Too good to be true, I hear you say? Nope! Armed with my new Hemsley and Hemsley recipes, I’m making it happen. We’ve got antioxidant-rich cumin and coriander, the lovely anti-inflammatory turmeric, the goodness from poaching the chicken on the bone, and cauliflower instead of rice. Plus, we’re missing out on that slightly sick and bloated feeling which I know I certainly sometimes get after indulging on a curry.
One of the things I like about this recipe is the ingredients, which are pretty accessible. If you’ve already got your basic spices in house, you’ll only really need to get in the vegetables and the chicken which makes for a pretty cheap meal. You can also chop and change the vegetables to your taste and your budget. I opted for sugarsnap peas because I love the crunch they add, but you can substitute this with any greens. The only ingredient that I anticipate might cause a bit of a sticking point for some of you is the fennel seeds, I know it certainly took me a lot of rejected recipes before I committed to buying this – just leave this out if you’re not willing to invest.
I expect some of you may have doubts about Cauli-Rice as well, which I’ll admit I had my reservations about too. I’ve never been a fan of cauliflower, despite repeated attempts through traditional English cooking from my Dad throughout my childhood. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised! It worked really well with this dish, particularly if you leave the curry a little bit more watery than you’d normally want to, as the cauli-rice is great at soaking the flavours up without becoming too soggy. If you read my previous blog post, you’ll know I’m all about the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric at the moment so I added a bit of that too, which has the added benefit of just brightening the whole dish up with a bit of yellow too. Feel free to jazz this up with whatever you like, in the form of nuts, raisins, herbs etc. Alternatively, if you want to stick with traditional rice that is of course fine as well!
This makes enough for 2 servings. These pictures are actually of my leftover serving so I can confirm it still tastes pretty damn good the next day! Another good tip if you are cooking for one is to add in a little extra chicken: I put in the extra 2 drumsticks included in my pack of chicken. After poaching, the meat should be falling off the bone and ready to be used for sandwich fillings or salads for your lunch the next day. If you are using the second serving of curry as your leftovers, consider wilting another handful of spinach over the top to get that great fresh taste.
- 1 tbsp olive oil (or any other preferred oil, like coconut oil)
- 2 large chicken thighs or drumsticks, on the bone with skins on
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 and 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 chilli, chopped or 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, adjust to your heat tolerance)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 250ml chicken or vegetable stock (make an extra 2 tbsp or 20ml for your Cauli-Rice if using)
- 150g sugarsnap peas or other greens (e.g. green beans, brocolli etc).
- 1 large handful of spinach
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 cauliflower
- 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
How to make it…
- First, heat the oil over a medium heat in a wide, deep non-stick pan for which you have a lid. Then brown the chicken for several minutes on each side until the skins are golden, before removing from the pan and putting them to one side.
- Using the same pan on a lower head, add the spices and the chilli. Stir these gently until they become fragrant for 1-2 minutes. Add a little more oil and then fry the onions and the garlic for around 5 minutes, before adding the tomato puree. Finally, add the chicken, tomatoes and the stock.
- Bring to the boil, and then cover and leave to simmer on a medium heat for around 35 minutes. If there’s not enough water to fully cover the chicken, add a little more. You can also put this on in a slow cooker on a much lower heat to really let those flavours sink in, but don’t worry if not – I don’t have one of those either at the moment!
- After the chicken is cooked (you can use a knife to check this), add the sugarsnap peas and leave to simmer for another 4 minutes.
- While your curry is simmering, prepare the Cauli-Rice. First, remove the leaves of the cauliflower. Then, either use a food processor or a course grater (or in my case, a bit of a combination of the two) to create little rice sized pieces of cauliflower. Then add some oil to a small saucepan (for which you have a lid) with the grated cauliflower, and stir the stock and turmeric into the mix. Then, on a medium heat, put the lid on the pan and leave to steam for around 4-6 minutes or until tender.
- Back to the curry! Take this off the heat and add the lime juice. While you’re waiting on the last few minutes of the Cauli-Rice to steam, add the spinach and put the lid back on the pan, leaving it to gently wilt in the steam.
- Serve and enjoy!