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How to make sweet potato & chicken curry

I'm a massive fan of curries. Massive. So massive I had curry for my wedding.

But I don't often make it myself. I could blame lack of time but I don't think that's really the answer. It's probably more about the fact I'm not used to doing it and therefore it doesn't come easily (a bit like ironing).

Nevertheless, I won't let the (slight) fear stop me from trying, which is why I decided to get out the latest issue of Gluten-Free Heaven magazine and make Donal Skehan's Indian Butter Chicken (p.74, if you're wondering).

Here's the image they showed:

Indian Butter Chicken by Gluten-free Heaven magazine

And this is what I produced:

My version of Indian Butter Chicken

Looks-wise it's not bad, is it? But appearances can be deceptive. I spent my time eating it wishing I'd done things a little differently, and that's exactly what I ended up doing when I re-made it a few days later.

First off, I'm not one of those people who's good with really spicy food, so you'd be forgiven for wondering why on earth I made it. But the thing is, a really good curry to me doesn't have to be hot. So I changed the recipe so much it's hardly recognisable. For a start, it no longer has butter in it. Nor does it have finger chillies, sugar or fenugreek. I thought I'd share it with you below under its new name.

Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry


(For part 1)

  1. 2 tspns vegetable oil

  2. 150g plain yogurt

  3. 2 garlic cloves (peeled & grated)

  4. 2cm fresh ginger (peeled & grated)

  5. 1 tspn garam masala

  6. 1 tspn lemon juice

  7. 800g diced chicken breasts

(For part 2)

  1. 500g sweet potato (peeled & cubed)

  2. Muslin bag filled with: 3 whole cloves & 5 cracked cardamom pods)

  3. Pinch of cinnamon

  4. 400g passata

  5. 200ml water

  6. 1 tspn garam masala

  7. Small bag of spinach (washed)

  8. 3 tblspns double cream

  9. 2 garlic cloves (peeled & grated)

  10. 3cm fresh ginger (peeled & grated)

  11. Pinch of salt

  12. Fresh coriander


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

  2. Mix all the Part 1 ingredients in a bowl, cover with cling film & marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

  3. Drizzle oil over the sweet potato in a roasting tin and bake for 45 minutes.

  4. Fry the chicken marinade over a high heat until the chicken is fully cooked.

  5. Meanwhile, add a splash of vegetable oil in a heavy-based pan and lightly fry the ginger & garlic.

  6. Add the passata, cinnamon, garam masala and muslin bag and allow to simmer for 5 mins.

  7. Add the sweet potato and water and simmer for 10 mins.

  8. Add the chicken and the spinach and mix well.

  9. Cook for 5 more minutes and then turn off the heat.

  10. Discard the muslin bag and stir in the cream and salt.

  11. Serve with steamed basmati rice and fresh coriander.

The Differences

So what's really different, apart from the 4 ingredients I took out?

Mainly, it's about roasting the sweet potato first to give it a really delicious and crisp flavour. Then there's the issue with the loose cardamom pods and cloves - I've never been a fan of biting into one of them - so using the muslin bag means you can still have the flavour but not worry about chewing on a whole clove. Finally, since I've never really been one for spicy food, those finger chillies had to go. The flavour of the curry is therefore a lot more delicate and goes down a little better with anyone who has IBS.

That said, I think my husband prefers Donal's version, so you'll need to dig out this month's Gluten-Free Heaven magazine if you want to find out how to do it his way.

Do let me know below how it turns out if you make it. I'd love to see some photos!

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