My Chicken Palak Curry.

I’m a big fan of various Indian delicacies. And this is how I make one of my favorite chicken curry dishes.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients.

1. 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 large pieces.

2. 2 bunches of spinach (Swiss chard)

3. 1 bunch fresh mint. chopped.

4. 1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves separated.

5. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. 1/2 cup of unflavoured yoghurt.

7. 3 ripe tomatoes, pureed.

8. 1 large onion, chopped.

9. 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste.

10. A small knob of grated whole turmeric.

11. 1 tbsp garam masala

12. 1 tbsp tomato paste.

13. 1 tsp mixed spice blend (see picture for what I used).

14. 1 tbsp kasuri methi.

15. Whole spices: cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, a few cloves and cardamom pods.

16. 2 tbsp ghee.

Method.

• Chop and clean your chicken, and pat dry.

• Mix the yoghurt with half of the ginger, garlic and turmeric paste, the chopped mint, garam masala, mixed spice blend and salt and pepper.

Marinate the chicken in this mixture overnight or for a couple of hours if pressed for time. (Reserve a bit of the mint though).

• Heat your pan, add ghee and the whole spices. Let them release aroma then add onion.

Let the onion cook till soft and a bit browned. Add the remaining ginger garlic, turmeric paste, coriander stems and mix well.

• Next go in the tomato paste and pureed tomatoes. Lower heat and let them cook till you see the oil leaving the sides of the pan, then add the marinated chicken. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes.

• As the chicken cooks, blanch the spinach, cool in icy cold water to preserve the bright green colour then drain and puree together with the mint and coriander leaves you had set aside.

• Add the pureed greens to the chicken and mix in well. Cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Or until chicken is cooked through. Remember to check on the seasoning.

The dried methi leaves go in last. Switch off heat and let sit a bit.

It looks, smells and tastes so good!

Serve the curry with jeera rice and some naan or chapati.

As with all curries, It tastes better once it sits a bit so keep some aside for lunch the next day. The flavours will be even better!

Lunchbox Rice balls. Recipe coming soon…

Pumpkin, Chana Dal and Ground Beef Curry.

A colourful, delicious, healthy and filling curry that is easy to make, and does not take too long either.

You will need:-

  • 1 cup already boiled chana dal.
  • About 300g of ground beef.
  • 3 tbsp of cooking oil.
  • I large chopped onion.
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds.
  • 1 heaped tsp smashed ginger, garlic and some turmeric.
  • About 2 cups chopped pumpkin cubes.
  • I small bunch of coriander, leaves and stems separated and chopped.
  • 1 green pepper, sliced.
  • I cup homemade tomato sauce. Can be alternated with 3 tomatoes, peeled and pureed.
  • 2 tsp curry powder.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
Look at those lovely colours.

To begin, heat your oil in a pan and the onion.

Once onion is soft and getting a bit browned, add your ginger, garlic turmeric paste and the roughly crushed coriander seeds.

The green pepper and coriander stalks will go in next. Then the curry powder. Mix in well and let cook a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn.

Followed in my the beef mince. Let the meat cook on high heat till it is no longer clumpy and has began to brown.

Once the meat is cooked down well and dried out, add the tomato sauce or tomatoes and a small pinch of sugar. Cover and let them cook down, before adding the already boiled chana dal.

Look at how colourful it is. If using tomatoes, you can add a cup of water so the curry does not become too dry. If using tomato sauce, add water if needed and remember to check and add your seasoning (salt) as you go.

Add the pumpkin last as it will not take too long to cook and you do not want it to turn mushy. You want the cubes cooked, soft but still firm. This should simmer for no more than ten minutes as the mince was already fully cooked before adding the lentils.

See how colourful it is!

Once done, add in the coriander leaves and switch off the cooker. The curry is pleasing in terms of how it looks, the aroma and how it tastes.

You can serve this with chapati or rice.

We had ours with plantain stuffed chapati whose recipe I have already shared here.

This is definitely worth a try.

Let me know how yours turns out!

Love,

Wanjoro.

Instant Pot Beef Stew.

I think I may have just found my best beef stew recipe yet!

It is aromatic, rich in colour and flavour, and the beef is so ‘melt in your mouth’ tender, the kids will enjoy it.

Also, it is fast to make as it’s made in the instant pot. Which I really need to make more use of other than for boiling maize and legumes.

You will need:

  • I kg stewing beef, cut in medium large chunks.
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • About 1 heaped tbsp of crushed ginger garlic paste, mixed with some coriander seeds and some whole turmeric.
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise, yes, mayo. I used low fat gluten free option, but any can do.
  • I cup homemade roasted tomato sauce. 4 Chopped tomatoes will do too. Peeled and chopped.
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice blend. The one picture has cinnamon, cloves, pepper, cardamon and bay leaf.
  • Salt and pepper.

Method.

Crush the ginger, garlic, turmeric and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle.

These are the only ground spices I used. The flavour is amazing in this dish!

(I am a firm believer that spices and herbs should not overtake any dish’s natural flavour. A little goes a long way in this meal. We are also lucky here that a lot of our livestock and poultry is still naturally reared which makes it more flavourful).

Rub the beef chunks with the mixed spice and mayo, as well as a teaspoon on the ginger garlic paste. You can let it marinate overnight if possible or at least half a day.

Switch on your instant pot and select sautè function.

Add the oil, then the onion, followed by the remaining ginger garlic paste. Let cook without it burning then add the tomato sauce and the meat. Cover.

Select meat function on the instant pot.

Mine cooked for thirty minutes at normal pressure. Let it release pressure naturally for about ten minutes then do a quick pressure release carefully.

Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.

This is what it looks like without further simmering.

You can have it this way, just remember to garnish with some coriander leaves.

If you however want to thicken the sauce and deepen the brown colour further, select the sauté function again and let it cook for about 8 minutes, keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

The sauce will thicken further and the brown colour will deepen.

This meal is so good. Once served, you may think it was made for hours.

Serve it with a side of your choice. We had ours with celery rice. I have already shared the recipe for that here.

Simple Vegetable Curry.

This is a simple vegetable curry that is full of flavour, filled with lots of healthy vegetables and comes together quite easily.

You can use any vegetables you have on hand. So feel free to mix and match as per your favourites.

I like this curry powder and this is the mixd spice blend I used this time round.

Our ingredients are:-

  • 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil. You can use ghee too if you wish.
  • 1 large chopped onion.
  • 1 tsp cumin and mustard seeds, and 1 bay leaf.
  • 2 tsps garlic ginger paste.
  • 1 tsp grated whole turmeric.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 juicy tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1tsp mixed spice blend.
  • 2 heaped tsps Kenyan curry powder.
  • 1 tsp garam masala.
  • 1 cup already boiled chana dal.
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 eggplant and I courgette, chopped and soaked in salty water.
  • 1 cup chopped green /French beans.
  • 1 small bunch coriander, separate the stems and leaves.
  • 1 cup, bell pepper, You can use any colour or all colours.
  • 1 can of coconut milk.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Tips:

*Boil your chana dal in a pinch of turmeric, 1 bayleaf, 3-4 cloves, and a cinnamon stick. It adds flavour and extra colour to the lentils.

Remember to skim off the foam as the lentils boil. Do not forget to discard the whole spices once boiled, drained and cooled.

Tip 2. *Soaking the eggplant and courgette (zucchini) in salted water lets them retain their shape and flavour once you cook them. Remember to drain and rinse before adding to the pan so the meal is not too salty.

Method.

Heat oil in your saucepan and add the cumin and mustard seeds.

Add onion, let cook till soft then follow with the turmeric and ginger garlic paste.

Add in the mixed spice and curry powder and let cook down a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn…

…then add the tomatoes, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cover and let cook down till tomatoes are mushy and oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.

Drain the soaked vegetables and add to the pan. Mix well and let cook a bit covered on low heat.The veggies will all release their liquid and absorb the spices’ flavour.

Once the vegetables are cooked a bit, add the coconut milk and garam masala as well as a small pinch of sugar. A teeny weeny pinch.

Cover and continue cooking on low for about 20 minutes.

Once done, give a final stir and check seasoning and if the veggies are cooked to your liking.

Garnish with the chopped dhania leaves then serve.

This dish goes well with some steamed rice or chapati.

We had ours with some butter naan and ndengu rice.

The curry is colourful, flavourful, filling and healthy. Definitely worth a try.

A great family meal to add to one’s repertoire.

Love,

Wanjoro.