Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Coconut Chicken & Chickpea Curry with Spinach

With an irresistible blend of aromatic Indian spices and sweet coconut milk, this creamy and delicious Coconut Chicken & Chickpea Curry is a healthy, low fat and wonderfully full flavoured dish, packed with a savoury combination of leafy green spinach, diced tomatoes, vitamin-packed cauliflower and fresh fragrant ginger root. The perfect antidote for a cold wintery evening, this sensational curry can be easily adapted to a variety of legumes, such as lentils, split peas or kidney beans and personal choice of fresh seasonal leafy or root vegetables. Served with warm Basmati rice, some buttery naan and sprinkle of chopped cilantro, this mild curry is especially nice topped with a dollop of cold thick plain yogurt.

Creamy Coconut Chicken & Chickpea Curry with Spinach
Serves 4

2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces 
2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
2 mediums onions, sliced
28 oz can dicd tomatoes 
3 cups fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
16 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 cup cauliflower florets
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 2-inch piece ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
14 oz can coconut milk
2 tsp flour whisked with 1 tsp water until smooth
1 bunch cilantro, washed and leaves only, for garnish
1 cup plain yogurt for garnish
Basmati rice and naan, for serving

Pat dry the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper. Pour 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small pan and brown them in batches, then transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining oil to a large deep pot over medium high heat. When shimmering, add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook another minute. Then add the garam masala, curry powder, cumin, turmeric and ground coriander and stir for one minute until the spices are mixed through and become fragrant. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and ground black pepper, mixing well. Lower the heat to medium and allow the tomatoes to cook until the juices are released, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the chicken with any accumulated juices, chickpeas and cauliflower, stirring well to combine. Add the coconut milk and flour, and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often to ensure the sauce is not sticking. 

When the chicken is cooked through, turn the heat to low and add the spinach. Continue to cook until the spinach has wilted and the curry has become thick and creamy, about 25-30 minutes. The curry can be turned to very low heat and kept warm until ready to serve, as the flavours will continue to develop the longer it simmers. Add a little water to thin the sauce, if necessary. To serve, garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt sprinkled with paprika and chopped cilantro, along with some Basmati rice and buttered naan.

Easy Naan Bread
Serves 2

1 package pre-made naan
1 tbsp ghee or butter
Maldon salt, to taste
1 tsp black sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place 2 of the naan on a foil lined baking sheet and lightly spread with ghee or butter, sprinkle with some Maldon salt and garnish with black sesame seeds. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until the naan is lightly golden but still moist. Serve with any curry.

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