Sunday, 17 October 2010

Curry - Chicken & Vegetable with Clove Scented Mushroom Rice

If you look carefully at the top left of the picture, you can just make out the drifts of steam coming from the curry

Having a lazy day today.  Only doing the minimum amount possible.  That means cooking meals rather than food for fun.  Also means too lazy to do cleaning or any other housework.  Wanted to cook a roast today after seeing a poster for pork shoulder joint on special offer - just my luck they didn't have any!  Meant to go to shops to buy something but as I was being lazy, I had to raid the freezer.

Last week, I made a vegetable curry from scratch - no jars or pastes.  It kind of came out of my head after reading a few recipes here and there.  It was rather good!  I didn't make note of what I put in it though!  It was an accompaniment for a chicken biryani which I made from paste in a jar.  I deeply regretted not writing the ingredients down!  Sometimes cooking is a bit like that, you get an idea, see what's in the cupboards and throw whatever you have in.

Seeing as there is nothing planned for dinner, I thought I'd try make a curry from scratch again.  Not following any recipe or guidance I've muddled my way through to make something we can eat.  It wasn't too bad either!  Made sure I took notes this time!  I also made some mushroom rice to go with the curry - it was quite nice as it had the scent of cloves.

Chicken and Vegetable Curry

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
6 green cardamon pods
1 medium onion, chopped
2 shallots, sliced
50 g peeled ginger, grated (2 tablespoons)
2 garlic cloves, grated (1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 large chicken thighs, skinned, de-boned, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 head of cauliflower
handful of green beans
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt & pepper
1/2 pint water (or can use stock - veg/chicken)

The onions, shallots and potatoes are from the garden

In a dry pan over a low heat, roast the cumin, coriander seeds for 3-5 minutes until they begin to darken and the aroma from the spices are released.  Tip into a mortar.  Split the cardamon pods and tip the seeds into the mortar.  Grind with the pestle until the seeds have turned to powder.
Sweat the onion and shallot in a large saucepan over a gentle heat for 10 minutes.  The onions and shallots will have begun to turn brown.
Add the ground spices, turmeric, cayenne, grated ginger and grated garlic and continue to fry gently for 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the heat to medium and add the chicken to the pan and fry until it begins to colour.  Add the water and potatoes and allow to boil before turning heat down to simmer.  Place lid on pan and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the cauliflower florets, bring to boil, cover, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the beans and tomatoes and simmer for a further 5 minutes.  Thicken sauce with cornflour paste if necessary.  Check for seasoning.  Serve with your favourite rice or breads.
I would have liked to sprinkle fresh chopped coriander on the curry but didn't have any.  I'm sure the flavour would have been lifted by the fresh aromatic herbs.

I made some rice to go with this dish, I had wanted to make a pilau style rice but didn't want to make it in a pan.  I was looking to make it in the rice cooker so I didn't have to watch the heat.  I made a clove-scented rice and added mushrooms and onion for flavour.

Clove Scented Mushroom Rice

300 g basmati rice (2 rice cooker cups)
480 g water (up to 2 marker on my rice cooker) * or however much water you feel is enough to cook the rice
6 whole green cardamon pods
2 bay leaves
12 cloves
1 medium onion, chopped
6 medium sized mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt & pepper

Wash the rice in cold water until the water is relatively clear.  Place in the bowl of the rice cooker and add enough water to cook the rice. 
Add in the spices to the water and cook the rice.
Fry the onion and mushroom in a little oil until soft.  Season mushroom and onion mixture and place on top of the rice when all the water in the rice has been absorbed.  Replace lid and leave to steam for 10 minutes.  Fluff the rice with chopsticks and incorporate the onion and mushroom at the same time.


  1. Yummy dinner :) I often cook this way too, a pinch of this, pinch of that, make it up as I go along, that's why I usually don't post savoury recipes on my blog - there are never any measurements! Good on you for writing it all down this time. The mushroom rice sounds delicious.

    Btw - tried to leave a comment on your garden post above but kept having trouble (I'm impressed with your garden haul).

  2. lol Shaz! Thanks! I know what you mean about the savoury dishes - very much a case of what do I need to use up - or what do we have in the fridge? Very rarely do I note measurements too! I think to an extent savoury dishes are adaptable - its the general idea of ingredients and method that are key.

    Not sure why you can't leave comment on garden post? Thanks anyway! Won't be getting much else other than eggs from garden now until next year - I'm not organised enough to be able to harvest winter veggies - I think they need to be started in June/July here in UK.