This recipe here today is in honor of a good friend of mine named Jo. She just loves a good curry, and like me, she is always trying to watch her weight! (She's a bit better at it than I am though!)
Jo used to be the housekeeper at the Manor when I first started working there. Over the years we became good friends, and I really missed her when she and her husband left the area to pursue their dreams. She's now a Chiropodist, and her husband, well . . . he is still a plumber, but quite happy in his work!
Jo and her husband took me out to my very first Indian Restaurant actually! We had a really good time. They also took us to our very first Gherka Restaurant, and introduced us both to Thai Food as well! I guess you could say that they are very worldly in their tastes when they eat out!
They also enjoy a good curry at home. Colin likes the blow your head off kind . . . a hearty hot Madras, whilst Jo opts for something a bit milder.
This is probably a bit too mild for her, but she (and you) can certainly adjust the heat by adding more tikka paste, or even some chili powder. I found it just right for me. One thing she won't mind though is the fact that it's relatively low in fat and filled with lovely spinach, both for colour and texture.
So anyways, I never eat a curry now without thinking about Jo, and giving her a nod of thanks for having broadened my tastes!
*Chicken Curry with Rice*
This is quick and easy and relatively low in fat. There is no cream or coconut milk added. The spinach makes it quite healthy as well. You could cut the fat even more by using chicken breast meat instead of thighs. I think you could safely cut the oil in half as well.
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (trim off any fat and discard, then cut into strips)
2 TBS tikka masala curry paste
200g tin of chopped tomatoes (2 cups of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice)
450ml of hot vegetable stock (1 1/2 cups) (Use low salt stock)
7 ounces basamati rice (3/4 cup)
1 tsp salt
1/2 pound of baby leaf spinach (225g)
naan bread and mango chutney to serve
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and fry, stirring, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and chicken. Stir fry for another 5 minutes, until golden.
Add the curry paste, tomatoes and stock. Stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, giving it a stir every so often to make sure it doesn't catch on the bottom.
While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice. Bring 1 pint of water to the boil. (2 cups) Add the rice and salt and stir. Cover and reduce the heat to it's lowest setting. Cook for the time stated on the package of rice. Once cooked, cover with a teatowel and the lid. Leave for 5 minutes to absorb the steam.
Stir the spinach into the curry and cook until just wilted. Spoon the rice into heated bowls. Ladle on the curry and serve immediately, along with the naan bread and some mango chutney.
You can get a good Peshwari Naan Bread recipe here. It's delicious!