we’re working with curry here. Quick comfort, done right.
- 600g skinless, de-boned chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 tablespoon mixed masala (or curry spice of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons crushed ginger
- 1 teaspoon mixed masala spice
- 1 x 400g can whole tomatoes
- 1 x 400ml can coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- salt to taste
- 2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- large handful fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped
- squeeze of fresh lemon/lime juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cardamom Basmati rice, see method below
- fresh chillies, sliced
- fresh coriander
- To make the cardamom Basmati rice, simply follow packet instructions and add 4 crushed cardamom pods to the rice as it cooks.
- Combine the chicken with all the spices and oil and mix well. Allow to stand for 10 minutes while you fry the onions.
- In a large pot, heat a splash of vegetable oil then saute the onions until they are golden brown.
- Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute until the mixture is aromatic.
- Add the chicken to the pot and allow to brown for 5 minutes before pouring in the tomatoes and coconut milk. If the curry looks a bit dry to you, you can add a cup or so of water or stock.
- Turn the heat down and allow the chicken to simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
- While the curry is cooking, combine all the ingredients of the salsa and season well.
- When the curry is cooked, adjust the seasoning by adding lemon juice, sugar and salt to taste.
- Serve the curry over the cardamom rice with a generous spoonful of salsa, fresh chillies and fresh coriander.