Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Spice of Life

It's still quite early here - I am starting my day with a cup of tea, the dog asleep by my feet.

I actually managed to snap a photo of Keith the dog in the sunshine yesterday. He simply loves running through the heather in the park - just for the fun of it and I swear I can see him smile doing it :-)  He definitely appreciates the small things - a bit of sunshine, flowers in bloom...quite a good philosophy, don't you think?

Chicken curry
One of the things that makes me smile is having a nice meal that is quickly prepared and tasty.  Do you like curry?  I love it but all too often I find that it can be quite greasy.  This version may not be authentic by Indian standards but has all the lovely spices with only a minimum of oil and just a dash of cream to finish off - it is really quite delicious, even if I say so myself :-)  And the nice thing is that you can use leftover roast chicken for this or make it vegetarian by using up all those forgotten vegetables in the fridge.  Maybe a cold beer on the side...

What makes you smile?

Chicken Curry (serves 2, generously)

2 medium chicken breasts or leftover roast chicken, enough for 2 people
1 tbsp corn flour
1 onion, diced
1 - 2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 - 2 peppers, deseeded & diced (any colour - I used green which worked really well)
2 tbsp tomato puree or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (if using the tin, adjust the water you add to the dish)
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp medium curry powder (you can replace the dried spices and just use a ready-mix curry powder - I like using both)

1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp cream (double or whipping cream is fine)
salt & pepper
water (mainly needed if using tomato puree instead of tinned tomatoes)
Optional: a sprinkle of chilli flakes or chilli powder to make it spicier

  1. Cut the chicken breast into chunks and dust evenly with corn flour (this keeps the chicken nice & moist when cooking and also thickens the sauce) or cut up the leftover roast chicken if using.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan or wok and gently fry the chicken, onions, garlic, pepper(s) for 4 - 5 minutes.  
  3. Add the spices and bay leaves and fry for a further couple of minutes.
  4. Now stir in the tomato puree and enough water to create a sauce (start off with 150ml & add to it until you have the consistency you like) OR add the tin of chopped tomatoes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and chilli (if using) and leave to simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
  6. Add 1 tbsp of cream and adjust the seasoning - you can add more of the curry spices at this stage if you like.
  7. Serve with rice and/or naan bread and a cold drink of your choice.  Enjoy!
Vegetarian option: replace the chicken with vegetables of your choice such as cauliflower, more peppers, baby corn, ...

This dish can be made ahead and will taste yummy the next day when the spices have had a chance to develop a bit.  You can also easily freeze this.

And if you add too much chilli and it's a bit too spicy in the end, serve with a dollop of natural yogurt which will help calm it down a bit.


  1. Hello Kirsten, Keith is adorable! We also make a chicken curry, using free range chicken, Sharwoods paste (from England), red capsicum, coconut milk, ginger, garlic and a little tomato paste and onions. Have a lovely day, it is evening here. My husband and son are at Richard Hawley's gig in Melbourne tonight! Ann

    1. Hello Ann! Oh, that sounds like a very yummy recipe too - will give it a go! Sounds like you will have a peaceful evening :-) Kirsten x
      PS: I'm glad you like the picture of Keith

  2. thanks for the recipe, just what we need at the moment!

    1. Hi Jane! Thank you for stopping by - I am glad the recipe will be useful! Have a lovely day! Kirsten

  3. :-) he is...when he's not playing in the mud ;-)