I’ve been making versions of this dish for a few months now since I discovered the original recipe on the BBC Good Food website. We love chickpeas in our house and I am particularly fond of kala chana or brown chickpeas. If you’ve not tried them, you should – they are smaller and have a bit more bite to them and a slightly nuttier flavour. Supermarkets tend to stock them these days, sometimes in the ‘international’ food section or just in with the other pulses. The original recipe only contains one tin of normal chickpeas but more and more often these days I find myself adding an extra tin of pulses to recipes like this. It’s economical as the dish goes further and I just prefer the less meaty result. I like to think my husband is coming round to my way of thinking.
I’ve made this recipe using chicken breast as originally suggested and it was lovely and probably very low fat but I think all in all I prefer the result you get when using chicken thighs. I’ve tried cooking it on the bone with the skin on but we’re trying to lose a bit of weight round here so skinless, boneless thigh meat is our happy medium – moister and tastier (to my mind) than breast meat but without the skin a reasonably low fat option.
Making my own curry paste always struck me as too much hassle in the past but using the food processor it’s really very straightforward and the whole dish can be made in under an hour. You can adjust the spiciness by leaving out some of the chilli – the boy, who is 5 and not mad keen on very spicy food enjoyed eating this.
- 2 onions, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons of medium curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon of turmeric
- 2 teaspoons of paprika
- 1 red chilli, seeded and roughly chopped (or less if you prefer less heat)
- Fresh coriander
- Chicken stock cube/powder
- 425ml boiling water
- About 500g of boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tin kala chana/brown chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Small pot of natural yoghurt
Put the onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and spices into a food processor and blend them into a paste. Add a tablespoon of water to help it blend if you need to.
Cook the paste in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring it frequently.
Add the stock and the boiling water and mix it in.
Add the chicken and simmer for half an hour or until the meat is tender.
Add the two tins of chickpeas and cook for another ten minutes.
Serve with basmati rice and naan or chappatis. Drizzle with the plain yoghurt and sprinkle some chopped fresh coriander on top.