Sweet and Sour Madras Chicken Curry

Sweet and sour madras chicken curry with peppers, pineapple, chilli and cashew nuts

My brother is a big fan of Patak’s curry pastes and he makes a mean curry so I wandered over to the Patak’s website where I found a treasure trove of exciting recipes. The one I most wanted to try, and have cooked at least a dozen times since my first attempt, is their Indo-Chinese Chilli Chicken curry. It’s such a clever recipe; marinating the chicken in corn flour makes the dish incredibly silky, and the curry paste, soy sauce and ketchup combine to make a delicious sauce.

It’s a very forgiving recipe and I’ve made a lot of changes. I add pineapple and cashews, griddle the peppers and increase the amount of onion. As pineapple is quite sweet I decrease the amount of ketchup. If I double the recipe (it makes a fantastic packed lunch) I tend to use the same amount of chicken and bulk it out with mushrooms or other vegetables. The only change I made that didn’t work was swapping chicken thighs for breasts. Chicken breasts just don’t have enough fat and can’t cope with the cooking time so the curry loses its silkiness.

The chicken is cooked separately before it’s combined with the sauce and I love how the original recipe suggests to deep fry the chicken. I love anything fried and I bet this would taste incredible but as I don’t own a deep fat fryer I stick to roasting the chicken in the oven and it still tastes amazing.

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Marinade for chicken

  • ½ Patak's Madras paste pot
  • 2 tbs cornflour
  • 1 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp water
  • 500g skinless, boneless chicken thighs (Diced into 3cm cubes)
  • oil (For roasting)

Curry

  • 3 bell peppers (Different colours if possible, sliced into 3cm squares)
  • handful of cashew nuts
  • 1 large red onion (Sliced)
  • 1 tbs ginger (Chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (Finely chopped)
  • ½ Patak's Madras paste pot
  • 50g ketchup
  • 1.5 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 100ml water
  • 100g pineapple (Cut into small chunks)
  • 1 spring onion (Sliced)
  • 1 red chili (Sliced)
  • oil (For frying)

Method

  1. Add ½ a Patak’s Madras paste pot, 2 tablespoons of corn flour, 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of water into a medium sized bowl and stir until the corn flour dissolves. Add 500g of diced chicken thighs and mix until fully coated. Marinade in the fridge for at least two hours.
  2. When the chicken is ready, preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan) and line a baking tray with foil. Drizzle over a little oil.
  3. Pour all of the chicken and marinade onto the baking tray and roast for 15 minutes.
  4. Optionally griddle the peppers until nicely charred.
  5. Heat a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat and dry fry a handful of cashews for a few minutes until they colour. Remove the cashews and set to one side. Add a tablespoon of oil to the wok.
  6. Add 1 sliced red onion and fry for a few minutes then add 1 tablespoon of chopped ginger and 2 chopped garlic cloves to the wok and fry for another minute.
  7. Add ½ a Madras paste pot and 50ml water to the wok and fry for two minutes.
  8. Add 50g ketchup and 1.5 tablespoons of dark soy sauce to the wok along with the roasted chicken. Use a spatula to scrape all of the excess marinade into the wok. 
  9. Add 3 sliced peppers and 100g of pineapple chunks to the wok and once the sauce starts to bubble, simmer for five minutes. If you didn’t griddle the peppers earlier, simmer until the peppers start to soften. If the sauce looks dry add a little more water (I use around 100ml in total).
  10. Transfer the curry to a dish and top with a sliced spring onion, sliced red chilli and toasted cashews. Serve with rice.

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