Many of us are busy people, or we like to think we are!
That means that, often, we don’t have enough time to prepare meals after work. Or are knackered after a day of doing tasks that never seem to finish…
It seems then, that having a method of cooking which requires minimal effort on your part, but maximum flavour, is ideal. I have recently discovered the humble slow cooker, which can soften the toughest of meats to tender, yielding works of deliciousness.
This slow cooker chicken curry is one of the simplest things I have made in a long time. All that is required is for you to chuck everything into the pot and let it do it’s thing.
I considered buying a slow cooker for a while, but there are so many types on the market, how do you know which one is suitable for you?
I knew I wanted a cooker that was large enough to cook for a family, but not so big that there wasn’t a place to store it! London living spaces are at a premium, and I couldn’t justify wasting precious storage space. I want to buy all the things! It’s a constant battle, I’m sure you all know what I mean…
Looking up recipes that I could use to test my newly acquired gadget, I discovered that there wasn’t really a decent one for curry! I know, blasphemy! They were all quite stew like, minimally spiced and looked insipid – not what one wants in a cracking desi curry!
I thought secretly, surely I could come up with a better concoction myself? A slow cooker is essentially a handi blipping away at a constant low temperature. No supervision, stirring or hovering needed.
My mum likes to egg me on when I try these new things, indulging my curiosity with enthusiasm. She said, “I want to see what it does, I’ll even cut the onions for you!”
So, huddled beside each other, we peered into the glass-domed vessel and waited with anticipation, only to realise nothing would happen for hours! We then retired to comfier lodgings, with a good cup of chai to await the results of our experiment…
This recipe uses all the usual spicy suspects, but somehow, the flavours are that much more bold and vibrant.
The crucial thing about cooking in a slow cooker is to never open the lid! I had to restrain myself more than a few times, and content myself by staring avidly at it instead. The cooker needs to come up to temperature and then maintain it for hours to cook the food. Opening the lid will cause the temp to drop, and then you end up having to wait another hour for it to heat up again, all the while cursing your impatience!
Luckily, I made up my mind to purchase an aluminium cooker ( a Morphy Richards Accents Sear and Stew Slow Cooker to be exact). This allows me to sear and cook the food and bring it up to temperature, right on the hob! Be careful though, however, ceramic slow cookers are not designed to go over a naked flame, otherwise you might end up with shrapnel in your sauce…
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
A succulent and tender curry recipe that requires almost no effort.
1 large chicken, cut into small pieces
2 large onions, sliced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece ginger, grated (I used frozen)
3 tbsp oil
1 star anise
2 small cassia bark strips
2 bay leaves
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp hot madras powder
1.5 tbsp chilli powder
Green chillies and coriander to garnish
- In the slow cooker pot (if you have a ceramic inner, please do this step in a separate pan) add the oil, onions, garlic, ginger, salt, star anise, cassia bark and bay leaves. Soften slightly
- Mix in the powdered spices and let it cook out for a couple of minutes, before adding the chicken and coating with the masala. Top everything with chopped coriander.
- Pre-heat your slow cooker to high. Transfer the vessel to the slow cooker stand, and let cook on high for 3.5 hours. 4.Add green chillies towards the last 30 mins of cooking, after giving everything a stir first.
- Do not open the lid whilst the slow cooker is doing it’s thing, this will cause the temperature to drop and will need more time to finish cooking
- This recipe does not require any additional water or liquids. The chicken will release moisture to create the gravy.
- I did not give the quantity of the salt measurement, as always please add to your taste.