Side Dishes & Canapes
Chicken & Poultry
I sometimes choose chicken tikka masala when I have an Indian takeaway, but usually find it way too oily - so this is a less greasy variation with a couple of A Cook’s Plot (very unauthentic) twists - you won’t find Dijon mustard in the traditional version, for a start! I’ve made a curry paste from scratch for this, but of course you could use a shop-bought one for speed if you prefer.
Start by frying the leeks in a little olive oil until soft but not browned. Meanwhile, for the curry paste, grate the ginger and crush the garlic cloves. Add to a mini food processor (or a pestle and mortar) with the coriander leaves, red chilli, and ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, garam masala and turmeric. Whizz until fairly smooth.
Chop the chicken breasts into chunks and add to the pan with the leeks and half the curry paste (the rest will freeze well for another time. Use 1.5 tbsp if using ready-made curry paste). Stir well to coat. Fry for 5 minutes then add the chopped tomatoes. Stir the cornflour into a little water and add to the tub of creme fraiche (the cornflour is a trick I learnt when making the Chicken in a creamy mustard sauce recipe for an earlier post - it stops the low-fat creme fraiche from splitting when it's heated). Pour into the pan and add the fresh bay leaves, Dijon mustard and a good tsp of tamarind paste paste (optional - but if you don't use it, stir in the juice of half a lime at the end).
Season generously and cook gently for another 15 mins until a chicken chunk has no signs of pink meat when you cut it in half. Stir in a good tbsp mango chutney (either shop-bought or look out for my homemade recipe in another post later this week). Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Garnish with chopped coriander, with basmati rice and a lettuce, tomato and red onion salad.