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Chicken, Chick Pea and Red Pepper curry

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Chicken used to be an expensive meat but is now a relatively inexpensive, plentiful, low calorie and very healthy meat option. This is not a diet recipe but it is not particularly high in calories or fat. Here we present a free recipe for a spicy curry-like dish that can be eaten as a main course with rice and possible a vegetable dish. The chicken is cooked with chick peas, red pepper and tomatoes to give a very slightly sweet flavour that is not over-powered by the spices. Try this with Spiced Butter Rice and a vegetable side dish such as Spiced Green Beans with Cashew Nuts.
Preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 1hr plus 40 minutes to cook chick peas beforehand. 


Ingredients for 4 - 6 servings:

  • 150g (about 6oz) chick peas or a 400g tin of prepared chick peas, drained.

  • 500g (about 1.1lb) chicken breast fillet without skin.

  • 1 large onion, about 150g (>1/4lb), peeled and cut in half

  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

  • 1 medium sized green chilli chopped finely

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, well crushed

  • 1 medium sized red pepper

  • 1" (2.5cm) cube of fresh ginger, finely grated

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil for frying 

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) salt plus more to taste if required

  • the seeds from 10 green cardamoms

  • 1/2 teaspoon (about 3ml) ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon (about 3ml) ground cinnamon

  • 1 heaped teaspoon (6ml) ground cumin

  • 1 heaped teaspoon (6ml) ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon (about 3ml) ground black pepper

  • Optional garnish of finely chopped fresh coriander.

You will need a fairly large saute or frying pan (about 10" [25cm] dia. x 3" (7.5cm) deep with a lid to cook the main part of this dish.



If you are cooking your own chick peas, wash and then soak them overnight in plenty of water. About 2 hours before they are needed, bring them to a good, rolling boil in a saucepan, turn the heat down, cover and simmer until they are tender, about 40 minutes. Allow them to cool in their liquid.

Prepare the chicken by cutting into 1" (2.5cm) cubes. Chop half the onion finely and make long thin sliced with the other half by slicing lengthwise. Slice the red pepper into strips about 1.5" (3.5cm) long by 1/4" (6mm) wide. Chop the chilli finely, grate the ginger and crush the garlic.

Mix all the spices, the salt, pepper and cardamom seeds in a small dish.

Heat the oil in the pan until it is quite hot, add the chicken and fry over a medium to high heat until it starts to take on brown at the edges. Turn the heat down and remove the meat to a plate. Turn up the heat again and add the chopped onion, stir and fry until it begins to brown at the edges, add the sliced onion and continue to fry until the slices soften. Add the crushed garlic, ginger, green chilli and the fried chicken and turn the heat down to medium. Stir and fry for 30 seconds then add the salt, pepper and spice mixture. Continue to stir and fry for about 1 minute then add the chopped tomatoes. Bring back to the boil stirring frequently. Add the red pepper, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook at the simmer for 40 minutes or until the chicken is fairly tender.

Drain the chick peas reserving some of the liquid. Add the chick peas to the meat, bring back to a simmer. Adjust the thickness of the sauce using some of the chick pea liquid, we prefer ours slightly thick but not sticky. Adjust the amount of salt to taste. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes. 

About 1 minute from the end of the cooking time add the chopped coriander garnish. Allow 3 - 5 minutes for the dish to "rest" before serving.

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Updated 26/2/2007