Dish type: curry
1kg chicken joints, skinned and pierced randomly with a fork
2–4 Indian or finger green chillies, whole or slit
Large handful of coriander leaves and stalks
Chopped seeds from 1 fresh pomegranate, to garnish
30g garlic cloves, peeled
30g fresh ginger, peeled
1 1⁄2 tsp salt
1 1⁄2 tbsp ground coriander
1 1⁄2 tbsp dried pomegranate powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1⁄2 tsp garam masala
Using a blender, make a paste of all the ingredients for the marinade with 150ml water. Place in a non-metallic bowl with the chicken, cover and marinate in a cool place for as long as possible (overnight is best). Bring back to room temperature before cooking.
Add the well-marinated chicken and the marinade to a large non-stick pan with the green chillies and 150ml water. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook over a low heat for 20–25 minutes. Give it the occasional stir and make sure there is always some water in the pan.
Uncover and turn the heat up. Reduce the excess water in the pan by cooking over a high heat while tossing the chicken in the reducing gravy. When completely reduced, add a good splash of water from a boiled kettle for a little gravy. Check for seasoning and tartness, you can add more dried pomegranate powder if it needs it. Stir in the fresh coriander and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.
Superfood Peshwari Naan
Makes 6 medium-large naans
300g plain flour plus extra for rolling
3 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. melted butter/ghee plus extra for brushing over
4 tbs. plain yoghurt
1 tsp. easybake dried yeast
40g each, gogi berries, cranberries, raisins, 30g each pine nuts, cashew nuts and ground almonds and 1 tsp. rose water. I also like to add a good pinch of fennel seed powder (if you have it)
Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and knead well for 5-6 minutes or until it is soft and springy. Grease with a little oil and place back in the oil, cover with a tea towel and plate and leave in a warmish or draft free place for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, pound or blend together all the ingredients for the filing until it is a paste, adding a couple of spoons of water to help make it a thick paste. It doesn’t have to be smooth.
Heat the grill to the highest setting (mine is in my oven) to 250C and place your oven rack or baking tray on the upper self. Divide the dough into 6 balls and taking one a t a time pat out into a 3” circle/ Place a tablespoon of the filling in the centre and bring the sides up and make into a pouch pressing the edges in. Place on a floured surface, edge side down and pat a little to make into a flat thick bread, making sure the paste is spread. Then roll out into a tear-shaped or oval 1-11/2cm naan. Prick with a fork. Repeat with another 2 and place three at a time on the hot baking shelf.
Bake until the surface has some lovely golden spots, around 3 minutes, flip and bake another 2-3 minutes or so until the other side has also cooked through. Brush the top with butter and place in some foil and repeat with the others. Serve hot.
Age-defying Spinach and Chia Seed Raita
75g baby spinach
¾ roasted ground cumin*
2 tsp. chia seeds
Wilt the baby spinach in a saucepan. Drain and squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Stir into the yogurt, season and add the roasted ground cumin and chia seeds. Serve chilled.
* How to roast spices
Only roast whole spices. Place the spices in a moderately hot, dry frying pan and toast over a gently heat. Shake the pan often so the spices brown evenly. (Do not use non-stick pans as the coating may smoke and this is thought to be toxic.) As the spices roast, they colour and become aromatic. Take them off the heat once they turn a few shades darker. Remove them from the pan or they will continue to brown and they might burn. Roasted spices can be ground in a mortar and pestle, or a spice or coffee grinder kept for the purpose.