No forwarding address and no fixed abode for three whole weeks!
I’m heading to India to embark on an adventure which I’m sure will have a profound and transformative effect on my life and to further my knowledge and continual enrichment in ancient self-healing practices and modalities.
My most recent quest is to understand the art of Ayurvedic cooking and nutrition and to practice yoga, whilst researching for my next book. It’s overwhelming and exciting to have the opportunity to immerse myself in different and distinctive styles of cooking and regional cuisines; many of which have been shaped by Dharmic beliefs. When it comes to national dishes, the delights of Indian food binds together not only geographical differences but also absorbs culture, religion and history.
India’s cuisine is ever evolving as is ours which is primarily a result of interactions with other cultures. I’m extremely keen to develop new skills in the kitchen, a place where I feel most at home and discover more about ingredients and their healing properties.
Spices are the backbone of Indian cuisine, from anti-inflammatory turmeric to fragrant cumin and coriander seeds. In India, each culinary region has a distinctive garam masala blend. I’m excited to have the opportunity to unearth some of the mysteries of Indian food and learn the art of creating sweet delicacies seasoned with cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, and rose petal essences.
Expanding your repertoire and learning new preparation methods keeps cooking interesting and inspiring. So on that note I’m going to share with you a Jolly Good Butter Chicken recipe which is one of my favourites from my book Eat Yourself Beautiful. I hope you love it as much as I do. The buttery taste is so creamy (I used Camperdown unsalted butter) and the bonus is that it's a healthy version of one of my favourite dishes.
p.s My blog will be a bit quiet over the next few weeks as I write it myself and will be on the road but please keep posting your shelfies and selfies and tagging me on my Instagram account whilst I am away as I love seeing all of your wonderful creations.
Gotta bounce out the door so until next time… Love life, love curry!
Jolly Good Butter Chicken
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) free-range chicken breast, thickly sliced
- 70 g (21/2 oz) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 10 cardamon pods
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground chilli (optional)
- 400 g (14 oz) tinned diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sugar and additive-free tomato paste (concentrated purée)
- 400 ml(14 oz) additive-free coconut milk
- 370 g (123/4 oz/2 cups) steamed brown rice
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced and chilled
- 1 ripe banana, sliced
- 1 teaspoon shredded coconut
- 1 dollop of mango chutney (optional)
- Place a large, heavy-based saucepan over high heat and add the sesame oil.
- Cook the chicken in 2 batches, turning regularly for about 5 minutes or till browned.
- Remove from the pan and set aside while you cook the remaining chicken.
- Remove it from the pan.
- Reduce the heat a little and add the butter.
- When the butter has melted add the spices and cook, stirring, for
- 4–5 minutes until fragrant.
- Return the chicken to the pan, along with the tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Stir and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Turn down the heat to low and stir in the coconut milk.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Mix the banana and coconut together in a small bowl.
Serve this curry with brown or fragrant rice with saffron and turmeric, cucumber salad and banana with coconut flakes.