Madras Chicken Curry

A spicy coconut-flavoured curry, Madras Chicken Curry should be served with plain boiled rice and accompanied by a tomato and onion salad and a fresh mint or coriander chutney. Serve with a well-chilled lager.

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds medium-sized onions, finely chopped

1-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon hot chilli powder

½ teaspoon ground fenugreek

1 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 chicken pieces, skinned

1 pint coconut milk, made from

3 oz. creamed coconut dissolved in 1 pint hot water

1 teaspoon salt bay leaves green chillis, slit lengthways and seeds removed juice of 2 lemon

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and fry, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Add the turmeric, coriander, chilli powder, fenugreek, cumin and black pepper. Fry the spices, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. If the mixture gets too dry and sticks to the bottom of the pan, add a spoonful or two of water.

Add the chicken pieces and fry them gently for 5 minutes, turning them frequently. Pour in the coconut milk and add the salt, bay leaves and green chillis. Stir to mix and increase the heat to moderately high. When the curry comes to the boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

After 30 minutes, uncover the pan. If the curry is too liquid, continue cooking uncovered.

Stir in the lemon juice and taste the curry. Add more salt if necessary.

Remove the pan from the heat and remove and discard the bay leaves. Transfer the curry to a heated serving dish and serve immediately.

Madrid Stew

Madrid Stew is a Spanish-flavoured dish which makes a filling meal for the family. The addition of chick-peas gives it an unusual flavour. Serve with creamed potatoes.

1 lb. stewing steak, cut into

1-inch cubes

4 streaky bacon slices, chopped

2 marrow bones, sawn into pieces

2 pints cold water

1 teaspoon salt

8 oz. chick-peas, washed, soaked overnight in cold water and drained

2 large onions, coarsely chopped

4 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced 2 large carrots, scraped and diced 2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped 6 oz. smoked sausage, peeled and sliced

In a large saucepan, combine the steak, bacon and marrow bones. Add the water and salt. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the water to the boil. With a metal spoon, skim off any scum which rises to the surface of the liquid. Reduce the heat to moderately high. Add the chick-peas and continue to simmer the mixture for 30 minutes.

Reduce the heat to moderate and add the vegetables to the pan. Continue to simmer the mixture for 1 ½ hours.

With tongs, remove the marrow bones and discard. Add the sausage and stir well. Taste the stew and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve at once.

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