We eat a lot of curries, therefore my boys are not afraid of a little bit of spice. I do try and tone the heat down a bit when making a curry for the whole family to enjoy, but I love that both boys will happily tuck into a dish that is verging on a medium heat.
This curry is full of flavour, but not particularly spicy; it would be a good dish to make as an introduction to curry for a child (or an adult!) who was a little bit wary. Westerners have a tendency to believe that a curry is always going to be spicy, but this is often not the case, and we’re making a conscious effort to ensure our children are aware that a curry comes in a variety of flavours and styles.
Chicken Curry – serves 4
4t tikka masala paste (or kashmiri masala paste, if you can find it!)
4T tomato sauce
1t Worcestershire sauce
1t five-spice powder
pinch of salt
8 chicken drumsticks, skins removed
3T rice bran oil
5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely shredded
4 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of 1 lemon
fresh coriander leaves
Mix the masala paste, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, five-spice powder, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Leave to stand until the sugar has dissolved.
Place the chicken in a large roasting dish and rub the marinade all over with your hands. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan. Fry half the ginger and all the garlic for a few minutes.
Add the chicken (in batches, if necessary) and seal on all sides. Lower the heat, cover and cooks until the chicken is tender and the oil has separated from the sauce.
Remove the wok or frying pan from heat. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred the meat from the bones*; add the meat back to the pan with the lemon juice and remaining ginger, and mix well before heating through gently.
Serve with plain basmati rice, garnished with the coriander leaves.
* if you prefer to get messy, you can keep the meat on the bones – since getting my braces, I find it easier to eat if pulled. It also goes a bit further, and my kids will eat it better.
Recipe adapted from Curry, by Mridula Baljekar