Allspice chicken curry

The road to a new curry is often paved with good intentions, in this case to follow a Rosemary Moon recipe whilst lacking an ingredient or two. It has all turned out for the best.

Allspice chicken curry
Allspice chicken curry


A chicken in pieces, skinned, or the equivalent therefore. I began in this case with 2 each of drumstick and thigh, and perhaps 10 wings less the tips.
2 tblsp ghee
1 large onion finely chopped
several cloves of garlic finely chopped
an inch piece or so of ginger finely chopped
1 teasp whole cumin seeds

2 sticks of cinnamon broken up
6 cardamom pods slightly split – pick nice dark oily ones, not the dessicated light coloured ones which are quite past their use-by date.
3 whole dried chillies

1 teasp tumeric ground
1 heaped teasp paprika ground NOT smoked!!
1 heaped teasp all spice ground

200-500g of green beans, topped, tailed and diced

About 1 or 1.5 can of tomatoes pureed.
Several fresh green chillies – if you so wish.


Heat a large, wide pan with a good bottom on moderate heat. Add ghee and, when hot, the cumin seeds. They should pop straight away, so quickly add the onions and fry until softened – you aren’t trying to brown them, 5 minutes may suffice. Add the garlic and ginger, stir and fry for a minute and then add the other whole spices. Mix, stir for a moment or two and then add the ground spices.

After these have also been well mixed, add the chicken, frying both to cover with the spicy contents and to change the colour of the chicken so it isn’t in its completely raw pink state. Maybe 5 minutes or so. Now the tomato puree is added, raise the heat to bring the dish to boiling point and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Turn chicken over now and again, make sure it all gets a shot at the sauce.

At some point add the beans – it is really up to you to decide how cooked you want them. I like them quite soft in a dish like this, but then, I do overcook the chicken too, so maybe half an hour after the chicken’s been added. Towards the end add the fresh chillies if using.

That’s it, folks.

Notes: I skinned the legs and rendered the fat before adding ghee to it. You can, of course, eat the crispy skin by product – cook’s privilege. I never use a whole chicken for this sort of thing – the chicken breast isn’t up to it.

Best on day two and three.


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