Yet another family favourite and another curry! We love a curry and I have been on a quest to find a few homemade ones that are easy, healthy and delicious. This one is a hairy bikers chicken balti and one of the few recipes where I use chicken breast and it works perfectly. You can use a curry paste but I generally use balti, not just because of it’s taste but it’s a good excuse to use my balti dishes and my Karahi ( cooking pan ) I’m a sucker for buying anything for the kitchen I’m not particularly gadget mad but I do love buying crockery, serving bowls and platters!! To name but a few of my weaknesses! … Back to the recipe, as always when preparing a curry take your time with the onions it’s really important to get the base right. Also make sure you use ripe tomatoes, there really isn’t a lot of prep and what there is is very quick and simple. Patak’s is the paste I always use you can buy it everywhere, I keep at little stock in my larder.
The onion mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead covered and kept in the fridge so this can be a super speedy midweek supper. And it’s all in one-pot!! I serve it with rice and naan bread with some of my homemade mango chutney on the side. Because of the readymade paste you don’t need a ridiculously large selection of spices, so it’s a short shopping list that wont leave you with jars of spices that you won’t use. Below is the recipe without any tweaks, it easily doubles up so it’s great for a crowd all you’ll need to do is place a big pot on the table with the side dishes and let everyone help themselves.
You will need: A pot with a lid and a stick blender or a processor
- 15g butter
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 large onions, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 25g fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp medium curry paste, or balti curry paste
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in to bite-sized chunks
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 4 fresh ripe tomatoes, quartered
- 200g baby spinach leaves
To prepare the sauce base, melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large no-stick frying pan or a saucepan because you will need a lid. 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, stirring 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 onion mixture with the stick blender or processor and blend until smooth as possible. Tip the onion mixture into a bowl and set aside. This is where you can keep it covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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.
Add all the spiced onion mixture, 175ml just boiled water, salt, sugar and tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for 4 mins. 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.
That’s it done! I sometimes make it ahead and heat it up when I need it. Serve with rice and or with naan bread.