Chicken Madras

As with most Indian curry house dishes, you will never find a Chicken Madras in Madras – or Chennai as the city is now called. The cuisine of the area is spicier than most and chillies feature prominently in many local dishes, which meant that back in the days of the British Raj, when curry powders were first blended and shipped back to the UK, the hottest ones were given the name "Madras".
It came to follow that when UK curry house owners – most of them from Punjabis or Bengalis from the north – wanted to name a hot curry to satisfy the insatiable demand they found among Brits, it was natural they would choose Madras.
Here is an incredibly simple but delicious Chicken Madras recipe.

Ali's Chicken Madras
You can obviously substitute Quorn, lamb or vegetables for chicken in this recipe. If you use another meat, just make sure it's cooked correctly. This is for a hot madras curry. If you don't like it hot, halve the quantities of chilli powder and green chillies.

450 grams (1lb) chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 thumbsized piece of fresh ginger root, grated
1-2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
375 grams(12 oz) chopped tomatoes or passata
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground caraway
1 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 teaspoons chilli powder (to your own taste)
½ teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lemon

Fry the onions in a dollop of oil until about to turn golden brown around the edges. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes more before adding the chillies and ground spices. Fry over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the oil separates and the spices have released their flavours.
Take off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. (If you don't, the mixture may explode out of your blender!)  Pour into a blender or processor together with the chopped tomatoes (if using passata you can leave it out) and blend. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your blender. If you don't have a blender or liquidizer you can skip this step entirely.
Return the sauce to the pan and cook for 20-30 minutes until it has reduced. Taste and add salt as necessary. Add your chicken breast pieces and cook for half an hour or so until they are cooked. Test them by cutting a piece in half: if it is firm and white all the way through it is cooked. When teh cooking is done, switch off the hear, pour in the lemon juice and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you think it needs it.

This will be the most delicious Chicken Madras you will ever have tasted. And so simple to make. Tell your friends about The Curry Secret Blog.

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