The proof is in the pudding they say, so when Quadrille Publishing sent over Anjum Anand’s I love Curry book, I thought it was only fair that I as well as reviewing her latest book that I cooked one of the 50 or so curries too!
I am a fan of Anjum Anand and have her Indian Made Easy book, which I have used a lot, one of ours favourites is the filo spicy potato and pea samosas.
So knew that this book would probably become as used as the previous one!
What I liked about this book, was the introduction it flowed really well, it gave some great tips and explained techniques which I think is invaluable if hadn’t cooked curries at all before.
The glossary is another great reference point with the descriptions of spices and where to get them, supermarkets, websites etc.
I know if you don’t cook Indian a lot, it seems like you are buying lots of spices but read through the book look at the recipes, which ones will you try and then go with the most common spices to add to your larder.
You can get most of the spices in the major supermarkets, there will be some spices that are more specialised but remember to look at the quantity needed if its ½ tsp and you don’t have the spice, it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t go in! If it’s the base of the recipe then you may have to track it down!
It is divided into the normal sections, vegetables, meat, poultry, but has a great section at the back about accompaniments, i.e pickles, dips and homemade bread.
I must admit that I have tired to make bread on various occasions and never done very well but the explanation, pictures and the list simple ingredients in each one has spurred me on to give it another try, so watch this space!
So to the recipe that I tried last night, I went with Chilli Chicken Curry the timing was key as it took about 15-20 minutes to cook which proves that you can make an amazing curry from scratch during the week!
15g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
6 fat garlic cloves
2 largish tomatoes, quartered
1½tsp garam masala
1½tsp ground cumin
1tbsp ground coriander
1tsp paprika, for colour
1 rounded tbsp full-fat yogurt
6tbsp vegetable oil
¾tsp brown mustard seeds, if you can’t get brown use black (I did)
1 bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
4 green chillies, whole but pierced
400g boneless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
Large handful of finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems
Blend together the ginger, garlic and tomatoes in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the ground spices, yogurt and ¾tsp salt.
Heat the oil in a nonstick pan. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they have popped. Add the bay leaf, onion and green chillies and cook over a moderate heat, stirring often, for 6-8 minutes, until the onions are well browned.
Then add the blended ingredients and cook on a high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and most of the excess liquid in the pan has evaporated. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the paste releases oil.
Add the chicken and stir it in the thick masala for a few minutes. Add enough water to come halfway up the chicken. Bring back to the boil and cook for 7 minutes.
Increase the heat and toss the chicken in the sauce for another five minutes – the sauce will reduce to a lovely, creamy consistency. Check a piece of chicken by cutting through – there should be no pink in the middle. Adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding a little water or reducing it a little further, as you prefer.
Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking, adding lots of black pepper and a little lemon juice if your sauce is not tart enough. Stir in the chopped coriander and serve with poppadums or rice, or in our case both!
I love curry is a great book for beginners and curry lovers; I would recommend it without a doubt.
Thanks again Quadrille Publishing/Food.
I love curry by Anjum Anand is £16.99 widely available at all book store and of course on Amazon.