Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Chicken with Sour Cream and Red (Orange) Pepper

This was recipe was from Anjum's New Indian by Anjum Anand and was supposed to be last week's Cook Book recipe but I got distracted by noodles and cheesecake in Wagamama! The White Chocolate and Ginger Cheesecake is to die for. So it ended up on this week's Menu Plan and I cooked it for dinner last night after my bank holiday spent at the V&A.

Unfortunately it really wasn't anything special. It didn't have a lot of spice to it, and whilst I do like my curry's mild to medium I do at least like to taste that it is curry and not just chicken in tomato sauce. I used yellow peppers instead of red as that's what I had in and creme fraiche instead of sour cream which would have made a small difference to the flavour but it should not have been the bland meal it ended up being.

Some of the directions are also a little funny: "Follow with the tomatoes, cover and cook until they have softened and these is no moisture left in the pan", surely if you put a lid on something its going to keep the moisture in not let the moisture out, so you can't leave it till there is no moisture left as with the lid on it won't, unless the idea is for everything to burn on the bottom of the pan! Now admittedly I have an electric hob (roll on three weeks when I'll have gas), and it doesn't come to simmer very quickly after boiling but I had to keep stirring occasionally so that the tomatoes did not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn, and in the end I just left the lid off and it did get rid of the moisture.

The peppers also didn't really add much in terms of the flavour or texture, they were semi crunchy still as they don't cook for very long and were just sort of there as an extra, unneeded ingredient really. I have adjusted the amount of chilli powder to double called for in the recipe. I served it with wilted spinach with mustard seeds and a Naan Bread.

Chicken with Sour Cream and Red Pepper (adapted from Anjum's New Indian)

20g fresh ginger peeled
6 large cloves of garlic, peeled
3 tbsp veg oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
salt, to taste
1- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
3 medium to large tomatoes, chopped
700g chicken joints, skinned
1 large red pepper, cored and cut into 2.5cm squares
4 tbsp sour cream
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
Using a blender, make a fine paste of the ginger and garlic with a splash of water.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until starting to brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook until the water has dried off and the paste has fried for about 30 seconds. Stir in the ground coriander, salt and chilli powder. Follow with the tomatoes, cover and cook until they have softened and these is no moisture left in the pan. Uncover and stir fry for 5 mins to finish cooking the masala.

Add the chicken and brown lightly for 2 mins. Add 300ml water, bring to the boil, then cover and cook over a low heat for 15 mins. Add the red pepper, cover once again, and cook for another 7-10 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.

There should be quite a lot of liquid in the pan. Increase the heat to high and boil of excess water while stirring the chicken for about 3-4 mins or until there is a 4cm depth of gravy in the pan. Add the sour cream and garam masala. Taste and adjust the seasoning and chilli. The gravy should be creamy but not too thick, if necessary add some water from a recently boiled kettle to loosen.

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