Servings: Serves 4
● 450g skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
● 1 tbsp lime juice
● 1 tsp paprika
● ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
● 1½ tbsp sunflower oil
● 1 cinnamon stick
● 3 cardamom pods, split
● 1 medium green chilli
● ½ tsp cumin seed
● 1 medium onion, coarsely grated
● 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
● 2½ cm-piece ginger, grated
● ½ tsp turmeric
● 1 tsp ground cumin
● 1 tsp ground coriander
● 1 tsp garam masala
● 250ml organic passata
● 1 red pepper, deseeded, cut into small chunks
● 1 medium tomato, chopped
● 85g baby spinach leaves
● handful fresh coriander, chopped
● chapatis or basmati rice, to serve (optional)
1. Put the chicken in a medium bowl. Mix in the lime juice, paprika, chilli powder and a grinding of black pepper (step 1), then leave to marinate for at least 20 mins.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick wok or sauté pan. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, whole chilli and cumin seeds, and stir-fry briefly just to colour and release their fragrance.
3. Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and fry over a medium-high heat until the onion starts to turn brown. Add the remaining oil, then drop in the chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 mins.
4. Mix the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander and garam masala together. Add to the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 mins. Pour in the passata and 150ml water, then drop in the chunks of pepper. When starting to bubble, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins or until the chicken is tender.
5. Stir in the tomato, simmer for 2-3 mins, then add the spinach and turn it over in the pan to just wilt. Season with a little salt. If you want to thin down the sauce, add a little more water. Remove the cinnamon stick, chilli and cardamom pods, if you wish, before serving. Scatter with fresh coriander and serve with warm chapatis or basmati rice.