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Butternut Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Tikka Masala + Easy Flatbreads

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I love a mildly spiced curry and I’m keen on replacing meat with vegetable options, particularly when the sauce in a dish carries all the flavour. Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Tikka Masala from his lovely book Comfort Food is a great recipe, and easy to make –  see my post for his Chicken Tikka Masala.

So I have made a version of the dish using butternut pumpkin and sweet potato instead of chicken. For the curry paste, I used a Jamie recipe from his website on Easy Homemade Curry Pastes.  My variation was that I added turmeric to the paste rather than to the curry.

I then used the concept of the original chicken recipe, with veggies instead. The recipe that follows is my take on those Jamie originals.  My quantities for the actual curry are enough for 4. I used half the curry paste and I have frozen the rest for later.

I also made the easiest flatbreads ever, another Jamie recipe of course!

Tikka Masala Paste

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic

1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbs smoked paprika

2 tsp garam masala

2  tsp turmeric

½ tsp sea salt

2 tbs peanut oil (groundnut oil)

2 tbs tomato puree

2 fresh red chillies

1 small bunch fresh coriander

1 tbs desiccated coconut

2 tbs ground almonds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

Method

First peel the garlic and ginger. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat.

Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder.  Whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste.

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The Curry

1 tbs peanut oil (groundnut oil)

2 onions

2 cloves of garlic

½ butternut pumpkin (squash)

1 large sweet potato

1 x 400 g tin of tomatoes

1 chicken stock cube

1x 400 g tin of light coconut milk

Method

Heat  the oil in heavy bottomed casserole. Peel the onions and garlic and put into the casserole on a medium to high heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are golden, stirring regularly. Add half the quantity of the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the butternut pumpkin and sweet potato chopped into rough chunks and cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften. Pour in the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube and add 150ml of boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for a final 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft but still intact.

Serve with whatever you usually have with your curry – I made easy flatbreads and had some yoghurt on the side.

Flatbreads

Ingredients

175g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

Pinch of  salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

175g natural yoghurt

Method

Add the flatbread ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon, then use clean hands to pat and bring everything together. Dust a clean work surface with flour, then tip out the dough. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together – don’t need to knead it for long – just enough time to bring everything together.

Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces, roughly the size of a golf ball. With your hands, pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick.Use a knife to cut 6 lines into the centre of each round, leaving about 3cm at each end. Place a griddle pan on a high heat, then once hot, cook each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs.

I cooked the flatbreads directly on the bars of the barbecue  – it worked fine, but you don’t want the heat too high as the flatbreads can scorch.

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Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Tikka Masala

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I have just acquired Jamie’s new book Comfort Food: http://www.jamieoliver.com/comfortfood/

As a huge fan of the man, his food, his food philosophy and his ethics, I devote a lot of time to his recipes on this blog. So much of what I cook and eat at home is a Jamie recipe or Jamie inspired, so it’s only natural that I write up these food creations.

I am mightily impressed with this book: really great food, some dishes simple, some not so simple, but all really well thought out. Everything looks utterly delicious! The photography is so inviting.

What to cook first? Chicken Tikka Masala took my fancy, and I thought I had better pace myself to get ready to get stuck into the cakes and desserts. Can’t wait to try the Dreamy Marshmallow Pavlova………………….

Chicken Tikka Masala can be cooked entirely on the barbecue or on a traditional stove. I did a bit of each. I really think you need to barbecue the chicken skewers – you need that charred and smoky flavour. Jamie (as seen on the accompanying TV series) cooked over coals in a hole in the ground. My ordinary barbecue was just fine!

I also made the paratha breads to go with the curry. They were a revelation – dead simple kinda flat bread – and perfect to mop up the the lovely sauce.

I am giving this recipe straight from Jamie  – no quirky tweaks – it’s doesn’t need them!

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Ingredients

1 level teaspoon ground cloves

1 level teaspoon ground cumin

2 heaped teaspoons sweet smoked paprika

2 heaped teaspoons garam masala

3 lemons

6 cloves of garlic

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger

6 heaped tablespoons natural yoghurt

800 g skinless boneless chicken breasts

3 fresh green or yellow chillies

For the sauce:

2 onions

4 cloves of garlic

1–2 fresh red chillies

30 g fresh coriander

olive oil

1 level tablespoon ground coriander

2 level tablespoons turmeric

6 tablespoons ground almonds

2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes

1 chicken stock cube

2 x 400 g tins of light coconut milk

For the paratha breads:

300 g wholemeal bread flour

300 g plain flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

400 ml semi-skimmed milk

 

Method

Put the cloves, cumin and 1 heaped teaspoon each of paprika and garam masala into a small pan and toast for 1 minute to bring them back to life, then tip into a large bowl. Finely grate in the zest of 1 lemon, squeeze in all its juice, crush in the garlic, peel and finely grate in the ginger, and add the yoghurt and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Cut the chicken breasts into 5cm chunks, then massage all that flavour into the meat. Skewer up the chicken chunks, interspersing them with lemon wedges and chunks of green or yellow chilli, but don’t squash them together too much. Place on a tray, cover with clingfilm and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

For the sauce, peel the onions and garlic, then finely slice with the red chillies and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves for later). Put it all into a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat with a lug of oil and cook for around 20 minutes, or until golden, stirring regularly. Add the ground coriander, turmeric and remaining 1 heaped teaspoon each of paprika and garam masala. Cook for 2 minutes, then add and toast the almonds. Pour in the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube and add 300ml of boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for a final 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season to perfection.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, drizzle it with a little oil, then grill on a hot barbecue, in a screaming hot griddle pan or under a hot grill, turning until it’s very golden and gnarly on all sides. Slice the chicken off the skewers straight into the sauce, reserving the lemons. Simmer for 2 minutes while you use tongs to squeeze some jammy lemons over the curry, to taste. Swirl through some more yoghurt, sprinkle with the coriander leaves, and serve with parathas or fluffy basmati rice.

Here’s a nice little game-changer – make your own paratha to enjoy with your chicken tikka. For 8 people, put 300g each of wholemeal bread flour and plain flour into a bowl with a goood pinch of sea salt. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 400ml of semi-skimmed milk, mixing until combined, then knead for a few minutes on a flour-dusted surface. Leave to rest for 20 minutes, then divide the dough into 8 and thinly roll out each piece to A4 size. One-by-one, drizzle and rub lightly with oil, roll up into a loose log, roll the log up like a Catherine wheel, then roll out with a rolling pin again to a flat round just under ½cm thick. Cook in a hot oiled frying pan on a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side, or until nicely charred, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Transfer to a board and smash together to expose the layers.

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