Today’s Basil Spice recipe is a delightful blend of chicken, tomatoes, selected herbs, spices and with a tasty touch of garam masala to complete an Indian classic.
Abbas says: This simple chicken dish is a great favourite with our children. I generally serve it with plain long-grain rice and whole green lentils, with garlic and onion.
Serves 6 Ingredients:
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
3⁄4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 inch (2.5cm) stick of cinnamon
6 whole cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1⁄4 teaspoon whole peppercorns
6 oz (175g) onions, peeled and finely chopped
6 or 7 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 inch (2.5cm) cube of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 lb (450g) fresh tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (tinned tomatoes may be substituted)
3 lb (1kg 350g) jointed chicken pieces, skinned
1 ½ teaspoon garam masala
Heat the oil in a large wide pot over a medium – high flame. When hot, put in the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves and peppercorns.
Stir once and then put in the onions, garlic and ginger. Stir the mixture around until the onion picks up brown specks. Now put in the tomatoes, chicken, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir to mix and bring to a boil.
Cover tightly, turn heat low and simmer for a period of 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Stir a few times during this cooking period.
Remove cover and turn up heat to medium. Sprinkle in the garam masala and cook, stirring gently for about 5 minutes in order to reduce the liquid somewhat.
N.B Remove the cardamom pods and stick of cinnamon before eating.
About Basil Spice ….. Gateway’s overview: It’s a recently opened, spacious, comfortable and very good, reasonably priced Indian restaurant at 2 Adam Business Centre, Cranes Farm Road, Basildon SS14 3JF. There’s plenty of free parking and air-conditioned comfort inside.
The cuisine is modern Asian, taking the best classic influences and interpreting them for today’s health aware tastes.
The décor is modern, understated, uncluttered, clean and and simple: a far cry from flock wall-papered mock Raj! The service is unobtrusive, attentive and helpful.
For bookings (home deliveries are available if you can’t get out) call Basildon (01268) 523526. See their menu on www.basilspice.com