Chicken and Apricot Curry with Chips

Chicken and Apricot CurryThis Chicken and Apricot Curry with it’s chips scattered over the top, believe it or not, is actually is an authentic Indian recipe. When I first read it, even though I got it from one of my favourite Indian cookbooks, Rick Stein’s ‘India – In Search of the Perfect Curry’, I was like “Has Rick gotten drunk on his search for the perfect curry and staggered into the local chippy and slurred the words “chips and curry”?”. Turns out he didn’t. Or at least if he did, he also found this amazing Parsee curry. I kind of thing it is like an indian sweet and sour as it is sweet from apricots and jaggery and sour from vinegar and of course spicy with plenty of dried spices. The chips provide real crunch too though if you’d prefer to leave them out for the sake of convenience then just leave them out.

Chicken and Apricot Curry

Ingredients

  • 12 peppercorns
  • 10 cloves
  • 4 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 4 dried Kashmiri chillies (I cut mine into quarters)
  • 8 cm stick of cinnamon
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 200 g fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 7 cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 40 g ginger, finely minced or grated
  • 8 chicken breasts, cut into thirds
  • 100 ml vegetable oil plus more for deep frying
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes plus more for seasoning the chips
  • 1 tbsp jaggery (light brown sugar will do if you cannot find jaggery)
  • 300 g soft, pitted apricots
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • Cold water
  • 500 g peeled potatoes
  • 1 small handful of fresh coriander to garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat 100 ml of vegetable oil in a large heavy based pot, add the whole spices and fry over a medium heat for a few minutes until they become really aromatic.
  2. Add the onion and fry for about 10 minutes until it becomes softened and a little transparent.
  3. Add the tomatoes and the salt and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the ground spices, garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute and add in your chicken pieces. Stir the chicken until they are allocated in the spicy onion mixture and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the jaggery, vinegar and apricots and give it all a quick mix before you add the water. Just enough to cover everything. For me, that took 300 ml. Then mix and bring everything up to the boil.
  6. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low, clamp the lid on and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Cut your potatoes into matchsticks and soak in cold water for 15 mins to get rid of excess starch.Then dry well on kitchen paper.
  8. Heat about 1inch of vegetable oil in a sauce pan to 180 degrees Celsius. I use a candy thermometer to tell when it is hot enough but if you don't have one, drop one chip into the oil when you think it is hot enough and it should bubble straight away.
  9. Carefully lower the chips into the oil in batches with a slotted spoon.
  10. Stir occasionally and allow each batch to fry for about 4 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown. Lift them out with the slotted spoon and transfer them to clean kitchen paper to drain and season the with salt immediately so it will stick. Continue with the next batch until they are all done.
  11. Serve the curry in it's pot at the table and scatter over the chips followed a little fresh coriander.
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