Thursday, 28 July 2011

Chicken Madras with Saffron rice and Spinach Paratha

Chicken madras uses a lot of spices but the blend makes a really good hot spicy curry and tastes great.

I used chicken breast for this delicious curry but chicken thighs are also good and probably more economical.

For the chicken madras

2lb chicken, cut into 1" pieces
8 oz onion, sliced
4 oz sliced fresh tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 oz fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 black cardomom pods, black inner seeds only
2" cinnamon stick
5 cloves
4 oz ghee or butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground coriander
3 tsp med hot chilli powder
1/2 pint water
2 tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 fresh green chillies, chopped (keep the seeds in if you like very hot curry)

Melt the ghee in a large frying pan or heat proof casserole, fry the onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger over a moderate heat until the onion is golden brown.

Add the rest of the spices except the garam masala and green chillies and fry gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Add the meat and continue to cook over a gentle heat, stirring until the meat is well coated in the spice mixture.

Add the water and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the chicken is tender.  Sprinkle over the garam masala, lemon juice and chopped chilli, leave it to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

For the saffron rice

12oz basmati rice
½ tsp ground saffron threads, infused in 4 tbsp hot water
salt and freshly groundblack pepper

Place the rice into a large saucepan and cover with enough water to reach about 2.5cm/1in above the rice. Add the saffron and its soaking water and place the pan over a high heat.

As soon as the water comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to its lowest setting and cover the pan with a lid. Cook gently for 8-10 minutes, without stirring, or until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the spinach paratha

1 cup whole-wheat flour
Water (Use as needed)
250g fresh spinach, cooked, drained and blended to a puree
Pinch of salt
3-4 teaspoon of oil
1/2 cup dry flour to roll

In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and pureed spinach add a little water and mix well until it forms to soft dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly greased surface. The dough should be very smooth and soft.

Set the dough aside, cover and let it rest for at least ten minutes before cooking.

Place a griddle over a medium heat . To check if it is ready, put a couple of drops of water on it. If the water sizzles right away, it's ready.

Divide the dough into 5 equal parts. Roll it to about 3 inch diameter circles. Spread about 2 drops of oil and fold into two again put another drop of oil and fold into a triangle.

Roll it in dry whole-wheat flour. Press it a little and start rolling on a clean surface to about 6 inches in diameter.

Place the Paratha on the griddle. When it starts to puff up, turn the paratha over.

Cook for a few minutes on the other side and serve warm.

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