The fakeaway has become a godsend for the pre-Christmas spending cull.
We used to treat ourselves to a takeaway practically every weekend which, the way we eat, was becoming a major financial drain. With seven Saturdays to go before the big C (thank you radio presenter for lobbing that information bomb into my otherwise peaceful morning) we needed to cut out the ordering in. This creamy curry is the perfect alternative for a night in on the couch. You can even roast the onion and garlic the night before to speed up prep.
Fragrant Thai chicken curry
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 head of garlic, drizzled with oil and wrapped in tinfoil
1 red chilli, sliced (discard the seeds if you don’t want too much heat)
1 thumb of fresh ginger grated
8 lime leaves (buy these frozen in the Asian market and use directly from the freezer)
400ml coconut milk (a lighter option is to use the kind in cartons, usually found beside the soy milk and almond milk in supermarkets rather than tinned coconut milk)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 chicken breasts, sliced
1 aubergine, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Steamed rice, to serve
1 handful of peanuts, crushed, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Place the quartered onions in a roasting tin, season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss with a few tablespoons of sunflower oil. Place the tinfoil-wrapped garlic in the same tin. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the onions are soft.
2. When the onions and garlic are ready, heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a large saucepan and add the sliced chilli, the grated fresh ginger and the lime leaves. Stir for a couple of minutes to release the flavours, then add the roasted onions. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and add them to the saucepan. Allow to cook for about five minutes, stirring to prevent any sticking.
3. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Take off the heat, and blend thoroughly with a stick blender (leaving the lime leaves in), then stir in the fish sauce.
4. Heat some sunflower oil in a frying pan and add the sliced chicken breasts, some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry until the chicken is cooked through. Add the chopped aubergine and the chopped red pepper towards the end to tenderise.
5. Add the chicken mixture to the blended sauce, along with the chopped fresh coriander, and simmer until heated through. Serve with the steamed rice and sprinkled with the crushed peanuts.