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MegaChef Chicken with Coconut Curry

MegaChef Chicken with Coconut Curry is easy to make, fairly rustic in style and totally scrumptious.

This recipe has morphed out of a few others over the years, especially from a more standard country chicken curry that is very similar, but where the chicken and masala is covered with water rather than coconut milk (try this if you prefer).

  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower Oil
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, ripe and chopped (and lose the core too)
  • 8 ripe cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 1 green or red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 500g of chicken breast chopped into 1 inchish chunks
  • A 400ml tin of coconut milk (half fat is better being not as rich, but you can water down the full fat one anyway)
  • Salt to taste (about a teaspoon maybe two)
  • 15 grinds of black pepper

The Masala

  • 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of fenugreek
  • ½ teaspoon of garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds (or ground)
  • ½ a handful of dried curry leaves
  • 2 or 3 decent size (8cm+) red or green chillis (deseeded) and finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of root ginger and 3 good size garlic cloves all peeled and chopped (When I say good size garlic cloves, I mean try to avoid those silly little excuses for garlic that most supermarkets unfortunately sell. Original Indian, French etc recipes cater for garlic usually classed as Elephant garlic these days, like a tennis ball. So if your garlic bulb is the sad size of squash ball, double the amount of cloves)

The Rice

  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower Oil
  • 200ml of Basmati Rice
  • 400ml of boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • A clean tea-towel

So Here's What To Do

Heat the oil in a good size, suitable pan with a lid. Add the onion and soften for 5 minutes or so. Then add the tomatoes (not cherry) and the green (or red) pepper for a further 5 minutes, to make a nice soft slushy base.

Now add the masala ingredients and stir for a couple of minutes.

Add the chicken chunks and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Lower to a medium heat and add the coconut milk, a bit a time. Throw in the cherry tomatoes, add the salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

For the perfect rice, heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a good size pan, nice and hot. Add the rice and stir in the oil. Then add the boiling water (it should make a bubbly noise if your pan is hot enough), add the salt, stir in, cover and lower the heat to simmer-mode for 15 minutes – do NOT remove the lid or stir in this time. After 15 minutes, remove from the hob, remove the lid, don’t stir it or anything and cover with the tea-towel for 10 minutes – how easy is that!

Serve up with the coriander sprinkled on the top and with the poppadoms and yogurt on the side. Also the Naan bread – don’t buy cheap ones as they break in half before you’ve even got home. Sharwood’s are totally fine. I like plain and just bung them in the toaster for 5 minutes and the mini naan’s work even better with this method.

Best served with: 

Generally with my curries, I like a decent Cru Beaujolais (eg. Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Brouilly etc) which are light-bodied, fruity and acidic, complimenting curries perfectly and £10 or even less, will buy a nice quaffable bottle. Or maybe a cheeky silky Burgundy – Majestic Wine probably have the best range of Burgundies for under £15 in the UK, especially the Volnay 2008 Labouré-Roi at £11.99. Tesco’s Finest Burgundy at £6.99 is easily absorbed with a curry and Waitrose have a few under £12 too, the Louis Latour 2007 at £9.99 being perfect.

The theory of drinking lager with curry, rice and naan bread is all wrong. Yes, after 8 pints of lager a curry seems like a good idea and yes, one more Kingfisher or Cobra won’t hurt, but even out on the town, I still like to see the wine list (which is usually a short read…), because the right wine really does enhance a well-made curry.

And Remember, Don’t Forget About Stuff!

We’ve all got to the last mouthful and suddenly remembered the Naan’s still left in the toaster, the coriander still chopped up on the excellent Megachef boardcaster or even forgetting to record Match Of The Day because the ruby and wine is so damn good!

  • 2 Naan Bread (Sharwoods normal size or 4 mini Naans)
  • 8 Poppadoms, Sharwoods ready to eat are perfect and add some crunch
  • A handful of fresh coriander, washed and roughly chopped

As with all curries, I recommend always having a pot 450ml of Yeo Valley Natural Pro-biotic yogurt (or similar) ready as a side dish, to temper any unexpected heat from the chillis and ginger.

PS. Timers are excellent. Have at least two for all cooking!!!

Cooking time: 
Takes about an hour or even longer if you prefer