Dinners at my parents’ house were always eaten at the table, but often, half an hour beforehand, extra seating was hurriedly assembled. They were foster carers and unexpected new arrivals which meant meals were usually prepared in bulk – if no extras were needed, the leftovers made a welcome lunch the next day. One of my fondest memories is of my father presenting us with an exact replica of a chicken curry from the local Chinese restaurant, complete with mustard-yellow sauce and studded with green peas. This is a tribute to his take on theirs – although I add garlic to mine, which he can’t stand. Sorry, Dad.” Jack Monroe
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
Chunk of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
A pinch of salt and a bit of cracked black pepper
2 tsp plain flour
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin, seeds or ground
1 tsp ground coriander
1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 500ml boiling water
3 chicken thighs
3 chicken drumsticks
100g frozen peas
- Gently heat half the oil in a medium pan. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli (discard the seeds if you don’t like too much heat). Season and cook over low, slow heat for a few minutes. Add the flour and spices, and stir well. When the onion is coated in the flour and spices, add a splash of stock and stir well to form a rough paste. Add a splash more stock to thin and stir through for a minute.
- Remove from the heat and blitz to a paste in a blender or food processor. Return to the heat and continue to add the stock, stirring vigorously to prevent lumps. Set to one side.
- Add the rest of the oil to a new pan and cook the chicken over a high heat, turning it to seal the edges. Pour over the sauce, bring to the boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until it has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally, and add more water as needed. Add the peas a few minutes before serving.