Curry Cream Chicken & Courghetthi
I’m going to just come right out and say it, this recipe is incredible! I’m pretty chuffed with myself for finally nailing it, as I’ve been craving it for so long. I’m quite a modest person, promise.
It’s my low-carb take on a pasta dish served in a popular South African Italian restaurant chain, but I won’t mention their name in case it gets me into trouble. Even though the recipe is a complete guess, I think it does come pretty close. So I won’t even call it the same name…
In my days before I went low-carb I would order this pretty much without fail. But between living abroad for the past 5 years and then moving out into the gamadulas once we got back, I just haven’t got around to eating there again. Besides, all the stodgy pasta is no-go for me these days, and I’d be better off having a bash at recreating it in my own kitchen, to know exactly what goes into it.
I seriously can’t get enough of it’s luscious creamy tomato passata-base sauce, with just the right tickle of curry to get the taste buds dancing all over the place. Since I received my Spirelli veggie spiraler, all I’ve wanted to do is eat courgette “pasta” virtually every meal. So it’s given me a chance to really perfect this dish. But give it a bash, and let me know what you think?
Curry Cream Chicken & Courgette Spaghetti
500g pack of free-range, skinless chicken breasts
1 tin plum tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes
Good glug of olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 curry leaves or 1/2 a chilli
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp honey or xylitol
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
75g tin tomato paste (about 4 tablespoons if you use a big tube)
Handful of fresh basil or rocket
4 – 6 courgettes (depending on their size)
Fresh chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese for serving
– In a blender blitz up the sauce ingredients: The tomatoes, garlic, curry powder, oregano, honey, olive oil, salt, tomato paste, cream and if you’re using chilli then toss that in too. If you’re using the curry leaves instead, then leave them separate, as you’ll rather add them in afterwards, so they can be fished out at the end.
** Note: Just a word on the heat of this dish, I do like it quite spicy. So if you’re not a huge fan of heat, then try it first with just the curry powder. If you can handle that, then the next time you make it, I’d suggest throwing in the curry leaves. And if you really want your hair to fly back then toss in the chilli. But if you’re a zoom lover like me, then go wild!
– I like to use my old spaghetti pot when I’m making and reducing sauces, as the high sides prevent too much splatter all over the kitchen. But any large pot will do the trick. Add your blended sauce into the pot, and bring to the boil .
– As it heats up, cut the chicken into bite-size cubes or strips. I actually use a pair of kitchen scissors for this, and snip the chicken pieces straight into the pot, to save all the faff of cleaning raw meat chopping boards later. I’m lazy, I know, but why make more work for ourselves? Don’t worry about browning the chicken, it will cook thoroughly in the hot sauce, and come out juicy and tender. As I find it dries out and goes chewy if you pan fry it before. Plus as we’ve established, I’m lazy.
– Add the curry leaves now too if you’re using them, and give everything a good stir. By now the sauce should be coming to the boil, turn it down slightly so that it’s actively simmering away. Leave the lid off at this point, to help the excess moisture evaporate and help reduce and thicken the sauce, without the need for flour. Keep stirring it every now and then to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom.
– While the sauce and chicken cook, get on with making the courgette spaghetti. Put a saucepan half filled with water on to boil, and add a little dash of salt.
– As that comes to the boil start spiralising your courgettes. If you don’t have a veggie spiraler, then a potato peeler will work too, shaving off slices length ways for a more tagliatelle look. Otherwise spiralize your courgettes so you have a big luscious green pile of courgette spaghetti.
– Check your sauce and chicken is ready, and only once the sauce is done and the chicken cooked through then put your courgette spaghetti in to boil as it only needs a minute to cook.
– Give it a quick blanch in the boiling water, then immediately strain it into a colander in the sink and let it drain. Whatever you do, don’t let it sit in the water, otherwise it will turn to mush! Rather aim for it nice and al dente like pasta, than a sloppy pile of green gloop.
– Just before serving add the fresh basil or rocket, whatever you prefer, into the curry pot, stirring till they wilt down. Free facial anyone? Wooo, steamy!
– Once the courgette spaghetti has drained and steamed off completely, plate it up and pour over the indulgent creamy curry chicken sauce. Add a good sprinkle of parmesan and chopped parsley before serving.
– Tuck in, and marvel at the amazing similarity the courghetti has to real spaghetti as you twirl and twist your fork through the tangle of deliciousness.