Chicken and Spinach Balti by John Hooton

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This is an authentic aromatic curry dish that is easy to make and tastes very impressive!

Photographed by a N.E. facing window in my living room.

Chicken and Spinach Balti

To Make the Marinade
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Lime, squeezed for Juice
2.5cm/1inch Fresh Ginger, peeled
½ tsp Ground Coriander
½ tsp Chilli Powder
½ tsp Ground Cumin
½ tsp Ground Turmeric
¼ tsp Salt
75ml/2½fl oz Plain Yoghurt
2 Chicken Breasts cut into bite size pieces

To Make the Curry
1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
1 Red Onion peeled and finely sliced
2 Tomatoes, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
Splash Water
75ml/2½fl oz Double Cream
150g/5oz Baby Spinach Leaves

To Serve
100g/3½ oz basmati Rice, rinsed, drained and cooked according to packet instructions
Fresh Coriander Leaves chopped
Cumin Seeds
Cloves

1. To make the marinade, finely chop the ginger and garlic, add the salt, chop a little more, place in a bowl. Add the lime juice, chilli powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and the fresh yoghurt and stir to coat all the pieces of chicken. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour, or if you prefer, overnight.

2. To make the curry, heat the oil in a large frying pan over low heat and add the onion. Fry for about 2 minutes then add the tomatoes and tomato puree and cook gently for about a minute. Add the chicken to the pan with the marinade, and a splash of water. Pour in the cream, turn up the heat and simmer for about 12-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Add the spinach to the pan and cook until just wilted. Sprinkle over the fresh coriander.

3. To make perfect rice, use 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Heat some butter in a pan, toss in the rice and fry it over medium heat for about a minute. Add the water and a couple of pinches of salt, stir briefly, cover and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling, turn the heat right down and simmer for ten minutes. Then remove the cover and simmer on lowest heat for another five minutes. There should be no water left in the pan, the rice will be separate and not sticky because of the butter. It is ready to serve. For extra fragrance, add a good pinch of cumin seeds, a few cloves, and a squeeze of lemon during cooking.

Technical Details:

Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 48mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/6 sec at f/20
Lighting: Window Daylight
Post Processing: Capture NX

© 2009 John Hooton Photography

Tags

24to70mm, asian, balti, chicken, curry, d3, kashmiri, rice, shootnhooton, spice

Retired Professional Photographer, web designer, software developer, still dabbling in photography and all things technical!

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Comments

  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKabout 5 years ago

    WOW now you’re tempting me John. I just adore Indian food and you’ve also included the recipe, for that alone it’s a FAV, but the picture is wonderful, mouthwatering, and I can smell it from here. Fantastic my friend. Don.

  • Delighted you’re tempted Don, very easy to make and will be tastier than your take-away!

    – John Hooton

  • Warren. A. Williams
    Warren. A. Wil...about 5 years ago

    Thanks John I have just made a copy and will give it to my cook (wife)

  • You are welcome Warren, mild and aromatic, I hope your wife enjoys it with you. :-)

    – John Hooton

  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKabout 5 years ago

    Hi John, always make my own, but I’m always up for new recipes too:-) Take-Away, you just don’t know what they’re putting in them. Don.

  • Daniel Sorine
    Daniel Sorineabout 5 years ago

    Could you include a glass of wine in your pictures in order to make the fantasy complete. Bon appetit!

  • Unlike Westerners, Asians do not drink wine with their meals, so for the sake of authenticity, I skipped the booze. In fact I am told they don’t have anything to drink during meals and usually only drink water. :-))

    – John Hooton

  • sorina
    sorinaabout 5 years ago

    Looks very yummy!!! :)

  • The only thing missing is the delicate spicy aroma! :-)

    – John Hooton

  • redqueenself
    redqueenselfabout 5 years ago

    Oh, man…you are killing me here! Wonderful food and beautiful presentation! Yum! I want it now!

  • Thank you Redqueen, head down to your local Asian store then get cooking!

    – John Hooton

  • Jeannette Sheehy
    Jeannette Sheehyabout 5 years ago

    luvvly jubbly John!! you’re making me drool. Definitely going to try the recipe as well! Beautifully photographed, makes me even more hungry!

  • Thanks Jeannette, make this and you are going to be very pleased with yourself!

    – John Hooton

  • Nic Relton
    Nic Reltonabout 5 years ago

    Nice capture John, what a beautiful butterfl….wait a minute! WOW THAT LOOKS GOOD! ;-)

  • I didn’t actually catch this chicken Nic, I bought it in a supermarket, but hey, I could always move back to the farm! :-)

    – John Hooton

  • Sheila  Pasket
    Sheila Pasketabout 5 years ago


    July 31, 2009

  • Vikram Franklin
    Vikram Franklinabout 5 years ago

    I love the care you take in the setting up of the pic. Lovely!!
    The recipie looks yummy too – it’s the hands of the cook that make the difference!!

  • Thank you for your comment Vikram. Authentic curry is not so hard to make from scratch, particularly this one which tastes better than the ‘take away’!

    – John Hooton

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