This slight adaptation of Jamie Oliver's favourite chicken curry is an easy homemade curry that the whole family will love. Fresh tasting and not too spicy, it's a perfect midweek meal!
Last week I was flicking through Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef when I realised I had never made this curry recipe. Now, being a big curry lover, I normally avoid curry recipes with this type of title, by that I mean just curry, rather than a type of curry. This is probably why I hadn't made it until now.
Jamie Oliver's Favourite Chicken Curry?
I suppose it was the shameless use of the word favourite that did it. If this really is Jamie's favourite curry recipe (which I doubt, it is) I assumed it would be pretty good.
And was it? Well yes, as you would expect, it was a good curry, I enjoyed it. I liked the coconuty tomato sauce and would happily eat it again, but like the rather generic title, it was a rather generic curry. None of the flavours were quite strong enough to wow me. It needed just a bit more spice or a bit of zing.
A beginner's homemade chicken curry
I would say that if you don't often make curries, this is a perfect one to start with as it's fairly quick and easy without too many ingredients, and despite what I said, it does taste good. But if you make a lot of curries, you might prefer to be a bit more adventurous. Sorry Jamie.
Remaking Jamie Oliver's Favourite Chicken Curry
Well, it's 8 years since I first made this curry and I've remade it a few times. These days I don't eat as much hot and spicy food as most of my meals are very kid friendly for Miss and Master Spice aged 7 and 5. I think I probably appreciate more subtle flavours.
A Great Curry for Children!
Well, Master Spice certainly appreciated this curry. He loved it and even asked for seconds. I'm always delighted when I discover a recipe that one of my kids loves and at the moment this is certainly his favourite curry, along with my chicken tikka masala recipe!
I have to say I omitted the fresh chilli peppers but of course you can add as many as you want depending on your preferred heat level. I also added some spinach. After all, spinach goes really well in a curry and it's a great way to adding extra vegetables to a meal.
So will I wait a few more years before I make it again? Probably not!
Side dishes for a chicken curry
I love to serve curries with plain and simple basmati rice and naan bread. However, if you want to add a couple of side dishes then why not make this tomato and cucumber raita or some onion bhajis? Sometimes I also make a vegetarian curry so there's some variety on the table. This curried okra is a great way of adding some extra vegetables to the meal as well.
Are the ingredients easy to find?
Most of the ingredients can easily be picked up in the supermarket. The only one that might be difficult to get hold of is the curry leaves, although you can often find dried ones in the herbs and spices section of most supermarkets.
Don't worry if you can't find them though. Just miss them out. It'll still be a very tasty curry recipe.
Ways to adapt Jamie Oliver's favourite chicken curry
I do believe that recipes are there as a guide and you shouldn't worry about sticking rigidly to them. If you don't have one particular spice then you can miss it out. Just make sure you taste the curry and add a little extra of something else if you think it needs it.
For this recipe you could even miss out the chicken and make it vegetarian. Just replace the chicken with a plant-based protein such as chickpeas or paneer.
You can also change the vegetables. Almost all vegetables are great in curries. Why not try cauliflower, green beans, kale or peppers.
I often just look in the vegetable drawer in the fridge and see which vegetables need to be used up before they go too bendy!
What can you do with the leftovers?
This chicken curry is great for batch cooking. You can store the leftovers in the fridge for up to three days. Leftover curry is delicious and the flavours are often even better the next day. You can reheat the curry in a saucepan but may need to add a splash of water. I usually reheat it in the microwave though. Check that it's piping hot before serving.
You can also freeze the leftovers for up to three months. Ideally defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating throroughly.
Jamie Oliver’s Favourite Chicken Curry
- 2 tsp lazy ginger or a small knob of fresh ginger
- 3 onions peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek
- 3 chillies sliced (optional - I left these out for the children)
- Handful curry leaves
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 6 tomatoes or a 400g tin of tomatoes
- 400 ml tin coconut milk
- 4 chicken breasts sliced into strips
- Pinch of salt optional
- 100 g spinach approximately
- Put the onion and ginger into a food processor and blend till finely diced.
- Heat a little oil in a pan. Add the mustard and fenugreek seeds, chillies and curry leaves.
- As the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onion mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes until they have softened.
- After adding the onion to the pan, put the tomatoes in the food processor and blend too.
- Add the chilli powder, turmeric and coriander to the pan, followed by the tomatoes and coconut milk. Add a little water too. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with a little salt to tastes if necessary. Then add the spinach and stir in until wilted. Serve with rice or naan.
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