Creamy chicken and spinach curry

Curry! (photo by Chris)

I tend to make a batch of curry paste every now and again so I can make really quick curries when I don’t have much time or I don’t have the inclination to cook!

For the paste:

  • 5 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2-4 chillis chopped, with seeds (depending how hot you like it)
  • 1 thumb sized piece of peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon corriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4/5 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons black onion seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried chillis

Start by putting the salt and the garlic in a large pestle and mortar, grind the garlic ’til you’re at the paste stage. Add in the ginger and chillis (roughly chopped) and grind them for a few seconds with the garlic. Add the seeds next and grind for a good couple of minutes ’til nearly powdered into the mix, then add the oil and the rest of the spices. Mix ’til you have a thick paste.

The paste is really versatile and will last a good week or so in the fridge but you can also freeze it.

For the rest of the curry you’ll need

  • 1lb of chicken strips (for 2-3 people)
  • a good size bunch of spinach
  • tin of coconut milk or double cream
  • 4/5 medium sized tomatoes
  • Groundnut oil
  • pint of water or chicken stock

Firstly coat the chicken in 2-3 tablespoons of the paste, leave to marinade for at least an hour but overnight is ideal.

Heat a drizzle of oil over a medium heat in the pan then add your chicken strips. Colour on both sides then add your sliced tomatoes and the water. Leave to cook gently for about an hour to an hour and a half then add the washed spinach, when the spinach has wilted down add about 100ml of either coconut milk or cream, either works depending on your taste. Bring to the boil then turn down and leave for 3-4 minutes on the heat. Serve with rice or naan bread.