I loved the homemade Rogan Josh so much that I decided I needed another, milder, curry up my sleeve that was equally delicious and just like a restaurant curry. Thankfully I realised that the recipe book that had provided me with the Rogan Josh recipe was actually harbouring a biryani recipe too. It was just buried in the seafood section as a prawn biryani (and amusingly they felt it would serve 8 people when we made it stretch to 3 people on sensibly small servings).
Like the Rogan Josh recipe there is some plain yoghurt in this so for those of you completely avoiding all forms of dairy you might want to give this a miss. I will try it with just coconut milk sometime to find out if it works.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
For the spice paste:
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp fresh ginger root (about 1cm of root), finely chopped
2 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns
2 green cardamom pods, pods split and green outer shell removed
¾ tsp ground cinnamon or 2.5 cm piece of cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 fresh green chilli, chopped (if you discard all the seeds this gives a very mild curry – keep up to half the seeds to make it spicier)
½ tsp salt
For the curry:
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp whole mustard seeds (black if you can get them)
500g chicken breasts, chopped into chunks
300ml coconut milk
300ml natural yoghurt
- Put all the ingredients for the spice paste into a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind into a smooth paste. I use an electric hand blender for this but if you don’t have one then it can be done in a pestle and mortar – you’ll just find that you have to work hard to get the paste smooth (and you might want to have grated the ginger instead of just chopping it).
- Heat the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan and add the mustard seeds. Heat until the mustard seeds start popping then add the chicken and keep the chicken moving over a high heat until it is sealed and starting to brown all over.
- Stir in the spice mix and then stir in the coconut milk and yoghurt. Bring the liquid to a simmer and scrape and bits off the bottom of the pan into the curry mix.
- Leave to simmer uncovered over a medium heat for 20 minutes.
Stir thoroughly, unsticking anything that has got stuck to the bottom of the pan. You are now going to reduce the water off the to bring it to a thick consistency. Turn the heat up until the curry is boiling vigorously and watch it while it reduces, stirring frequently to stop it sticking on the bottom and burning. How long it takes will depend on how much water the chicken released at the start of the cooking process. It took me a further 10 minutes of boiling to reduce it to a thick consistency but watch it closely. The consistency you are after is that thick, slightly grainy, sauce that restaurant curries have.