To tell the truth, this is a bit of a mongrel curry I made up because I was defrosting my fridge freezer and wanted to use up a pack of chicken and some lemongrass stalks I found in there along with some store cupboard basics that I always have around like coconut cream and spices. It is no less fabulous for that! It looks like a long list of ingredients but it is very simple to prep and cook. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice. Serves three easily or four if you use a pack of eight chicken thighs.
You will need…
- A pack of six skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into two i.e. twelve pieces
- Sri Lankan curry powder (dry roasted and ground: 25g coriander seeds, 15g cumin seeds, 15g fennel seeds, 2cm cinnamon bark, 2 whole cloves, 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp black peppercorns)
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 large piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Lemongrass stalk, coarsely chopped
- Kaffir lime leaves (dried or fresh)
- 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil
- Mustard seeds
- Cumin seeds
- 160ml tin of coconut cream
- 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
- 100ml chicken stock
- 50 ml water
- A small bunch of fresh coriander
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 150°C
- Dry roast the spices and grind them in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
- Make a paste in a mini food processor with the ginger, lemongrass, garlic, half an onion and a dash of water.
- Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Allow them to pop for a few minutes and then add the onions. Cook through until softened but not browned.
- Add the paste, stir for a few minutes. Add the yoghurt and stir again.
- Add the chicken pieces, curry powder, stock, chilli, lime leaves, the coconut cream and a pinch of salt. Bring up to a simmer, stir, cover and cook in the oven for about an hour.
- Remove from the oven, taste the sauce and check the seasoning. Add more e.g. chilli etc. to your taste. The sauce should be quite thick, uncover and reduce on the hob if necessary. Remove the lime leaves. Stir in the fresh coriander just before serving. Enjoy!