Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry

A combination of left over sweet potatoes and needing a meal for the small person (which could be easily reheated at holiday Club) meant we decided on this dinner.

It has several advantages, not least of all is that it is very tasty, including being relatively quick and easy. This is based on a Great British Chefs recipe and I am fairly faithful to this one, I use less sweet potato (around 500g instead of 750g), no chillies and, due to a shopping error, no coriander this time. Oh and Very Lazy ginger instead of fresh, that was due to me forgetting to inform the procurement department (otherwise known as the Other Half) to buy it in the first place.

4-5 boneless chicken thighs
500g sweet potato (peeled and in smallish chunks)
6 cardamom pods
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp root ginger, grated
0.5 tsp ground tumeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1 can coconut milk
Juice of one lemon
Handful of chopped coriander

Using a large saucepan and heat up a splash of oil of your choice. Bash the cardamom pods the the flat part of a chopping knife, I find this integrates them into the sauce better, and fry in the oil for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and allow it to start to soften before also adding the garlic and ginger (add two chopped green chillies at this point if you don’t have a child that will complain) and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Now stir in the coriander and tumeric and once all mixed through, throw in the coconut milk. Use full fat coconut milk, I’ve used low fat before and the sauce is far too thin and loses a lot of the taste. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and nestle the chicken thighs in the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.


We served this with rice so this is when I started cooking it, the Other Half is usually in charge of this, cook slightly less than packet instructions, drain and rinse and then heat in microwave for 5 minutes.

Back to the curry and now add the sweet potatoes, stir well and cook, covered, for 10 minutes then uncover and keep cooking until sweet potato and chicken are fully cooked through, this should be about 10-15 minutes. Before serving, add lemon juice and coriander to taste. I also steamed some broccoli and leeks (both finely chopped) and mixed that through the rice.

I’d also cut the leftover sweet potato into chips, dredged in cornflour, then coated well in oil and baked on the oven for half an hour at Gas Mark 8. They were slightly overcooked but not as crispy as I hoped so I’ll experiment some more before writing them up in a blog post. They did taste nice though!


An inauthentic Nasi Goreng

I first found a recipe for Nasi Goreng in a Diana Henry book called Food from Plenty. Essentially this is a very simple Indonesian stir fried rice. We make it to use up pork leftovers. The original recipe calls for chillies and (optional) prawns. Small person is not a spice or fish fan so I leave these out but add mushrooms instead. You can pretty much throw anything you want into this dish, traditionally served as breakfast using the previous night’s leftovers. Some people serve it with a fried egg on top, but I stuck to the original recipe and shredded an omelette.

This is also the only rice dish I enjoy other than paella and risotto, although I do need to experiment more, both with the spicing of this dish and with rice dishes in general.
nasi goreng omelette

2 tbsp oil (groundnut oil is good for frying)
1 onion, sliced thickly
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Leftover cooked pork, chopped into bite size pieces
Cooked rice (we use about a large cup full of uncooked rice)
4 spring onions, sliced
3 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp dark soy sauce (or sweet soy if you can get hold of it)
3-4 mushrooms, finely sliced

Heat the oil, preferably in a wok, and add the onion, here you want to soften it but you can also let it caramelise a little too.
Stir fried red onion

Whilst the onion is cooking, make the omelette in a frying pan using the beaten eggs, I usually do this in butter rather than oil. To make the omelette, pull the eggs back from the sides and let the runny egg fill the gap by tipping the frying pan. Once cooked, leave to one side to cool.

Back to the wok and add the mushrooms, once they have softened its time to add the pork, you don’t want to overcook this but I do like to let it brown a little, add the garlic after a minute. Stir well and fry for another minute, then stir in rice and spring onions. Be careful not to be too heavy handed here as it’s easy to end up with a stodgy mess so try to avoid pushing the rice down or around the wok too hard.

Cut the omelette into slices and once the rice is warmed, toss this in along with the soy sauce and a good helping of black pepper. After a couple of minutes, this should be ready to serve. Add two red chillies at the same time as the pork if you like spice, I tried adding a little cayenne pepper after I dished up the small person’s helping, it helped to give a spicy note. I’m also going to see if I can source ketjap manis which is the sweet, Indonesian version of soy sauce. No danger of seeing it in the local supermarkets, but I’m running low on some dried herbs and spices so I might do an online shop from an Oriental supermarket. I’ve been saying that for ages and not got round to it!
 Nasi Goreng