Peter introduced me to curry when we lived in Cape Town. He would take me to this spice warehouse in town; you could smell it from a mile away! Gosh it’s like being in a candy shop for me! I just love all the fragrant smells and goodies they have in those type of places, all so authentic.
So what you’ll need to make Peter’s curry:
(Serves 4 -6)
- Thick base stewing pot
- Some time
- 1 – 1.5 kg chicken pieces (legs and thighs) or any type of meat. For a vegetarian curry you can use pumpkin or butternut, aubergine and cauliflower. In this version I’ve added some lovely sweet pumpkin.
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Knob of butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 star anise whole
- 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
- 1 1/2 fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 piece of cassia (Bark of cinnamon tree)
- 2 Tablespoons Curry powder (Mother in Law’s tongue or any good mix from supermarket)
- 2 Onions, finely sliced
- 2 Cloves of garlic, finely grated
- Ginger, about size of your thumb, finely grated
- Small handful curry leaves (if you have)
- 2 nice ripe juicy tomatoes, diced
- Fresh coriander to garnish
Prepare the chicken with salt and pepper, if you prefer you can remove the skins from the chicken.
Melt some butter and a splash of olive oil in the pan, add the chicken and brown it all around.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Turn the pan on low heat; add the whole spices, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, star anise, cardamom pods, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and cassia.
As soon as the spice mixture starts to warm up they will all release their wonderful flavours, this is when you add the butter. When the mustard seeds start to pop, you can add the curry powder. Warm up and mix the curry powder.
Add the grated garlic and ginger and the finely sliced onion. Fry until the onions are soft; this is the base of the curry. Your kitchen should smell amazing!
Add you chicken back to the pan; stir it around a bit so that the curry paste coats the chicken.
Add the curry leaves and the chopped tomatoes, turn to low heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes, or until sauce has reduced and chicken is cooked. Make sure you check up on your curry every now and then, it tends to stick when you’re not watching! A bit is ok, but not too much.
Once the curry has the consistency you want, you can take it off the hob and let it sit for a while.
This curry tastes great with some fragrant basmati rice and/or homemade naan bread to soak up all the lovely and rich juices.
When the rice is cooked and the naan is made, gently warm up the curry. Just before serving add the chopped fresh coriander.
Serve with some chutney on the side, or some fresh sliced mango and a tomato and onion salsa.