chicken pukka curry {yellow pepper} + chickpeas & vine tomatoes


This post is about a chicken pukka curry, actually the best curry I have ever made at home. It is an adaption from Jamie Oliver’s Pukka chicken curry, with my own curry spice blend (which I must say I am quite proud of).  It is to die, a richly flavoured curry with a freshness that takes over and lingers on the tongue for hours.  But first I thought I would share a little about my holiday last week…

It has taken a lot for me to get motivated to write this week. Probably because I am fresh off of being on holidays last week and for the majority of it I was offline without any service. At first not being able to connect online felt almost foreign, I am so used to my daily interactions with all of you that I missed you. But then as the days went on it felt incredibly freeing to allow myself the off time to just be fully embraced in the moment and truly connected to my surroundings. It was quite liberating to say the least.


Paul and I were on the coast for our mini getaway, every year in the summer I take the same week in August off. Sometimes it is to do nothing and sometimes Paul and I will go away for a few days of it. This year we were about an hour away from home so still close but it was on the vast coast of our Island where the city disappears behind us and the ocean swallows you in. We stayed at a cabin (Point no Point) where there was no service (except in the lobby building), perched high, directly above the ocean, a room with a hot tub on the balcony and miles and miles of grand ocean bliss.

We spent our days exploring hidden (local) beaches that we were tipped off on, cooking up simply delicious meals together, lounging in the afternoon sun on the deck, midday napping, and late night hot tub star gazing. All around it was just such a luxury to get this disconnected time off together, just him and I and Solomon, truly nothing makes me happier than the time I get with them.


Next up was Seattle. It was quite a whirlwind week actually, the day we came back into the city from the coast I jetted directly off to Seattle (literally I had packed my bags for two trips when we went to the coast) to meet two of my best friends for a birthday weekend celebration. We didn’t really have anything planned but everything just worked out perfectly in all places. Parking (downtown Seattle you treated us well), sightseeing, Russian pastry line ups (we flew through), and dinner reservations that we didn’t have happened to work out. It was one of those weekends where everything was meant to be in all ways possible.

If you do go to Seattle anytime soon I highly recommend trying out The Pink Door for dinner and their burlesque show on Saturday nights. I would recommend making a reservation as I do think the heavens were just on our side because we were the last to get in and the last people to see the show (which I think they just squeezed us in through a make shift seating area (thank you). Anyway the whole thing seems magically mysterious in the best way possible. They don’t have a sign outside their door and it is located within an alley way outside of Pike Place Market. If you don’t know about it you would definitely walk by wondering what all the people were lined up outside for.


Once you get in the room is dark, dimly lit by candle light, the walls are adorned with beautiful golden mirrors and worldly sconces, there are wooden seated rope swings hanging from the ceiling along with gorgeous chandeliers, the seats are lined with stripes and the concrete walls are checkered. It is beautiful and fun and like I said a little mysterious. We were seated on the outside courtyard (which has a view of the Seattle inner harbour) for dinner, which was absolutely delicious. I had the lamb with almond mint pesto and farro salad with roasted eggplant and red pepper; for dessert we shared the warm, delectable chocolate cake and for the table a lovely bottle of local Italian Syrah. Around 11 pm we were escorted back inside for the show portion of the night. It was a burlesque style cabernet done in the most powerful, thought provoking sexual of ways. At one point I was almost brought to tears. Simply magical and like I said I highly recommend it to anyone heading to Seattle looking for a little something different on a Saturday night.  


Now that chicken pukka curry I was talking about. It is so good; it has such a fresh taste about it, almost hard to explain with words. Sometimes curries can taste heavy and not have much lightness but this curry is the opposite. It still keeps that amazing curry flavour but balanced with the yellow peppers and vine tomatoes the freshness it exudes takes over and really makes the entire dish come together. The actual curry flavouring comes from a combination of spices that I put together to make my own curry powder along with some fresh yellow peppers blended into a thick paste that is then added to a pan of garlic, ginger and onion. Browned chicken, chickpeas and fresh tomatoes are then added and the whole thing simmers together for about an hour.

This chicken pukka curry is super simple to throw together and the great thing about this curry paste is you could easily double the recipe and freeze half of the mixture to keep for another time. All you need to do is then brown the chicken next time, unfreeze the paste and throw it all in the oven.

Curries are such an individual thing, when you are in India the same curry will differ from household to household. Most curry powders are a combination of 6-10 different spices; some will use a little more cumin and other a little more gram masala or a varying of all the spices. I loved it when we were there seeing how just a touch more of this or that could change the flavouring in the slightest of ways, it felt like the same curry but different if that makes sense.

Anyways my point is you can play around with the spices in this chicken pukka curry just as much. If you prefer the taste of one over the other or a dash more of something by all means dash away. 


chicken pukka curry (yellow pepper) + chickpeas & vine tomatoes


2 pounds of chicken (I used a mixture of thighs {4} and legs {2})

2 white onions

1 can of chickpeas

1 pint of baby vine tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

1 inch of ginger

2 yellow peppers

1 large bunch of cilantro

1-2 red chilis

2 tsp honey

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground fenugreek

1 tsp ground garam masala

1 tsp chili powder

*1 tsp ground amchor (dried mango powder)

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp himlayan salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel the onions, garlic and ginger and deseed the yellow peppers. Put 1 onion, 1 yellow pepper, the garlic and ginger into a food processor. Add the red chillis (deseed first, if you prefer a milder curry you could also only use one or maybe you want to use 3-4 for an extra hot curry), the cilantro stalks, honey and spices (except the cumin seeds and mustard seeds), then mix on high into a thick paste.

Place a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter and fry the chicken pieces until golden brown on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the pan on the heat. Turn the heat down to a low-medium.

Dice the remaining onion and yellow pepper and slice the fresh tomatoes into halves or quarters. Set aside.

Once the pan has cooled add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and lightly toast them. Watch these carefully as they will burn fast. Once the seeds are toasted add in the diced onion and yellow pepper. Cook these for about 5 minutes until slightly browned and translucent.

Next add in the curry paste, tomatoes, and chickpeas along with 1 cup of water. Mix and add the salt & pepper, stirring again. Return the chicken to the pan and bring it all to a light simmer. Once it starts to lightly bubble place the pan in the oven for 45-60 minutes.

Serve the curry with some fresh cilantro and lemon wedges. You could also serve it with a side of rotis or rice and some plain greek yogurt.


* if you are unable to find amchor you can leave this out. I do think it added a lot of flavour but it is an odd ingredient and you may not be able to find it easily. I was able to find some at an Indian market where I live so do check your local one they should have it. It came in solid pieces which I then ground myself.

With Indian cooking it is best to use extremely fresh ingredients, most of the above I buy in their solid form and then ground myself and store in a glass jar within a dark cupboard to keep their shelf life as long as possible. Fresh spices make a big difference and they add a lot more flavour.

Adapted from Jamie Oliver