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Shehzad Husain chopping onions in a kitchen


Heather Taylor

Deputy food editor


Up your curry game with this recipe from home cook turned M&S recipe consultant Shehzad Husain

In 1982, Shehzad Husain knocked on the door of M&S head office, her arms full of baskets containing her homemade curries. After tasting our Indian meals, the passionate home cook thought the M&S chefs could learn a thing or two. “I didn’t approve!” she laughs, “I felt I could do better. After a lot of perseverance, I spoke to [M&S director of product development] Cathy Chapman, who invited me to come and show her how I cook.” Shehzad ended up working as a consultant for M&S for many years, and she still remembers the first range of six Indian classics, from chicken korma to lamb rogan josh, she helped to develop. “We used whole spices, and added fresh ingredients, such as chilli and coriander,” she says. “They ended up doing incredibly well – the rest is history!” Have a go at Shehzad’s chicken korma, below. Don’t fancy cooking? Thanks to experts like her, our prepared meals taste just as good as homemade.
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Shehzad’s chicken korma

Serves 4

500g skinned and boned chicken breast, chopped into pieces

For the marinade
2 tbsp tomato purée
3 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 heaped tsp grated ginger, heaped
1 tsp grated garlic, heaped
1 heaped tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
11/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp ground almonds
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
4 tbsp coconut milk

For the curry
3/4 tbsp olive oil
50g unsalted butter
2 medium onions, very finely chopped
3 whole cardamom pods
1/4 tsp black cumin seeds
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
2-3 red and green chillies, finely chopped
1 cup of water
2-3 tbsp single cream
Juice of 1 lemon

Fluffy white rice and naan breads, to serve.

Place the chicken in a large bowl. Blend all the marinade ingredients in a food processor then pour over the chicken. Set aside for 45 minutes to marinate.

Heat the oil along with the butter. Add the onions, cardamom and black cumin seeds. Fry until golden brown, stirring occasionally, then add the chicken mixture and stir fry for 5-7 minutes over a medium heat. Add half the fresh coriander, mix everything together, then add half of the chillies. Pour over half the water, cover and simmer over a medium heat until the chicken is fully cooked, adding a little more water if it looks too dry.

Stir in the cream and lemon juice, transfer onto a serving dish and garnish with the remaining fresh coriander and chillies. Serve with rice and nan breads.

Editor: Heather Taylor / Photographer: Martin Poole

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