After all the Christmas feasting and seemingly endless leftovers, tonight it had to be something different, and that difference had to be curry.
Chicken with spinach (or Saag Murgh in Indian restaurants) is a great curry and one that has a lot of variations.
This one was made from;
Chicken breasts, cubed.
Half an onion, finely chopped.
Chopped fresh tomatoes
4 whole cardamom pods
2 dried hot chillies
4 whole cloves
A smooth paste made from half and onion, 2 cloves of garlic and a teaspoon each of ground ginger, Kashmiri chilli powder, ground cumin, ground coriander and ground turmeric, plus a little water.
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil and fry the dry whole spices and bay leaf for about a minute or two. Add in the chopped onion and carry on cooking until the onion becomes golden then add in the tomatoes and cook until they are softened. Next, add the paste and cook until the paste is well amalgamated and the oil is coloured red.
Add in the chopped chicken and stir well, making sure the chicken loses the outer pinkness. Season with salt and pepper and cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. If it gets too dry, add some hot water.
Add in the spinach, stir and cover again until the spinach wilts.
Finally, add in the lemon juice , stir it in well and add the creamed coconut. It will be done within a minute or so and you can serve it with Basmati rice, naan breads and pickles and chutneys.
You could drink beer, wine or lassi.
We had wine; a rich red Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes, the 2009 XV du Président from Laithwaites, very fruity and in-your-face but well able to stand up to the curry spice. To my mind, the wine is slightly unbalanced to drink on its own, being a 15% one, but this was less of an issue with the curry. Not one of my favourite southern reds, it lacks finesse and real depth, but excellent for the purpose here.