I've totally embraced this whole Autumn/Winter thing. As the days have become colder and crisper, I've been spending more time in the kitchen. When it's cold outside, spending an hour or so over a hot pan is quite a nice time to spend your time - I'm all for being toasty.
Lately, I've been making a lot of curries - funny, as they really weren't my thing a couple of years ago. But the more I make, the more I learn about spices and flavours, and this post is the result of me completely improvising one. I was aiming for something a little like a massaman curry, and... well, this is a LITTLE like that. But it's something else, really - milder, creamier, and with more of an Indian mix of spices than a Thai one. Let's call it fusion food, shall we? Or just a mad improvisation that worked, because that's totally what it was.
But it DID work. It was so very, very tasty that I grabbed my laptop and wrote the recipe up the second I finished eating because I wanted to make sure I remembered it. Mostly for you guys, obviously, but also for me - I am absolutely making this again.
Peanut & coconut chicken curry
500g chicken breasts
65g peanut butter
400ml coconut milk (one can)
6 mushrooms (approx)
1/2 pepper (I used yellow)
160g spinach (1 bag)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp coriander leaf
1 tsp curry powder
Handful of fresh coriander, and more to serve
Serves 6 / 12 Weight Watchers Propoints (including 50g rice, 7PP without)
2. You might want to pre-soften the carrots - pop them in your pan or wok with a little water and put the lid on for 10 minutes, then remove and set them aside.
3. Chop up your chicken and set aside for a moment.
4. Heat one teaspoon of oil in your pan and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds until they crackle and pop, then add the chicken, and crush the garlic into there too.
5. When the chicken is just about done, add the onion, mushrooms, pepper and carrots to the pan with a splash of water and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes to soften the rest of the veg.
6. While it cooks, prepare a paste in a small bowl of 50g of the peanut butter (keep 15g aside), turmeric, cumin, coriander leaf and curry powder and stir together.
7. When the vegetables are softened, add the paste and ensure the chicken especially is well coated.
8. Add the coconut milk and allow everything to simmer for 5-10 minutes to let the flavours combine and the sauce thicken.
9. Combine cornflour with a little water to make a slurry and add to the sauce to thicken it further (leave this step out if you think it's thick enough).
10. Add that last bit of peanut butter you set aside and stir into the sauce along with the sweet chilli, then add the spinach and let it wilt into the sauce.
11. Throw in the coriander, and season the sauce with a little salt if needed.
10. While the sauce is simmering, cook your rice or noodles - I usually go for 50g per person - and then when they're both done, serve!
This freezes really well, and would work as a vegetarian option too if you removed the chicken (which would also reduce it to 10PP a person). Light coconut milk would also make it healthier, although if I cut both those things down then I'd probably just double the peanut butter. Everything could always be more peanut buttery.