7 minute “chicken” curry

Wait, what? Everyone knows you can’t make a good curry from scratch in 7 minutes, right? Actually, you can, if you know the shortcuts to use and *why* curries take hours to begin with. It’s the slow cooking of all those onions and tomatoes down to a thick sauce… So by using those pre-cooked crispy onion pieces you buy in tubs and passata, you get a similar enough sauce in a fraction of the time. Once you’ve added the spices and chicken substitute (we used quorn) you can hardly tell the difference from the much longer version (see one of our previous posts, sweet potato & spinach curry).

Use whichever spices you like, or if you want to get realy fancy, fry and grind your own… But then you may aswell make the curry the long way. This recipe is more about good, healthy, yummy and fast than authenticity, although it is far superior in that respect too to most other speedy options.

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Ingredients – serves 2
500g passata
1/3 tub good quality crispy onion pieces (nothing but onion, flour, salt and oil please – we used top taste)
500g chicken substitute of choice (we used quorn chicken style pieces)
1/3 tsp each turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, chilli flakes (or to taste)
2 tsp garam masala or curry powder
Salt to taste
Rice to serve

1. Put everything in a saucepan at once. Add a little water then bring to the boil
2. Cook for about 7 min or until the chicken pieces are done. Stir every so often and add a lil more water if required to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan
3.  Serve with rice or naan.
Enjoy!

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Sweet potato and spinach curry with rice

This was too good of an experiment not to write down. Toooo good. Hot, spicy, satisfying, slightly sweet from the onion & sweet potatoes, perfect on a fluffy bed of buttered rice.  Not as fast as most of my recipes, but so, so worth it.

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Ingredients: serves 3-4
4 small yellow onions, peeled & diced
4-6 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil (we used untoasted sesame oil – anything with no strong flavour)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
250g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 rounded tsp each of: ground cumin, hot paprika (use something hotter if that’s what you like), garam masala (or mild curry powder as we used, not having anything else in the house)
2 rounded tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch of chilli flakes
Salt to taste (about 1 level tsp)
1 very large sweet potato, peeled & cubed (about 500g)
Half a bag of fresh spinach, chopped (about 100g)
4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Rice: serves 2-3 (nb: less than the curry serves. Just how it worked out)
1 builder’s mug full of good quality basmati rice (about 250g, we used Tilda)
450g water
2tbsp butter
1tsp salt, or to taste

Method:
1. Heat the oil on a medium low heat, in a large saucepan.  Add onion & garlic, cover and let cook for about 15 mins.
2. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for another 20-25 mins until everything is very soft and mushy (I start the rice now so it’s ready with the curry, see below)
3. Put the spices in and fry for 2-3 mins until fragrant. 
4. Add the sweet potatoes and enough water to cover at least 2/3 of them, about 3 cups. Cover. Bring to the boil.
5.  simmer curry 10 or so mins or until potatoes are soft. Break them up somewhat with a spoon to thicken the sauce.
6. Add spinach & fresh coriander and cook for another 2-5 mins.
7. Test seasoning, then serve.

Rice:
1. put the rice in a microwave rice steamer (or large bowl, or saucepan with a vented lid) and soak in lots of clean water.
2. once rice has soaked for a minimum of 5 min – drain water, rinse in fresh water then drain well again. Place in chosen receptacle (we used a microwave rice steamer) and add 450ml fresh water.
3. Affix lid (or cover bowl in cling film, pierce, then place whole bowl in a larger bowl) and microwave at 900W for 12 min, or until all the water has disappeared and rice is fluffy & soft.  If using saucepan, add water, cover & bring to the boil on a medium heat until water is absorbed (don’t uncover too much but make sure it doesn’t boil dry. 
4. Allow to stand 3 min before stirring in butter.
Serve.
Enjoy!