Chicken masala with basmati rice
- Chop the onions as finely as possible. Heat the oil in a wide pan (N.B. you will need a lid later) and fry the onions on a medium heat until they are a deep brown throughout (but not burnt black). This always takes longer than I expect – about 30 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves and cardamom pod to the pan. Stir and then fry for a minute.
- Add the drained tomatoes and turmeric and continue to fry for another 5 minutes or so, until the mixture becomes a pulp.
- Add 150ml of water, stir and continue to cook until it reduces to a thick puree.
- Add the chicken thigh fillets – the pan needs to be wide enough to there is no more than a single layer. Coat the fillets in the masala puree. Don’t worry if it seems quite dry – water should come out of the chicken while it cooks. Put a lid on the pan and simmer gently for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally to avoid sticking.
- Meanwhile cook the rice according to packet instructions. Alternatively bring 1 ¾ cups water to the boil, add rice, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat and leave with lid on for a further 10 minutes.
- When the chicken is cooked through, stir in the garam masala.
- Serve the chicken masala with the rice and a small side dish of natural yoghurt.
- Serve this with a Spanish Rosado.
- Use a food ring to pack the rice in to serve chef-style on each plate.
- Garnish the plain yoghurt with a pinch of garam masala to make it look more interesting
- The masala sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead. When you want to eat, simply heat up the masala to cook the chicken thigh fillets and also cook the rice.
- Basmati rice has a lower glycaemic index than other white rice, so is more suitable for people with diabetes.