4 skinless chicken breasts (free range)
300g basmati rice
1 by 400g tin of plum tomatoes
4 cm fresh ginger
5 cloves of garlic
3 fresh red chillies
1 medium onion
325 ml chicken stock (organic)
1 small bunch of fresh coriander
2 fresh bay leaves
4 tsp cumin seeds
10 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 tbsp ground almonds
50g flaked almonds
150g natural yoghurt
5 tsp vegetable oil
30 mins 30 mins
1. Crush 2 cloves, 2 tsp cumin seeds and 5 cardamon pods in a pestle and mortar until fairly fine.
2. Peel the ginger and garlic and coarsely grate on a box grater. Halve, deseed and finely chop the chillies. Pick the coriander leaves and put in a cup of cold water. Finely slice the stalks.
3. Peel and finely chop the onion. Cut the chicken into 2 cm chunks and put aside for now.
4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan on medium heat.
5. Squash the remaining cardamon pods with the flat side on a clean knife and snap the cinnamon pods in half. Add to the pan with bay leaves, and the remaining cumin seeds and cloves.
6. Fry the spices for a minute or so, stirring constantly, until smelling fantastic. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat it in the oil.
7. Add the hot chicken stock. Bring to a boil and immediately turn the heat to very low and place a lid on top.
8. Cook the rice for 20 minutes. Do not stir or remove the lid during this time.
9. Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large non stick pan on a high heat. In batches, brown the chicken chunks in the pan. When done transfer to a plate, leaving the pan on the heat.
10. Add the crushed spices from the pestle and mortar to the pan and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until smelling fantastic.
11. Add the onion, reduce to medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally, or until soft and slightly golden.
12. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander stalks and cook for a minute more, then add a good pinch of salt, the ground coriander, turmeric and the tomatoes. Stir through the ground almonds.
13. Add the chicken and bring everything to the boil. Reduce to a simmer over a low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through or tender. Add a splash of water if needed.
14. Heat a small non stick frying pan on a medium heat and add the flaked almonds. Toast for a couple of minutes until lightly golden tossing frequently.
15. When the time is up on your rice, remove the lid and check the rice is cooked through and all the stock has been absorbed. Fluff it up with a fork, then scatter the toasted almonds over the top.
16. Check the chicken is cooked through, then stir in the yoghurt. Taste, add a little salt, pepper or lemon juice if needed. Sprinkle coriander leaves over the top and server with your pilaf.