Oooh, winter nights are drawing in and the temptation of warming, spicy food is never greater. But pause for a moment before you reach for a take-away menu, how about passing on the high-calorie, high-fat, high-salt option and tucking into a healthy, quick home-made curry? Not only is this the health-wise option, it’s also the wallet friendly choice before pay-day!
Serves 4 (or 6 with the extra chickpeas/lentils – see below)
- 2 onions (sliced)
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon of water
- ½ teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (peeled and chopped)
- 4 handfuls of fresh spinach or 4 “chunks” of frozen
- 2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 600g bite-size chunks of raw chicken or enough prawns (fresh or frozen) to feed 4
Be aware, this recipe makes a lot of sauce! (I never see the point of using ½ a tine of tomatoes in a recipe as the other ½ only ever moulders in the fridge). Anyway, because of this you can either
a) save yourself time by transferring ½ the sauce to a plastic container after step 6 and freezing for another night or
b) adding extra chickpeas or tinned lentils at stage 7 to bulk up the super-healthy low-fat protein and fibre.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick pan with a lid.
- Add the cumin seeds and toast for 2 minutes, stirring so they don’t burn.
- Add the onions with a tablespoon of water and cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn until translucent.
- Add the chopped garlic, ginger, tomatoes, tomato puree and salt and stir well.
- Add red chilli, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric powder. Stir and simmer gently with the lid on for 20 minutes
- Turn off the heat, ladle into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth sauce.
- Pour the sauce back into the pan and add the spinach and chicken / prawns.
- Bring back to a simmer and maintain until the chicken / prawns are cooked through.
- Serve with rice and a low fat raita.