Having come from the UK it is fair to say that I was incredibly disappointed with Indian food in Berlin. I am not saying that British Indian food is authentic but it is known for being damn good! I knew it was going to be a task to find a decent Madras or Jalfrezi but quite frankly – Indian food sucks in Berlin! The food is just a bowl of slop where most of the time I can taste no difference in the same tasteless sauce across all dishes on the menu. Generic is putting it mildly. And as for the spices – well, what spice you may ask? Restaurant owners claim that German’s don’t like things which are too scharf. Well why on earth would you order a Madras? That’s what a Korma is for!
The closest I have come to enjoying Indian food is at Meena Kumari in Prenzlauer Berg. But I prefer a bit of spice and freshness to my curry which is why I make mine at home. Luckily I have my local Asian store, Asia Mekong, that provides all the spices I need.
This Madras does not hold back on flavour, freshness or spice!
Ingredients: serves up to 4
For the curry:
2 chicken breasts (roughly cut into chunks)
2 onions (peeled and finely chopped)
1 tbpsn tomato puree
300ml chicken stock
Handful of fresh coriander (plus extra for garnish)
1 tbpsn fresh grated ginger (for garnish)
For the paste:
3 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
1 tbspn cumin
1 tbspn garam masala
1 tspn hot madras curry powder
1 tspn dried chilli flakes
1 tbpsn fresh ginger (grated)
1 tbspn coriander seeds
1 tspn black peppercorns
Juice of half a lemon
1 tspn sunflower oil
For the paste: Lightly toast the coriander seeds and black peppercorns in a pan and then bash them in a pestle and mortar or use a spice grinder. Add them to a small mixing bowl and then add all the other ingredients to make the paste. Mix well with the lemon juice and sunflower oil and put to one side.
Heat a large pan with 2 tbpsn sunflower oil. Add the chicken to the pan with the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Add the tomatoes to a bowl of hot water. Leave for 1 – 2 minutes. During this time you can add the paste to the pan, making sure it is mixed well with the chicken and onions.
Gently scoop out the tomatoes and peel the skins off. Roughly chop into chunks and add to the pan. Leave to simmer gently for around 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato puree and then pour in the chicken stock. Put on a medium/ high heat and leave to simmer for around 10 minutes – giving it a stir regularly.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the coriander and a little bit of grated ginger.
Serve with more fresh coriander, ginger and some lemon wedges.
For more great recipes check out A Modern Rose website!