I'll come right out and say it before I mislead anyone - the only "Tandoori" part of this curry was the label on the front of the spice mix jar!
So, having said that, I have to hang my head in shame and admit that yes, the poor old Caribbean Curry hit the skids again and STILL hasn't been made. You see, the recipe has been hanging around waiting to be made for so long that I'd quite forgotten that it required to be marinaded for 5-7 hours prior to cooking. The meat, that is, not the recipe. ~rolls eyes~
There I was with half an hour to go before I needed to start cooking - and no marinading having taken place. This sort of situation demands you know what you've got in your cupboards!
The first thing that came to mind was I knew that I had a random can of coconut milk that we'd picked up cheaply. So - chicken & coconut milk sends my head down one of two routes where a curry is concerned - Thai or sweet Indian.
I knew I didn't have the wherewithall to make a Thai curry, but the sweet Indian was immediately showing promise. I had onion and garlic, plus a selection of curry powders - including a Tandoori mix that I hadn't really had a serious play with. So, with Chicken Tikka Masala in mind, I set off down that kind of route.
Needless to say, the curry didn't resemble a Chicken Tikka Masala in the slightest - but that was the flavour that I had in mind and that I was aiming at, if not for!
Part way through, I began to think that some other kind of note would be good where the main ingredients were concerned and found myself hankering for some okra. Then I remembered that I had best part of two thirds of a cauliflower in the fridge - perfect!
Even though the Tandoori spice mix isn't really intended to be used in the way I used it, the curry came out as being very acceptable. The coconut milk, having been reduced, lent the sauce a slightly odd glossiness and made the whole extremely rich. I was very glad I'd included the cauliflower, as it provided a lightness that eased the palate against all the rich flavours.
So, as a "spur of the moment" curry, I reckon it worked very well indeed - and I'd happily make it again.
CHICKEN & CAULIFLOWER TANDOORI CURRY (serves 3)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 red chilli, seeds removed, chopped
3 tsp Tandoori curry powder
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 can coconut milk (I used the light version)
half a small cauliflower, cut into same sized florets
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped.
1. In a deep frying pan, heat the oil and melt the butter, then add the onions and fry on a medium heat until softened and beginning to colour.
2. Add the garlic and chilli and continue to cook for another minute or so.
3. Add the curry powder and tomato puree. Stir to combine and cook on a medium to low heat until the oil is beginning to separate.
4. Add the chicken and toss well to cover it in the curry mixture. Cook until the chicken has all changed colour and is beginning to caramelise.
5. Add the coconut milk and stir gently but well to amalgamate with the curry spices.
6. Add the cauliflower pieces and simmer until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce has reduced to your preference. If the sauce appears to be reducing too much, add a little chicken stock to thin it slightly.
7. Prior to serving, add the chopped coriander and stir through.
Serve with white rice.