Chicken bucket night - Balti curry night
This ain't no fast food chain bucket chicken but Balti is bucket in Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali, and refers to the pan the curry is cooked in. This is an ideal starter meal as the chicken is nice and tender and full of flavour. It can be prepped reasonably quickly the night before and then just bubbles away on the hob – my fav kind of cooking.
Serves 2 adults and one little one
Step 1. Marinate the chicken the night before
1 tbsp juice from a lime
1/4 tsp of zest of lime
¼ tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
Place all ingredients in a sealed freezer bag and give it a good mix/massage – pop in fridge
Step 2 prep your spice – the night before or on the day
Measure the following into two separate containers (or tin foil – make a little parcel)
1 small to medium green chilli (not the hot ones) - punch some holes in it with a knife (like u would a sausage b4 cooking)
1 cinnamon stick – snapped in half
5 cardamom pod, split/bashed
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
Step 3 prep your veg the night before or on the day
Create 3 freezer bags to pop in fridge if doing the night before
1 onion – coarsley grated
Thumb piece ginger – grated finely
1 garlic clove crushed
1 red pepper, deseeded, cut into strips
3 medium tomato cut into quarters
Additional ingredients not included elsewhere
Tin chop tomatoes
40g frozen baby spinach
1tbsp olive oil
1. Heat oil in wok and add pot 1, stir for 30 seconds, add bag 1, cook on a medium heat for around 3-5 mins stirring, the onions should remain white. Add chicken (and little more oil if needed) and seal chicken, should take around 5 mins – occasionally stirring.
2. Take off heat and add pot 2 – stir the spice release flavour in residual. Pop back on heat and add chop tomatoes and bag 2. Turn up heat and bring to a hard bubble, turn heat down and simmer for around 15-20 mins. Pour boiling water on frozen spinach in a bowl, it should slowly cook on its own.
3. Put bag 3 and drained spinach into pan. Cook for around 5 mins to soften tomato quarters.
4. Pull out chicken, some pepper, tomatoes, spinach and a bit of sauce for little one then add salt (1/4 tsp) to remaining curry for grown-ups!
We have this with shop bought nan bread, rice, paprika yogurt dipped lemon/cumin seed chargrilled asparagus spears (recipe for another day). The nan tends to be reasonably low salt so Zahara has some of that as her carbs. I dip her asparagus to start, but she soon gets the hang of it and so I hold the dipping pot for her to dip!
The chicken is super tender cooked this way so ideal first week weaning meal, but give it a good 12 hours marinating. You can make rice balls with sauce for baby, dip their nan in it OR save a bit back for the next day and dip cucumber in it for their and yours lunch – lush. I peel the tomato skin off (post cooking – at the table) for Zahara - I just think if your little one can't manage something help them, every so often we give skins on a go! The pepper sometimes is eaten and sometimes sucked – it depends how soft it goes, but she never gets annoyed with them like she does tomatoes!
“Bucket chicken?” Balti is bucket in Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali, and refers to the pan the curry is cooked in.