I have one cupboard in my house that I absolutely love. Most people might now start discussing a chocolate or snack cupboard but mine is my spice cupboard. It is chocked full of herbs and spices and I have always loved it – there is even one very large tin that has the huge bags of spices that might spill out if they were just thrown into the cupboard in it which occasionally I can admit, that I open and just drink in the smell. Coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom and saffron, a huge bag I bought when visiting my brother and family when they lived in UAE.
Of course the trick to cooking really great food sometimes is about what you add to it – if it can’t be butter, cream and oil then it shall taste better with herbs and spices added. The trick with curries generally is cooking everything well, there are some that you can just throw in and don’t require a lot and then there are others that require just a little more love and attention. For this dish I use a whole chicken as it is better value but if you prefer you can use drumsticks, thighs or even breast and it works. I serve this with plain rice as it is just a weeknight supper for us but you can make this into an all out feast and add other dishes and some flavoured rice and breads – just remember to syn those though.
Indian Chicken Stew with Potatoes and Tomato Sauce – Syn Free – serves 6
- Fry light
- One whole chicken
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. finely grated ginger
- 2 Tbsp. tomato puree
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- chicken stock
Portion chicken into pieces the same size
Season chicken with salt and pepper and place skin side down in to the pan sprayed with a little fry light. Cook until golden brown without turning, about 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
To the same pot, add onion, garlic and ginger, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, about 8–10 minutes. Add tomato puree, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste is beginning to darken, about 5 minutes.
Add chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is almost falling off the bone and liquid is slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 hours. If using bone-in chicken, remove chicken to a plate and carefully remove chicken from the bone and discard skin and bones. Cut or pull chicken into bite-sized pieces. Return chicken pieces to the pot.
Add potatoes to the pot and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are fork-tender and sauce is thickened, 30-45 minutes. *Check and stir every so often to ensure the sauce hasn’t thickened too much and potatoes aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. If sauce is too thick, thin with a bit more chicken stock.
Spoon stew over some warm basmati rice and top with a little coriander.