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Claire’s Chicken Bhuna

What a great time of year to indulge in a fragrant and warming curry and this Bhuna style curry is one of my family’s favourites. But have you ever considered the amazing health benefits of this wonderful dish – bursting with vibrant ingredients to help boost, support and stimulate the body’s immune system and so much more. Ginger contains powerful medicinal properties one of which is ginerol the main bioactive compound providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Add this to the list of ingredients including garlic, fresh tomatoes, turmeric and chilies which are also well documented natural anti-inflammatory foods and this curry really does pack a powerful health punch helping you fight off those cold winter germs. This one pot meal is easy to prepare and you can tweak it with whatever vegetables you wish or replace the chicken with mushrooms to make a wonderful vegetarian meal option.


Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 50 mins medium heat

Portions: 6


Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs with bone but remove skin (organic, free range if affordable/can use breast meat but not as tasty due to no bones for flavouring )

1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee (healthy fat is good for you)

3 Medium sized onions

8 Large vine ripe tomatoes

2 Inch fresh ginger

4 Cloves garlic

1 green chili (with seeds if you like more heat)

2 tsp chili powder (I use mild as my children don’t like too much heat)

3 tsp turmeric powder or grated fresh (available in most Asian supermarkets)

3 tsp ground cumin

3 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground garam masala

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp coconut sugar or honey (optional if you prefer to leave it out, sweetens tomatoes)

1 tsp lemon juice

3 cups of whichever vegetables you want to use (I added green beans and carrots)

Handful of chopped fresh coriander to taste


Method:

Prepare your vegetables

· Peel and finely slice onions

· Wash, cut and blitz tomatoes with garlic and grated ginger

Make your spice paste

· Mix all dry spices with lemon juice and ½ cup water to form a paste


Using a large heavy bottomed pot, heat oil gently and add sliced onions to cook over a low heat for 10 mins until tender and caramelised. Add skinless chicken thighs and spice paste to onions and continue to cook and coat chicken in spices for a few minutes (careful it doesn’t catch on the bottom – stir and add a little more water if needed). Once all the chicken is thoroughly coated in spice paste and combined with the onions just add the blitzed tomatoes, garlic and ginger. Pop in a cinnamon stick and add the sugar/honey if desired. Stir well and bring heat up to medium level to allow the sauce to bubble away gently reducing the water content and thickening the gravy, roughly 25 mins. Common sense prevails at this point – when the chicken is cooked through but not falling off the bone add whichever vegetables you prefer. Allow to cook for a further 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce is thick. Once cooked I like to remove the bones, (my husband doesn’t do bones) and cinnamon stick and add a handful of chopped coriander. Enjoy on its own or with some brown basmati rice.


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