This is one of my all-time favourite chicken curry recipes.
When I first started making this curry I used to fry the whole spices and grind them with a mortar and pestle. That was a hard task that I would often palm off onto Henry if he happened to be hanging around the kitchen. I then discovered the joy of using an electric spice grinder to do the job. It went from taking 10 minutes to taking one. Admittedly the electric grinder makes you feel a bit guilty, but you soon get over that when the labour of love becomes a non-event.
Then an even worse sin crept in. I ditched the roasted whole spices and went with the ground variety found in a packet at the Indian spice shop (or the supermarket if I happened to run out and hadn’t made the trek across town to replenish supplies). The benefit of committing these sins (making changes) means this curry is now incredibly easy to make and is ready to eat in 30 minutes. Like all fabulous curries though, the flavours just become better over time. So, although it might be ready to eat in half an hour, I’d recommend making it early, turning it off, and reheating when you’re ready to eat. And then there’s the leftovers if you happen to have any. The next day the flavours really come into their own, and you’ll wish you had more for the next day and the next, and then the one after.
What also makes this curry really special is that it is cooked in yoghurt. Once upon a time I used thick Greek yoghurt, but with the onset of lactose intolerance within the household, I now use a lactose free yoghurt, which has a much thinner consistency. Both work really well so use whichever you prefer or require.
And the final change…baby spinach leaves rather than finely chopped silverbeet. You guessed it – throw in a packet of pre-washed leaves from the supermarket and you’ve saved yourself another 5 minutes. The question is: has laziness crept in or is it just a case of cooking smarter. Whatever the reason, this curry is still amazing. Enjoy!
- 750 grams chicken tenderloins, halved widthways
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4cm piece of ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 4 cardamon pods
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 350 grams yoghurt
- 60 grams baby spinach leaves
- Heat a couple of splashes of oil in a heavy based pot. Fry onion until soft (5 - 10 minutes).
- Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes stirring so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.
- Add the spices to the pan, stir to combine and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken pieces, stir to combine and coat the chicken with the spice mix. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the yoghurt to the chicken a spoonful at a time, stirring well between each addition. This should stop the yoghurt from separating.
- Cook for 20 minutes over a low heat or until the chicken is just cooked.
- Add the spinach leaves to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the spinach is just wilted.
- Season to taste with salt.