Monday 12 September 2011

Something to look forward to...

The kids are back at school and I just have to face it.  Summer is over. Or as more accurately described it to Hugh, the other half, yesterday; "The months June, July and August - formally known as Summer."  I have heard some desperately trying to fool themselves that we may have a miraculous sunny September and that this is somehow going to make up for another wash-out summer.  Lets face it.  It's not going to happen.

I need something to cheer myself up between now and Christmas.  Something to look forward to.  I put this to Hugh, suggestively, even though I know that we are currently completely broke.  I saw him stop and think.  Had I hit a note? Finally he replied. "How about we have an Indian takeaway one night".  Indian takeaway!  I had more in mind a sneaky late sunny week in India.  Alright maybe not India. How about Lanzarote?  Sadly not to be.  The truth of it is that we need to start saving now if we want to have a summer holiday next year. 

Still, maybe a curry was the very thing to cheer me up.  I had a glut of peppers in the fridge so I knocked up a Chicken Jalfrezi and I really had forgotten how quick and easy making a good curry is.  It was fresh, aromatic, spicy and vibrant.  So much better that anything you are going to get in your average Indian restaurant.  "God that was good", exclaimed Hugh, "We certainly won't be getting any takeaways anymore".  Great! So now I don't even have that to look forwards to.

Chicken Jalfrezi 

2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped

4 Red peppers, seeds removed and sliced
2 Fresh Green Finger Chillis, thinly sliced (more if you want)
6 cloves garlic, very finely chopped

4 Breasts of  free-range or organic chicken breast, cut into 1" chunks
1 teaspoons ground turmeric

3 teaspoons ground cumin 
1 teaspoons ground coriander 
1 large knob of fresh ginger, grated
Handful of green Cardamon Seeds, crushed, seeds removed and then roughly ground
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (400g) tin whole plum tomatoes, roughly chopped 

Small bunch of freshly chopped coriander

Heat the ghee or oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken which has been seasoned with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.  Fry, until golden brown on all sides.  Remove with a slotted spoon and add the onions to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften and then add the peppers. Cook for a further 10 minutes or so.  Next add the garlic and ginger.  Stir well and then add your spices apart from the cardamon. Fry for a few minutes more and add the chicken back.  Next add the tinned tomatoes and some salt to taste.  Allow to cook uncovered for about 20 minutes.  The idea is to thicken the sauce, cook the chicken through and allow the spices to mellow and  integrate.  It doesn't need hours on the stove.  Once the spices have lost their harshness and become melodious, add the cardamon and fresh coriander.  Cook for a few minutes more.  Serve with plenty of steaming basmati rice.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Francesca, you asked about the Bookmarked Recipes. The idea is to make those recipes that that you have marked and haven't got round to making. There isn't any prize or anything but you do get to vote for your favourite recipe on It also does help to bring people to look at your blog.


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