Chicken tikka saag topped with almonds and pickled red onions

My favourite curry in the whole world is chicken tikka saag.

It’s fresh but also rich in flavour and also has a little kick whilst being creamy – perfect.

Making your own curry is also highly satisfying; don’t get me wrong, I love going for a curry after a few drinks but when at home, make your own! It takes a little preparation and time to get a authentic one but trust me, you’ll always make them from now on.

Recipe (serves 4)

For the chicken tikka

4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks

300g natural yoghurt (don’t use no fat)

1/2 tsp each of ground coriander, paprika, turmeric, garam masala, salt

1 tbsp tomato puree

Juice of 1 lemon

For the curry sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 onions, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp salt

2 cardamom pods

1 tbsp tomato puree

400g passata or chopped tomatoes

500g spinach, finely chopped

Water

300ml double cream

For the pickled red onions

2 red onions, thinly sliced

4 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

To serve

Flaked almonds

Coriander

Mix all the chicken tikka ingredients together and leave to marinate for as long as you have, at least 30 minutes but best over night.

When ready, grill the chicken on a tray on a hugh heat until it is speckled and charred with black knarly bits. Leave to one side.

For the curry, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions on a medium heat until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Don’t burn! It will add a bitter taste. Next, stir in the ginger, chill and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Now stir in all the ground spices, the cardamom pods and salt. Cook for a minute, stirring as to not burn the spices.

Stir in the tomato puree, passata or canned tomatoes and 250ml water (I use the tomato can/jar to rinse out the remaining tomato juice) and the chopped spinach. Leave to cook for at least 30 minutes on a low heat to reduce, but the longer the better. Add more water if needed.

While the curry sauce is cooking, make the pickled onions by mixing the sugar and vinegar together, then mix in the sliced onions and leave to pickle.

When nearly ready to serve, stir in the cream and the chicken tikka pieces and cook until heated through.

Serve with chapatis or nan bread and top with flaked almonds, coriander and the pickled red onions.

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