Friday night take-aways are a bit of a tradition, aren’t they? From “Fish and chip Friday” to that end of the week feeling of not wanting to cook, just kick back and relax. The problem is that take-away food is often high in added sugar, high in bad fats (think deep fat fried in sunflower oil!), high in refined carbohydrates and low in vegetables. For me, it’s like the perfect storm for feeling rubbish on waking up Saturday morning, even though I completely support taking a break from cooking and spending some time chilling out and relaxing.
So in our household, it’s usually a Friday night “fake-away”, that’s a classic take-away style food, but homemade so just as nutritious as it is delicious. And today I want to share with you a winner of a curry that satisfies the whole family. It’s not super quick to make, but you can either slow cook it over the course of that afternoon and simply dish it out, or make it in advance and freeze portions to reheat quickly. It’s also free from gluten, dairy and of course, refined sugar, and can be made nut-free for those with nut allergies too.
Here I’ve served with some brown rice and a cheeky poppadum (because my kids think everything tastes better on a poppadum!) Peas are also a great accompanying flavour, so mutter paneer cheesy peas or simply some plain peas on the side for the kids.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- 1 tbsp approx. grated fresh ginger
- 1-2 tsp grated fresh turmeric
- 2 tbsp korma powder
- 600g chicken – breast and thigh meat are both good, just as long as there are no bones, diced into large chunks
- 2 sweet potatoes, diced into large chunks
- 2 red peppers, diced (optional – this makes it less traditional but tastes great and adds another veg to the mix!)
- 300-500 mls chicken stock
- 400 ml tin of coconut milk
- 50 ground almonds (optional, use a little corn flour to thicken if needs be if you’re nut free)
- Small handful chopped fresh coriander to serve
- Preheat the oven to 150C (fan). Heat the coconut oil in a large casserole pan, and fry the onion for 1-2 minutes on a low heat without burning it. Then add the garlic, grated ginger, turmeric and korma powder, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes to release all the flavours, stirring well so that it doesn’t stick.
- Increase the heat to medium and add the chicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring and turning the chicken pieces until they are all white and the meat is sealed.
- Add the sweet potato chunks and red peppers if using, chicken stock and coconut milk, cover and bring to the boil.
- Transfer to the oven and allow to cook slowly for at least 1 hour, checking and stirring occasionally to ensure there is sufficient liquid (top up with stock or water if the sauce is getting too thick. I often leave for two hours to make sure it’s extra tender and melt in the mouth, but it will need more liquid for this.
- Remove from the over when the sauce is fairly thick and the chicken is well cooked and falling apart. Stir in the ground almonds if using, or thicken with a little corn flour if not, and serve.