Wednesday 25 October 2017

Putting the grind into Curry Week ! Chicken Curry with Whole Spices

To celebrate Curry Week a couple of weeks ago, Braun got in touch and asked if I'd like to try out their new Multi Quick 3 hand blender, which has a snazzy coffee and spice grinder attachment, to help make our favourite curry.

As you'll know if you're a regular reader of my blog, I run a monthly #KitchenClearout linky, inviting people to join me in trying to clear out the things that have been lurking in the larder, taking up valuable space. I'm now a dab hand at turning leftovers and over ripe fruit into tummy fill rather than landfill, but one thing that I have had trouble incorporating into my cuisine is my rather large collection of whole spices. As I've been a long time subscriber of a globe-cooking box, I've amassed lots of jars and tins of spices that, quite frankly, I have no idea what to do with. Just a quick glance through my overcrowded spice rack threw up whole cumin, cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, rocou seeds, whole peppercorns, cardamom pods and dried chillies and I know there is more hiding away at the back (star anise, cassia bark, lemongrass stalks, ...). I definitely need a spice grinder in my life !

The MQ 3126 Hand Blender (RRP £79.99) comes with a multitude of attachments - the hand blender with SPLASHControl technology (definitely a good thing when I'm making soup !), a chopper with a 350ml recipient (which chops meat, hard cheese, nuts, herbs and carrots in seconds), a beaker and whisk attachment (which doesn't appear on the product description that I just looked up on line - strange !), and the all important spice and coffee grinder.

There are several features that I instantly spotted and really like - the easy click on-off attachments (really easy click, not just in name, like my current hand blender !), the soft grip handle, the 11 speeds and turbo button and, my favourite, the protective sheath for the blades - something I always thought was lacking on my old hand blender.

It's dead easy to use and very intuitive so I didn't even need to read the instructions. I gaily started flinging a bit of everything that vaguely resembled a curry ingredient into the pot ...

... then gave it a quick whizz and instantly had my own totally unique spice blend that smelt amazing and had my kitchen smelling like a Moroccan spice market. I've never smelt such vibrant, fresh, full-on fragrance from ground spices, even when freshly brought, so I knew that this would be a game changer in the finished dish. Here's the recipe I used, but it was just a case of using what I had in the spice rack.

Chicken Curry with Whole Spices

ingredients :

2 whole cumin
6 cloves
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1tsp mustard seeds
2 curry leaves
2tsp rocou seeds
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
4 cardamom pods 
1/2 dried chilli

glug of olive oil
3 onions
1 large clove garlic
5 chicken breasts
20cl crème fraîche
pinch of salt

Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the onions and garlic on a low heat for about 15 minutes, until they have gone soft and started to caramelise but not burn. You need to take this slow and easy for the best flavour to develop.

The bad news (or so I thought at this stage) was going to be the washing up - look at all the stuck-on caramelised bits !

After giving the spices a whizz in the blender, add to the pot along with a pinch of salt and give it all a good stir.

Chop the chicken into chunks and add to the pot, tossing everything so that the onions and spices are evenly distributed throughout.

Something magical happened when the chicken cooked - every last scrap of caramelised onions/spices was absorbed into the chicken, making washing up an absolute breeze. Definitely a bonus ! Not to mention all that extra flavour going into the meat.

Ten minutes later, the fragrant spices were making the whole kitchen smell great so I had a taste - it would be a perfectly decent (not to mention low calorie and low fat) curry at this point, but I decided to add a liquid ingredient (either a can of chopped tomatoes or a small carton (20cl) of light crème fraîche) so that we had some sauce to go with the rice. 

We loved the freshness and the vibrancy of the spices and I'm looking forward to working my way through the whole spices in my spice rack now. Recipes involving grinding nuts and spices have always been a nightmare in the past, with bits pinging all over the kitchen, despite my best efforts wrapping a tea towel around the hand blender and the bowl to prevent it happening. The Braun hand blender does the job perfectly and the spice grinder is definitely my new favourite kitchen gadget !

Adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky as it helped start to use up the whole spices in my spice rack.

Disclosure : I received the hand blender in order to take part in the Curry Week activity. For more information, head over to the Braun website.


  1. Oh that spice grinder looks fab, so useful. I have loads of jars like that in my cupboard as well. The curry looks lovely as well

  2. I need to get a hand blender as Mollie is now on solids and I prefer to give her homemade meals, the extra attachments sound very handy as your always making amazing recipes xXx

  3. Really nice. Love the spices.


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