Ceylonese chicken curry

Food mean different things to different people, personally food is health, food is habit, culture, identity, comfort, nourishment, colour, beautiful and tasty!

My love for good food goes beyond borders, firstly nourishment but tasty too! if you know me personally this won’t be news to you.

This recipe is a healthy twist to the regular chicken ceylon. I have tweaked it to suit our nutritional needs and taste buds ( spicey!), I added legume (chickpeas) a good source of protein and fibre, frozen peas , a case of making the best of your store cupboard and fridge essentials.

I was a bit unsure if the kids would like it, as they would not normally have peas or any strong texture in their curry. But as a parent i take it seriously to let my kids learn how to appreciate and enjoy meal times. Interestingly, it worked so well. They loved it and my 5 years old who would normally pick out any sign of vegetable in his plate was happy with it and said ”peas” are my favourite vegetables mummy.. phew! We’ve gone from being allergic to vegetables to ”favourites” now… so glad ( will save you the story today).. As a mom with former picky eaters ( fingers crossed) I can say that exposing kids enough times to different flavours and textures the right way will more likely make them try new foods. Don’t be afraid to play around with textures and flavours, that’s a good way to get started.

Other vegetables in this recipe are; onions, fresh turmeric, celery, carrots, ginger, garlic , peppers and tomatoes. these work well for that perfect home made curry paste. trust me once you’ve tried making your base from scratch, you’ll never go back to the shop bought ones.

Fresh vegetables
Home made curry paste

This recipe is loaded with aromatic spices and a lovely mixture of coconut and cashew flavour with chilli ! gives this dish it’s dreamy creamy texture you won’t forget in a hurry, please if you do cook this curry be sure not to miss the coconut and cashew unless you have nut allergies.

It’s a good combination of nutrition and taste.. healthy is not boring and bland!

Unsalted Cashew nuts

We know life can be so busy and it is no doubt taking its toll on our health and wellbeing, eating a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight is increasingly difficult for most of us thanks to takeaways too. This is not to make it normal or judge anyone but just to recognise how our fast paced life impacts our health and wellbeing. Eating out all the time not only affects our budget but has serious health implications like not meeting recommended dietary intakes of key nutrients which can later lead to nutrient deficiencies and weakened immune systems .

It’s no news that poor diet low in fruits and vegetables can predispose one to diet related conditions e.g type 2 diabetes, heart problems , stroke, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. I can’t share my story of type 2 diabetes enough, one of the reasons i started this platform was to share my food experience and journey with the hope to inspire a positive shift in food culture as well as keep myself accountable.

As a busy working mom of 3 , One of the ways i have managed to keep on top my diet and that of my family is to plan our meals, I am a big believer of batch cooking and freezing, you not only save cost, you save kitchen time and importantly able to eat a nutritious balanced meal at least few times a week depending on batch size. Any way of squeezing in more vegetables into your diet counts!

This recipe is freezer friendly and loaded with more than 5 of your at least 5 servings of vegetables. Let’s get cooking!

Note: Play around with the strength of the spices to suit you.

Ingredients

  1. pack of chicken breast fillets(500g)
  2. 1 tsp chilli ( adjust heat as you like)
  3. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  4. 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  5. 1/2 tsp fenugreek or mustard seeds
  6. 1/4 tsp ground fennel
  7. 1/4 tsp cloves
  8. 1/4 tsp cardamom
  9. 1 stick dry cinnamon
  10. tbsp olive oil
  11. fresh curry leaves
  12. 2 organic reduced salt chicken stock cubes
  13. Tin canned chickpeas
  14. 300g frozen peas

Paste: 2 medium onion, 4 cloves fresh garlic, 2cm fresh ginger, 2cm fresh turmeric, 4 carrots, 3 sticks celery, 1 red bell pepper, canned tomatoes and 2 tbsp tomato paste. put all these together in a food processor, add 1 tbsp olive oil and blend to a smooth paste and set aside. You can add the cashews and blend together or blend separately (whatever works for you)

Blended cashew and coconut cream

You can make this in batch and freeze for future use .(saves time)

Method

  1. Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan, add curry leaves and fenugreek or mustard seeds, fry till fragrant , then add chicken breast pieces and coat all over, cook for about 5 mins.
  2. Transfer paste into, throw in cinnamon stick cover pot and simmer for 10 mins .
Curry paste
  1. then pour in coconut cream, blended cashew nut, chickpeas and peas cook for further 5 mins and take off the hob.
  1. Enjoy with your meal base of choice. Rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, beans, potatoes, chapati, naan bread or pitta bread.

Happy cooking!

CHICKEN TAGINE

Turn up the heat with this delicious healthy homemade chicken tagine made with aromatic spices from North Africa.

If spice is your thing then you’d definitely love this pot. Ras el hanout is a north African spice (Algeria,morocco) A mixture of the best spice you can ever imagine, I love the intensity of the flavour and how it goes well with coriander. However if you can’t find it, you can use garam masala or curry powder with coriander powder or leaves.

The lovely thing about this recipe is that it is easily adaptable vegetarian or vegan recipe, just skip the chicken and add more chickpeas, butter beans or kidney beans. You can also add quorn or tofu just about any other vegan alternative will work well in this recipe

You can batch cook and fridge or freeze you save kitchen time and cost of weekly lunch or dinner. plus you get the opportunity to add more vegetables to your diet…hello fibre!

Serve with brown rice, cauliflower rice, bulgur wheat or quinoa for a perfect balanced diet.

Keeping it really quick and simple today until next time.

Please do not forget to let me know how you get on!

Happy cooking

Ingredients

1. Fresh chicken breast or chicken off the bone , cut into bits

2. 2-3 red bell pepper ( chopped)

3. 2 courgette (chopped)

4. Carrots( optional)

4. Green bean ( optional)

5. 2 chicken stock cube

6. 2 tins chopped tomatoes

7. 2 tins butter beans or chickpeas

8. 3 onions chopped

9. 2Tsp fresh ginger

10. 4 cloves garlic

11. 3Tbspn coriander

12. 2tbspn ras el hanout

13. 1 Tbspn freshly squeezed lemon

14. 4 Tbspn olive oil

15. 1 Tspn chilli or paprika ( optional)

Method

1. If using chicken off the bone cook it first and set aside( add seasoning of choice) if using chicken breast skip this stage.

Heat oil in a pan and saute onions, garlic and ginger

2 . Add chicken to the mix and cook properly if using chicken breast( 8mins) or just add your already cooked meat.

3. Add courgette, tomatoes, peppers, beans and all the seasonings including lemon

4. cook on low heat for 25-30 mins , taste add more seasoning if required then simmer for a further 5mins to allow flavours to come together.

Serve with brown rice , quinoa , bulgur, or cauliflower rice.

Enjoy!