As I have been kind of out of action for going on 6 weeks, himself has been in charge ( well at least he thinks he has). And has cooked so many meals that soon we shall have enough for our own cook book!
Many years ago, my son, who is severely dyslexic, found a love of cooking. The reading part proved difficult though, so made him his own cook book. Simple instructions, not long-winded ones. I find, even today when checking out new recipes, either in a magazine or a cook book, the instructions are way too long winded and complicated. I usually get out a marker pen, scrub out at least half of them and substitute, my way.
When living in Bruxelles and had my own cooking school, I also sought ways to make the instructions as easy as possible for my pupils, to encourage them, as normally faced with instructions as long as an arm, one can easily get discouraged! My pupils in this instance were on the whole American expat wives, who were suddenly expected to have dinner parties, Brussels style and not just hamburgers around a pool, so the emphasise of my classes were always, a three course dinner party, the order in which to prepare and cook, what coud be made ahead of time and what could be frozen. The class ended with them sitting and having lunch. Himself teases by saying that the local council had a bottle bank installed outside our house ! But on the other hand, said son would race up the drive from the school bus, saying ” Mommy Mommy can I have sausages and chips”?, but then his face would fall and groan “oh No. cooking class !! He had no choice but to become a very competent cook !!
So the latest offering in our house is Chicken Curry. No sooner had we returned from the mountains than the baby brother of himself and his lovely wife arrived.
Hunting around, through my various books, it was decided that a chicken curry would fit the bill, but which recipe. I have books by Atul Kocher, the Michelin starred chef, but maybe this would be throwing someone in at the deep end ( make a paste, make another paste, grind your spices, type of recipe) No, we needed something a little more straightforward! And along came Keith Floyd, he lately departed of TV fame, the forerunner, of, if you like Rick Stein ( though I think they did not like each other) et al. On his TV shows, even when in a boat he had a glass of something in his hand ( usually wine) and he dreamt of cooking for Gorbachev, so that they coud drink vodka together!!
And so it was to Floyd’s India that we found ourselves.
And the cook in chief was asked yet again to perform. One night was the new star turn, the fish pie, but the second night the chicken curry. Not just any old chicken curry but, Murgh Tikka Makhani. There are of course as many variations of this recipe as there are of any other. Floyd went to India, mixed with some locals, ate their chicken and came up with this version> I saw on TV this week Rick Sten doing exactly the same, trying out Goulash in Vienna and then creating his own version)
And so onto our version.
- 2lbs chicken ( use either thighs which have been boned and skinned, for a good flavour, or breasts, again skinned.
- 2 Tablespoons of Ghee or unsalted butter ( ghee is better as it will not spit at you)
- 150 mls double cream
- 5 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
- some fenugreek leaves, ( optional)
- some vegetable oil to fry the chicken
For the tomato sauce
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes ( you can use fresh but this is so much easier)
- 3 red onions peeled and cut in 2
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 ” bit og ginger peeled
- 5 fresh green chilies
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground coriander and ground cloves
Put all of the tomato sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender and process to make a puree.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the chicken in batches and stir fry until they are golden and cooked. Repeat until all is cooked.
Fry the garlic, taking care not to burn. Pour in the sauce, add the chicken and heat until heated through. Just before serving, stir in the cream and the butter/ghee.Taste and add salt and epper to taste. Decorate with a few prigs of fresh coriander and of course serve with rice of your choice, or how about some naan or other Indian bread. There is a good selection of frozen ones in most Indian stores.