Recipes

Indian Curry Powder

Indian Curry Powder.jpg

This aromatic curry powder makes cooking curries a breeze! Use it in your favourite curries of course, but also in soups, stews, salad dressings or anything that needs a hit of flavour and spice! If you wish, you can toast the whole spices before grinding them. That deepens the flavour and adds smoky notes to the curry powder. Use it in recipes such as Jungle Shrimp Curry or Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches or anything that you like!

Indian Curry Powder

2 tbsp each, whole spices: cloves, green cardamom, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi)

1 tbsp each, whole spices: black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorn

1 tbsp each, ground spices: turmeric, dried ginger

2 each, whole spices: cinnamon sticks (each 2 inches long), star anise

2 mace florets (optional)

6 dried red chilies

1 whole nutmeg, crushed

A generous pinch of saffron strands

Combine all of the whole spices in the jar of a spice grinder and process to a smooth powder.

Add the ground spices, fenugreek leaves and saffron and grind again till well blended.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark cabinet.

Chilli Chicken Lettuce Wraps

DSC_0002.jpg

Chilli chicken is a very popular Hakka restaurant favourite. Here, I have used it to make delicious, healthy wraps. You can add cooked rice vermicelli to make them more filling. You can also cut back on the amount of chillies used or de-seed them to reduce heat.

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/2 inch piece ginger

2 cloves garlic

2 green chillies

1/4 cup fresh coriander and tender stems

2 tbsp each, divided: dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, vegetable oil

1 tbsp sesame oil, divided

1 tsp cornstarch

1 whole star anise

2 each, whole: cardamom, cloves, dried red chillies

Small cinnamon stick

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 red pepper, diced

6 shitake mushrooms, sliced

Iceberg or other lettuce leaves

Cut chicken into very small pieces and place in deep bowl.

Combine ginger, garlic, green chillies and fresh coriander in mini food processor and mince well.

Add to chicken in bowl, along with 1 tbsp each of soy sauce and vinegar and 1 tsp each of sesame oil and cornstarch. Mix well to combine, reserve or refrigerate for later use in recipe.

Warm vegetable oil in deep non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add star anise, cardamom, cloves, red chillies and cinnamon stick. Sizzle for about 1 min. until spices are fragrant, then add onions and peppers. Saute for 3-4 min. until softened, then add mushrooms. saute 2 mins, then add chicken and all its marinade. Stir fry chicken for about 7-8 min. or until it is cooked through.

Add remaining soy, vinegar and sesame oil, then remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.

Serve with lettuce leaves on the side to make wraps.

Serves four-six