Serves: 4 (294 calories/portion)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 4 fairly small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 600g)
- 25g low-fat natural yoghurt
- 1 tbsp sunﬂower oil
- 2 large onions, chopped (400g prepared weight)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 20g chunk of fresh root ginger, peeled and ﬁnely grated
- 12 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- ½ heaped tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 tbsp plain ﬂour
- small pinch of saﬀron
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp ﬁne sea salt, plus extra to season
- 300ml cold water
- 3 tbsp double cream
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh coriander, roughly torn, to garnish (optional)
- Cut each chicken breast into 8 or 9 bite-sized pieces, season with black pepper and put them in a non-metallic bowl. Stir in the yoghurt, cover with cling ﬁlm and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes but ideally 2–6 hours.
- Heat the oil in a large, non-stick saucepan and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until very soft and lightly coloured. Stir the onions occasionally so they don’t start to stick.
- Once the onions are softened, stir in the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and bay leaf. Pinch oﬀ the ends of the cloves into the pan and throw away the stalks. Cook the spices with the onions for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the ﬂour, saﬀron, sugar and ½ a teaspoon of salt, then slowly pour the water into the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat, take out the bay leaf and blitz the onion mixture with a stick blender until it is as smooth as possible. You can do this in a food processor if you prefer, but let the mixture cool slightly ﬁrst. Te sauce can now be used right away or cooled, covered and chilled until 10 minutes before serving.
- Drain the chicken in a colander over the sink, shaking it a few times – you want the meat to have just a light coating of yoghurt. Place a non-stick frying pan on the heat, add the sauce and bring it to a simmer. Add the chicken pieces and cream and cook for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through, stirring regularly. Exactly how long the chicken takes will depend on the size of your pieces, so check a piece after 8 minutes – there should be no pink remaining.
- Adjust the seasoning to taste, spoon into a warmed serving dish and serve garnished with fresh coriander if you like.