Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Curry Night On A Budget

Last week, I blew my grocery budget. Like blew it BIG. So big, Hubby got all high pitched when he saw the receipt. The truth was, the store cupboard was running low, so there was a lot of basics stocking up to do and we also ate a lot of meat last week, which adds up quickly.
So I knew that this week I would have to be good and try to be super budget girl. I spent less than half of what I spent last week, so I can stop having to listen to Mr. Naggy-Pants and bathe in the glow of my own smugness.

Tonight I made a Goa-style chicken curry made with dark meat chicken and I served it over a mushroom pilao rice. For the three of us it cost approximately £6.00 total but my two guys eat STUPID-big portions, so this really would serve 4. It's nice and spicy, slightly sour and quite quick to make, so a good one for an evening when your time is limited.
Goan-Stylie Chicken And Cashew Curry With Mushroom Pilao Rice
Serves 4, Takes 45 mins
2 free range chicken thighs, drumsticks and wings.
Large handful raw whole cashew nuts
2 large yellow onions, sliced
100ml white malt vinegar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground fenugreek
2cm piece ginger root, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp gram flour (chick pea/garbanzo bean flour)

For the rice:
300ml (by volume) basmati rice
1 large red onion, chopped
6-7 large white mushrooms, unwashed chopped
1 tsp garam masala
4 whole green cardamom
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp veg oil
450 ml water

To serve:
coriander leaves
small salad of sliced tomatoes and cucumber, dressed in lemon juice, salt and a pinch of sugar.

For the curry, skin and bone the chicken thighs and drumsticks, cut the meat into 3cm chunks. Cut the tips off the wings, separate into two halves each and remove the skin. You don't need to bother with removing the meat from the wings.*
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry all of the spices for a minute until fragrant and starting to brown a little. Add the onions and stir-fry through the spices for 5-7 minutes until beginning to go golden.
Bring the chicken to the pan and stir through the onion/spice mix for a few minutes until browning nicely all over. Pour the vinegar and 200ml water over, add the cashews, ginger and garlic, bring to a low simmer, cover and cook for approx 20 minutes until onion is very soft and the chicken is well-cooked through.
Stir through the gram flour and leave to cook uncovered for a further ten minutes so that the sauce can reduce and thicken while you make the rice.

For the rice, heat the oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan and fry the onion with the cardamom pods and garam masala for several minutes until the onions are a nice, golden brown.
Stir through the chopped mushrooms and cook for a further few minutes, stirring often until the mushrooms are soft and browning.
Add the rice and salt to the pan and fry for a minute or so until the rice is mixed well in and starting to go fragrant. Add the water to the pan, bring it to the boil, lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 7-10 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Try not to stir it, as you don't want to break up the starch on the surface of the rice and make it sticky.

Serve the curry with the rice and the cucumber salad. Scatter with coriander leaves.
Bathe in your own smug satisfaction!

*Don't throw away the chicken bones, wing tips and skin, use them when you make stock. Mmmmm. Alternatively, you can leave the chicken on the bone if you don't have a family who whines about having to do the work themselves with a knife and fork. (Boo hoo hooo!) This is a more authentic way of doing it, but you should still remove the skin because the texture will not be nice.

Chicken Curry on FoodistaChicken Curry


  1. Mmmm, that dish sounds wonderful, and very creative!

  2. I am going to make this for dinner tonight! Curry is just what this terrible head cold of mine needs.

  3. Ah, them make sure you add a little extra chilli. I hope you and your nose feel much better soon! xo