Pistachio chicken curry

I could eat curry for every meal of every day. Fact. I rue the day that someone somewhere thought designing an open plan office structure would be a good idea. It’s forced me into soups and sandwiches for lunch.

But if I could, this one would be a regular. For those of you who isolate your curry consumption to the evenings, I recommend you try it. It’s easy, quick and delicious and features my nut of choice, the earthy green pistachio.



Serves 4

  • 5cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 100g unsalted pistachios, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 2 large white onions, sliced into fine rings
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2.5cm piece of cinnamon stick, or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 800g skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 4 tablespoons home-made or Greek yoghurt, plus extra to serve
  • 250ml hot chicken stock
  • juice of ½ a lemon

In a food processor or spice grinder, grind the pistachios to a fine powder and set aside. Bash up the ginger and garlic up in a pestle and mortar to a coarse paste and set aside.

Put the oil in a wide-bottomed, lidded frying pan on a medium heat and, when it’s hot, add the onions. Fry until caramelized, which should take around 20 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger paste and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes before adding the tomatoes.

Put the lid on the pan and leave the tomatoes to cook for around 6 minutes, until they start to break down, then add the black pepper, garam masala, chilli powder, coriander, cardamom and salt. Stir, then put the chicken pieces into the pan.

Turn the chicken so that it seals on all sides, then add the ground pistachios. Stir-fry for a minute, and pour in the chicken stock. Lightly whisk the yoghurt with a fork, then stir it into the pan.

Pop the lid on the pan and leave to cook for around 15 minutes. Taste the dish for salt and spice. You may want to add a little water at the end of cooking to ensure a sauce the consistency of thick cream.

To serve, spoon over a dollop of yoghurt, throw a couple of chopped pistachios over the top and squeeze over the lemon juice. Eat with a bowl of basmati rice or some naan bread.