Creamy chicken curry with easy-to-make fluffy naan
Coriander and fenugreek seeds give this chicken a depth of flavour, which is balanced beautifully with a little cream and peppers. This is a great dish to be enjoyed with some rice and my garlic naan.
Once you realise how easy it is to make light and fluffy naan at home, you won’t resort to buying the ready-made type again. With this basic technique, you can try any number of toppings and stuffing. Here I’m using just a few flavourings: garlic, coriander leaves and green chillies. The sharpness of garlic goes very well with the fresh, woody notes of the coriander leaves, the coolness of which balances the heat of the chillies.
For the naan (makes 6):
300g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
130–140ml whole milk
Butter, for brushing
For the topping:
1 handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 green chillies, finely chopped
For the coriander chicken:
2 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
2 onions, thinly sliced
300g skinless and boneless chicken breasts, chopped in small 1 inch cubes
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp double cream
To make the garlic naan, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, oil and yoghurt in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the milk and mix until you have a smooth soft dough—you might not need all of the milk or you may need a bit more. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it on an oiled worktop for around 10 mins. Put it in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave it to rest for 15 mins.
In a large pan, dry roast the coriander seeds for a few mins on a low heat until they start to change colour. Remove from the pan and crush them lightly in a pestle and mortar.
Heat the oil in the pan and add the fenugreek seeds. When they start to change colour, add the sliced onions. Cook them until they turn golden brown.
Add the chicken, crushed coriander seeds, 1½ tsp salt, chilli powder, coriander powder and mix well. Add the tomato puree and cook till the chicken is done—roughly 10 mins. Add the thinly sliced green pepper and cook for 2 mins.
Add the garam masala and cream, mix well.
Just before you are ready to eat, divide the dough roughly into 6 or 7 balls. Preheat the grill on its highest setting.
Roll out the dough balls into any shape you like, then gently prick them all over with a fork. Brush the naan with some water and sprinkle some coriander leaves, garlic and chillies over it.
Place the naan on a lightly floured baking sheet and grill them for 1–2 mins, or until they are golden. Now turn them over and grill the other side for less than 1 min.
Once ready, brush with melted butter and serve hot with the curry.
Recipe: Chetna Makan
Image: John Holdship