While I was staying with Mum and Dad the other week, Mum cooked up this delicious curry. It was really tasty without being too spicy. However, it contains tamarind paste and you might struggle to get this without sugar added to it, so whether you can cook this will depend on whether you can find sugar-free tamarind paste or if you aren’t too worried about a tiny hint of sugar used to preserve the tamarind paste.
We actually used Kaffir lime leaves rather than curry leaves and had to fish them out of the curry at the end because they didn’t completely disintegrate, but she assures me that if you can get hold of curry leaves they just disappear into the curry. Also, I think Mum’s always used dried curry leaves – I’m not sure you can actually get fresh curry leaves here. We also swapped the green chillis for red chillis and I’ve left this change in because it was fairly mild. If you want an even milder curry then swap these back to green chillis.
I’m not sure where she originally found it since it was a print-out from the internet, but if you do know it’s origin please do let me know so that I can credit the original creator of this great recipe.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
2 tbsp olive oil
6 curry leaves (fresh if possible, but dried will do, as will dried Kaffir Lime leaves)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
2 red chillis, deseeded and finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes (ripe), roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
6 cardamom pods, husks removed and seeds crushed to a powder
600g skinless chicken breasts (3 small/medium-sized breasts is about right), cut into large cubes
1 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 2-3 tbsp water
50ml coconut milk
- Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan (which has a lid) and add the curry leaves, frying them gently over a medium heat for a few seconds until they start to colour and release their aroma.
- Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook over the medium heat for about 5 minutes until soft and starting to brown.
- Add the chillis and tomatoes and stir over the heat for a further 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes are mushy and the mixture is well blended.
- Stir in the turmeric and cardamom powders, add the chicken and increase the heat while you fry the chicken, moving it about to get it sealed all over.
- Pour over the tamarind, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Gently simmer the curry for about 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- When ready, stir in the coconut milk, heat through, remove any dried curry leaves if still very obviously present and tough and serve.