Cooking with mince is one of my favourite of ways of making fuss free meals. Generally, mince doesn’t require a lot of cooking time and quite affordable as compared to other meat varieties. For the most part, I love the flexibility of bulking it up with whataver ingredients i.e. pototoes, frozen peas and canned legumes etc.
Whenever I feel like cooking in a big bulk during the weekend in order to get my week days meals covered, mince meat curry is always desirable. The curry freezes well for the next couple of days and it doesn’t take me long to cook this curry from start to finish! (Worth noting that with the use of STOREBOUGHT ginger and garlic paste does take the “stress” off the curry-making process.)
Minced Chicken and Potato Curry
- 500g /18 oz minced chicken
- 3 potatoes
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 green chilli
- A small handful of fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tsp ginger paste (storebought)
- 1 tsp garlic paste (storebought)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- A recently boiled water
Emily’s note: I know some of you may feel eeky about using storebought ginger and garlic paste. I used to feel the same way too. The main issue I have with the storebought version is they do smell and taste weird. The worst part is the weird taste and smell translates into the dish as well. Thankfully, I don’t think all the storebought versions are bad and often it depends on the brand you use. The “rules” I have whenever I’m looking for good quality storebought ginger and garlic paste are:-
High ginger and garlic content – the higher the percentage the better obviously!
Try not to get the ones with vineger in it. I simply don’t like the smell of it! (Yes, it is possible to get without the vineger. It simply has oil and some other non-vinegery ingredients instead.)
So it is important to read the ingredient list before you get the ginger and garlic paste from the supermarket.
- Dice potatoes and rinse them over running water to wash off the starch.
- Finely chop an onion. If you are using fresh ginger and garlic, you can either finely chop or grate them to about a teaspoon each at this stage.
- Finely sliced coriander leaves and green chilli. Set aside.
- Dice fresh tomatoes.
- Get all your dry spices ready.
- Heat up 2 tbsps of oil in a pot. When the oil is hot, add onion and saute until golden brown. If you’re conscious about the smell of while frying the onion, you can cover the pot while the onion is cooking (just make sure you check them quite frequently to avoid burning).
- Add ginger and garlic paste (photo below) as well as the dried spices. Saute until aromatic and add the tomatoes to the spice mixture. When the mixture feels a bit dry or beginning to stick to the pot, add about 1/3 cup of hot water and let the spices “cook” over low heat, over a lid. (Feel free to add more as soon as you feel the mixture begins to stick to the pot. However, it is important to add the water a little bit at a time. From my personal experience , the oil won’t separate from the sauce if there’s too much water….)
- When the oil begins to “separate” (as seen on the photo below), you are ready to add the meat and potatoes. When cooking curry, it is important to cook the spices until the oil begins to separate. This step is important to ensure the colour of the curry turns out nicely (darkish red is desired) and no grainy texture in the sauce.
- Add minced chicken and 2 tsps of salt and mix well with the sauce. While doing so, also try to break up the mince using a wooden spoon. Then add potatoes and stir all the ingredients until well combined.
- Add hot water to the mixture until just level with the ingredients. Let the mixture simmer over low to medium heat until the potatoes are soft and the meat is cooked.
- When the potatoes are soft (test with a fork) and the mince is cooked, add coriander (remember to leave some behind for garnish) and green chilli into the curry. Simmer for another 10 minutes and you’re ready to serve with a sprinkling of chopped coriander.
- You can serve this curry with rice and salad (consists of diced cucumber and carrots, nothing too complicated and no need of salad dressing). Alternatively, the curry also goes perfectly well with some warm storebought Lebanese breads.
(Emily’s note on of warming up Lebanese breads – “sandwich” the bread between a plate and kitchen towel and warm up for a couple seconds. Then keep bread warm in an enclosed aluminium foil as the bread will become dry and hard if exposed for too long).