A new recipe from our very own guest chef, Indian Superfood’s Gurpareet Bains
Chocolate and Chicken Curry
I first came across chocolate curry in my days at RAJ TV, where I was gainfully employed as a roving television restaurant critic, visiting restaurants and chatting with their chefs whilst tasting food on camera – well somebody had to do it!
Iqbal was the very charismatic proprietor of Sweet Chillies in Yardley Wood, England who first mentioned chocolate curry to me, disclosing that it was popular with the ladies. I don’t actually recall seeing it on his menu at the time; so, maybe I’d had too much wine, or perhaps he was just pulling my leg. But still, it made perfectly good sense to bring together a passion for Indian food with chocolate.
So, here is my version for the ladies, and gentlemen. If you are fond of chicken tikka masala, you should be smitten by this one too. It’s a rich and silky curry with the uniquely bittersweet taste of chocolate. It can be made richer still with the inclusion of a few pieces of dark chocolate.
Cocoa also releases antioxidants and feel good endorphins into our body and that’s why it’s widely known as an aphrodisiac. In fact, cocoa has been a chi-chi superfood ever since the savvy Aztec Indians first laid their hands on it, mixing it with spices to make a drink. Cardamom further intensifies these aphrodisiac properties.
3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
14fl oz light coconut milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon cloves
7 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½–1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
chopped fresh cilantro, to season
Place the cocoa in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the coconut milk, stirring all the time until you have a smooth mixture. Set aside.
Pour the olive oil into a deep saucepan, add the cloves and cardamom pods and cook over a medium heat until the oil is hot and the cloves and cardamom pods start to release their aroma – this should take no longer than 2–3 minutes. Add the salt and onion and fry until the onion is light brown in color, remembering to stir frequently – this should take no more than 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and fry for about 1–2 minutes or until a light brown color. Sprinkle in the ginger and chili powder, mix well and cook for about 20 seconds. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until sealed all over, stirring all the time – this should take no more than 5 minutes.
Pour in the cocoa mixture, together with the sugar and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, remembering to stir to avoid any sticking.
Remove the chicken from the pan to a warm plate and set aside. Remove and discard the cardamom pods and cloves. Transfer the sauce to a food processor. Season with chopped cilantro and blitz until smooth.
Return the sauce and chicken pieces to the saucepan and heat through. Serve with your choice of sides.
One serving = 225%+ RDA Antioxidants
Antibacterial – cardamom, chilli, cilantro, cloves, garlic, ginger
Antifungal – cardamom, chilli, cloves, cilantro, garlic, ginger
Antiviral – cloves, garlic
Anti-inflammatory – cardamom, chilli, cloves, cilantro, garlic, ginger
Analgesic – chili, cloves
Spiced Green Tea
Makes 3 mug fulls
Kahwa is by far my favorite way to enjoy tea and is my hot drink of choice, and just what is needed to wash down rich, chocolaty flavors. It’s nothing at all like how we have come to expect green tea to taste. Flavored deeply by an ambrosial combination of warming superspices and honey, it has an unmistakable and most pleasurable taste that words alone cannot describe.
Kahwa originates from the Kashmir province at the foot-hills of the Himalayan mountain range in India, where the people share a common culinary tradition with both Central Asia and India. Hence, it’s one of the very few regions in the subcontinent where you’ll find the use of green tea regularly.
Evidently, India has lent her indelibly exotic feel to kahwa, with the addition of superspices. This region has some of the coldest winters known to India’s over 1 billion inhabitants, and is one of the very few places in the country where you will find snowfall. Inherently, it would be safe to assume that the Kashmiri people may best know how to deal with colds and flu. And they recommend steaming cups full of kahwa, first thing in the morning. It does help to soothe a sore throat and to relieve a cough.
This marvelous recipe was kindly shared with me by my dearest friend, Muz. It is quite possibly the healthiest and most delectable cup of tea to ever pass through my lips.
1 green tea bag
1 cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
a large pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of saffron
3 tablespoons honey (you can use less, as per your taste)
flaked almonds, to decorate
Place the green tea bag, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, ground ginger, saffron and honey in a saucepan. Now add 3 mug fulls of cold water to the pan, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low heat, then cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the tea into mugs. Decorate each mugful with a generous sprinkle of flaked almonds. Serve.
One serving = 150%+ RDA Antioxidants
Antibacterial – cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, saffron
Antifungal – cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, saffron
Antiviral – cinnamon
Anti-inflammatory – cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, saffron
Read the complete article on Gurpareet Bains – Indian Superfood Your Skinny Jeans will Love
Find out more about Gurpareet Bains and Indian Superfood at www.gurpareetbains.co.uk