If you cook the onions a few days ahead, you can have this on the table quicker than you can get a take away delivered. So much tastier too! It’s tastier if you cook it and leave it in the fridge overnight, making it all even quicker!
Chicken Madras (serves 4)
3tblsp of Madras curry powder (any will do, but ours is freshly ground and comes without any added chilli powder so that you can ramp up the heat to suit yourself – get it here)
600g chicken (breast/thigh or a mixture of all – just make sure it’s off the bone)
1tsp chilli powder (more or less to taste)
1tsp sugar (optional)
1-4 green chillies (make it as hot or mild as you like)
2 cloves garlic
Roughly the same amount of ginger to garlic
400ml pasatta or 1 tin of tomatoes (if using a tin of tomatoes, whizz them until smooth and add a squirt of tomato puree for colour)
CHILLI HEAT TOP TIP: If you like a mild curry, just use 1/4-1/2 tsp chilli powder or 1 whole green chilli but don’t cut it or pierce it at all. Pop the whole thing in the curry and pull it out at the end. You can then put the cooked chilli into the dish of someone who’d appreciate the heat, leaving your portion with chilli flavour without the heat!
In a plastic bag/bowl, combine the juice of half a lemon, 2tblsp of the Madras curry blend, 1tsp chilli powder (if using), 1 clove of garlic grated/crushed and 1tsp salt. Mix everything together until the chicken is evenly coated. Cover with cling film or close the bag and leave in the fridge for 10 minutes to overnight. When you’re ready to cook, bring it back to room temperature (don’t worry if you forget, the chicken just absorbs more flavour at room temperature)
To prepare the onion, if you have a food processor or a mini food processor make short work of the finely chopping bit by cutting the peeled onion into quarters and whizzing. Don’t turn it into puree though!
Heat 2-4 tblsp oil/ghee/butter and oil in a pan and cook the onion on very low heat, covered until it’s very soft – about 20 minutes, stirring very often to prevent it burning. If you think it might burn, add a splash of water or a little more oil.
Take the lid off the onions and turn the heat to medium and carry on cooking until the onions are a lovely golden brown. Don’t rush this bit because it gives your curry a deep, savoury flavour. You can even cook the onions a few days ahead to make it all quicker. But, if you need to speed things up, it’s not the end of the world!
While the onions are cooking finely chop/grate/crush the chillies, ginger and remaining clove of garlic. I usually chop them roughly and add them with a good splash of water to a blender and whizz them to a watery paste to speed things up. I had a spare red chilli so used that to add to the red colour of the finished dish.
Add the ginger/chill/garlic paste to the cooked onions and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes until you can smell the garlic. Add the remaining tablespoon of Madras spice blend and stir well for a minute.
Turn the heat to high. Add the chicken to the pan and stir thoroughly until everything is incorporated and the chicken is sealed.
Add the pasatta/tin of tomatoes and stir well to combine. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Take the lid off, turn the heat up and continue with a fast simmer until the sauce is as thick as you like it and the chicken is cooked through. Taste. Add sugar and more salt if needed, along with more chilli powder/finely chopped green/red chilli if you think it needs more heat.
Serve with chopped coriander if liked. Delicious! Leftovers are amazing for breakfast, or made into pasties/pies, or with a jacket potato. Keeps in the fridge for 5 days. Freezable.