Introduction: Masala Chicken Pie
Our Sunday lunch is almost never an Italian affair. Andrea loves the British tradition, I’m fond of spicy food and Indian food above all. Our latest Sunday lunch was a combination of our passions. A layer of spicy chicken and veggies covered in potatoes, almost like a cottage pie. The flavours and scents of India in the shape of British meat pies made happy the both of us. The recipe was taken from this month’s Goodfood magazine, and I have to say that once again they fully encountered our taste.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 skinless chicken breasts
2 onions, chopped
finger-length piece ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp medium curry powder
2 tsp each ground coriander, ground cumin, and black or brown mustard seeds
2 tsp white or red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar (brown or white)
2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
150 ml light coconut milk (buy a 400 ml can – you’ll need more for topping)
1 large red pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
1 large green pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
½ small bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped, stalks reserved
For the topping:
1.5 kg floury potatoes, cut into very large chunks
150 ml light coconut milk
1 tsp turmeric
juice 1 lemon
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
stalks from ½ small bunch coriander (I didn’t use them)
1 tsp nigella seeds
Heat a deep frying pan and add 2 tsp of the oil. Brown the chicken breasts quickly on both sides, then remove to a plate. Turn down the heat and add the remaining oil, the onions, ginger and garlic. Fry until soft. Add the spices and cook for a few minutes, stirring.
Stir in the vinegar, sugar, tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and bubble for 10 mins. Roughly chop the chicken breast and stir into the pan with any chicken juices and the peppers.
Simmer for another 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce reduced, Take off the heat, stir in the coriander leaves and season to taste – it will need a good seasoning.
To make the topping put the potatoes in a pan of water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10-15 mins, -Drain well and steam dry for a few minutes. Add coconut milk and turmeric powder and mash well. Season with lemon juice and salt then stir in the spring onions and coriander stalks if using.
Spoon the chicken masala into a baking dish, Dollop on spoonful of mash to cover and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Can be covered and refrigerated for up to two days (or frozen for up to a month).
Heat oven to 200C and bake for 25-30 mins (or 45 from chilled) until hot through and crisping on top. Serve with naan bread.