When I was invited to try out one of the spice pairings from the Tilda rice and spice guide I must admit I looked at the recipe list for this curry and thought ahhh a zillion ingredients and what a faff. But I do love to try new recipes and I haven’t made a proper from scratch curry in a long time so I was ready for the challenge.
Boy is it worth it?! Wow. By far the best curry I’ve ever made and I’d even go so far as to say as one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Packed full of flavour but no silly amount of heat I thoroughly enjoyed both making it and eating it.
Now don’t be put off by the ingredient list or the recipe stages but just look at it as the necessary process for a delectable dish. Hats off to you Dhruv.
A little tip for you: if you don’t have a spice grinder then use a good blender such as a Vitamix to grind your spices or risk aching hands!
Dhruv Baker’s perfect Chicken Curry
You will need:
75g desiccated coconut
2 x cinnamon stick
2 x star anise
3 whole dried red chillies
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp fennel seeds
100ml of water
3 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp vegetable oil
3 x red onions, finely chopped
4 x cloves garlic finenly chopped
2 x tsp grated fresh ginger
6 x tbsp fresh curry leaves
8 x tomatoes finely chopped
500g boneless chicken thighs (skin removed)
200ml water or chicken stock
1 x small bunch fresh coriander finenly chopped
1 x green chilli finely chopped (optional if you like it hot-I didn’t use this)
A squeeze of lemon
Toast the coconut in a pan over a low heat, stirring until it turns golden brown.
2. Remove the coconut onto a plate and into the same pan add the cinnamon sticks, dried chillies, peppercorns, star anise and fennel seeds. Roast in the pan for 3-4 minutes then add the ground coriander and chilli powder and stir for a minute. Add 100ml of water to form a paste and cook for two minutes.
3. Remove the cinnamon sticks, star anise and whole chillies and keep for later. Add the toasted coconut, cinnamon powder, turmeric and salt to the pan. Add everything to a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a smooth paste.
4. Heat the oil in the same pan and slowly cook the onions until they are soft – this will take about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes then turn up the heat and add the curry leaves and stir for a minute.
5. Add the tomatoes and the spice paste, return the cinnamon stick, star anise and chillie to the pan and cook for five minutes, stirring until you end up with a smooth paste and the oil starts to separate out
6. Remove half the mixture and freeze or place in an airtight container, which will keep in the fridge for a week or so.
7. To cook the rice, add 2 measures of cold water to one measure of Tilda Pure Basmati. Bring to the boil, reduce to a low heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, stand covered for 5 minutes. Lightly fork the grains before serving. For best results, soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes, then rinse in a sieve with cold water
8. Add the chicken and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Add 200ml chicken stock remove the lid and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through
9. Remove the star anise, cinnamon and chilli, stir through the lemon juice and green chilli (if using) and scatter with the fresh coriander
Serve with Tilda Basmatic Rice. Delicious.
Why not try infusing your Basmatic rice with star anise while cooking for a truly aromatic experience?
* I was sent vouchers to purchase ingredients for this recipe.