Monday, September 4, 2017

Chicken Jalfrezi

Curry is always a regular on our menu. I think this all stems back to when my mother was pregnant with me, where the regular haunt for dinner with my father was a Chinese Restaurant called Jim Hongs.  My mam's meal of choice was curry throughout her pregnancy and then surprisingly (or not) during both my pregnancies my husband had to stop and pick up a Beef Vindaloo on a weekly basis. It will be very interesting if this somewhat traditional craving gets passed on the my next generation.
Both the kids have been raised eating foods full of spices and herbs - more importantly they have eaten foods that have rarely come from packet mixes or premixed jars.  They do not understand the importance of this, hopefully one day they will.
As you all may have guessed by now if I can make something from scratch I will definitely give it a go.  Sometimes it doesn't taste the same or even look the same but seriously it's all about the experience and the copious amounts of laughter within the House of Murray when a "failure of sorts" occurs.  Normally it's edible but hey there have also been times that it hasn't been.  Maybe I should do a post on the things that go wrong just so you can all cash in on the enjoyment as well.  That's a thought for another time though.
My unemployment period is coming to an end as I have secured a role with another large company that is within the construction industry. Somewhat I am saddened by this but on the other hand I am really looking forward to the new challenge ahead that will come with the new role but it will mean back to cooking quick mid week wonders for week night dinners and sticking to the menu  planner. 
For my birthday I was given a book called The Curry Kitchen from my sister in law and to be honest it's a book that I haven't but down yet.  It's got sticky notes all through it for all the different curries I want to try cooking.  The really exciting thing about this cookbook is that the majority of curries actually are made from scratch.
Jalfrezi is always on Indian menus and is probably one of the quickest Indian curries to make.  It typically involves frying pieces of unmarinated meat, fish or vegetables in oil and spices to produce a dry, thick sauce.  A traditional Jalfrezi can range in heat from medium to very hot especially for those recipes that use fresh chillies.  This recipe wasn't overly hot in taste as I did tone down the amount of chilli I used.
With it's tomato base you could really taste the cumin and coriander which surprisingly is added later in the cooking process.   Along with some butter or ghee if you have it available which gave it a little creaminess.    We served this simple yet super quick curry with plain steamed rice, Mint Raita and freshly cooked poppadum's.

 Chicken Jalfrezi
(Recipe adapted from The Curry Kitchen Cookbook)
Serves: 6
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 kilogram chicken breast fillets, diced
3 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/2 - 1 teaspoons chilli powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
2 x 400 grams can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ginger, grated
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes or until they start to soften, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Add the chicken, turmeric, chilli and salt.  Fry gently, turning the chicken often and ensuring that the onion mix does not stick to the pan.
Pout in the tomatoes, stir and simmer, covered, over a medium heat for 20 minutes.  Uncover, and simmer for another 10 minutes and let the liquid evaporate to the desired thickness and consistency.
Add the butter or ghee, cumin, coriander, ginger and half the coriander leaves.  Simmer for another  5 -  7 minutes.
Serve garnished with the remaining coriander leaves.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe).

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