National Curry Week – Melody’s Kitchen

To mark National Curry Week Melody has a winning recipe for us.

We love a curry, I tend to cook them quite often, mostly cooked from scratch. Occasionally I use a jar, and sometimes the local takeaway! To be entirely honest, I’m not into making my own curry paste, as it all takes too long, but I do like using ground spices, especially as I always have lots of jars hanging around in my cupboard.

A simple fragrant curry recipe

As its National Curry Week I thought I’d bring you a delicious chicken curry based on a South African recipe. It’s slightly more fragrant than the usual Indian curry which makes a change. It contains potatoes, so if you’re cutting your carbs you might not want to serve it with rice. I used rather waxy potatoes which didn’t break down enough, so in future, I will use a baking potato which will break down and thicken the sauce.

For extra veg, you could stir a good handful of spinach leaves through the curry a few minutes before the end of cooking or even parboil some cauliflower and stir that through, or try cauliflower rice; blitz some cauliflower in a food processer. Dry fry 1 tsp cumin seeds in a frying pan for a few moments then add the cauli and about ½ inch water. Cook until the water has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Season and serve with the curry. However you serve it, this recipe is simpler than it looks. Just get all your spices out of the cupboard before you start and you’ll have a curry on your table in half an hour!

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 tbsp oil (I’m using cold pressed rape seed oil at the moment)

1 onion, finely chopped or grated

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

½ tsp fennel seeds

1 star anise

2.5cm piece of ginger, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ heaped tbsp chilli powder (or to taste)

½ tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp cumin seeds

4 large chicken thighs, boned and cut into bite size pieces

A good squeeze of tomato puree

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

2 small potatoes, cubed


1 tsp garam masala

To serve, chopped coriander leaves and plain boiled rice.


Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, fennel seeds and star anise and fry gently until the onion is golden brown. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander and cumin seeds and stir, letting the spices cook gently, releasing their fragrance.

Pour in enough water to make about 1 inch of liquid in the pan and add the chicken and tomato puree. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, potatoes and a good sprinkle of salt and cook for a further 10 -15 minutes. Check that the chicken and potatoes are cooked then stir in the garam masala and chopped coriander. Remove the cinnamon stick, star anise and bay leaf before serving with plain boiled rice and more chopped coriander.

If you are looking for more recipe ideas, here’s another one of my  curry dishes which is good for all the vegetarians out there.

See you next time.

Melody x