Sunday 14 February 2021

Chicken Chaat


Chicken Chaat
Chicken Chaat

There are two stages to this curry, the first is to make the base curry sauce, this base can be used to make a number of different curries but for this recipe we will be using it to make chicken chaat.

Base curry
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 brown onions, finely chopped
  • 1 pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 litre of water

Heat the oil in large pan over a medium heat.  Add the onions and peppers and sauté until softened and then add the remaining ingredients but not the water.  Stir everything well and fry for a minute or so before adding a quarter of the water.  Turn the heat up and let the sauce simmer until the water has evaporated by around half.  Add another quarter of the water and then blend the sauce with a stick blender or transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth.  Add the remaining water and that pretty much is it, the sauce should be quite thin at this stage which is how it should be.  This recipe will make 3 portions of base curry sauce, so you can freeze the other two portions (1 and 3/4 cups per portion).

Now on to make the chicken chaat

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp good quality curry powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp chaat masala
  • Third of a tube of tomato purée
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of base curry sauce
  • 800g of cooked chicken
  • 1/3 cucumber, peeled and deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 150g drained chickpeas
  • 1 large tomato cut into wedges
  • Big pinch of salt
  • Handful of chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry until softened.  Add the garlic/ginger paste and stir through and allow to sizzle for a minute.  Next mix in the curry powder, chilli powder, chaat masala and the tomato purée.  Let this sizzle for another minute before adding the base curry sauce and let it simmer for 5 minutes before adding the chicken and let it cook for 10 minutes before adding the cucumber, chickpeas, pepper and tomato wedges and a good pinch of salt, stir through and cook for a further couple of minutes before serving with a sprinkle of the coriander on top.

I served the curry with basmati rice, naan bread, pickles and tomato, onion, coriander chutney and a selection of bhajis and samosas and boy was it good.  This recipe will serve 4 comfortably and more if you are making additional dishes to accompany the chaat.  

This is so quick and easy to make, I made the base sauce earlier in the day and then it took no time at all to make the chicken chaat.  Watch this space for other curry recipes to make using the base curry sauce!

Sunday 7 February 2021

Rajma - Red Kidney Bean Curry


Rajma - Red kidney bean curry
Rajma - Red kidney bean curry

  • 1 cup (240ml) dried red kidney beans
  • 5 cups (1 litre 250ml) water to soak the beans in
  • 2 large tomatoes, blitzed in the food processor
  • 1 tsp tomato purée, mix in small amount of water to dilute down
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder (available in supermarkets)
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp Katsura methi powder (or dried fenugreek leaves)
  • Large handful of finely chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • Salt to taste

Rinse the kidney beans and leave to soak overnight in 5 cups of water, for a minimum of 8 hours.

Switch on your Ninja foodi, add the kidney beans and water, switch lids to pressure cooker, make sure the valve is set to seal and pressure cook on high for 7 minutes.  Once the timer beeps, turn off the keep warm setting and leave for 10 minutes and then do a slow release of pressure.  At this stage the beans will be partially cooked, drain them and keep the water as this will be used later.

Now switch the Ninja to sauté and set it to medium.  Heat the oil, add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, chillies and the asafoetida and leave to sizzle for a minute or so.  Add the ginger/garlic paste and fry off for another minute or so(turn the heat down if getting too hot).  Add your blitzed tomatoes and mix through, add the turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, paprika, chilli powder and good pinch of salt, stir and leave to sauté for another minute.

In the next step, add the diluted tomato purée and the kidney beans, give a good mix then add the coriander leaves, kasturi methi and the garam masala, stir through and leave to sauté for around 5 minutes.  Next add the reserved water to the pan, mix well then return to pressure cooker mode (switching lids) and cook on high for 30 minutes.  Once the time is up do a quick release of steam and check the consistency of the curry, if a bit thin for your liking sauté until it thickens up or if too thick add some water to thin out.

This was my first proper recipe I had tried in my Ninja and I have to say it was so straight forward and the end result was fantastic.  The house was filled with amazing aromas and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!  We are big chilli fiends in this house so the heat wasn’t a problem for us but if you like your curry a bit milder adjust the ingredients accordingly.

I served the curry with basmati rice, naan breads, coriander and mint sauce, onion bhaji, vegetable pakoras and pickles. 
Dinner was a huge hit, the flavours were amazing, I will definitely been doing this again, the recipe serves 4 comfortably.  I hope you enjoy as much as we did, now what to cook next!