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Cinnamon chicken madras with crispy shallots and spiced cauliflower

In the colder months, there is no question about what I will do with any leftover Sunday roast morsels. Whether it's leftover chicken, beef or lamb it's a warm richly spiced curry that I think lends itself best to all those straggly unwanted bits of meat.

Use any leftover roast meat you have to hand - as much as you can spare! I used the remnants of a roast chicken but you could alternatively make it veggie with lentils.

**If you don't have leftovers around 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs would do the trick to feed a group of 4.

In terms of the spice mix I wanted something deep, rich and powerful like a classic Indian Madras. This is based on a classic Madras curry but I added some extra wintery spices for warmth... you might be put off by the amount of cinnamon but trust me there is something utterly delicious about it's warm sweetness alongside a kick of chilli and the tang of ginger.

Of course, it's really all the extras that made this curry so delicious. Crispy shallots, and spiced cauliflower with tons of fresh lemon and parsley, I usually don't think you can ever eat something as good as a proper Indian takeaway but bloody hell this was a damn good try.


(Serves 4)


  • 3 large cloves of garlic

  • 2 tbl coconut oil or ghee

  • 3 large banana shallots or 2 large white onions

  • 1 handful of sultanas

  • 1 tbl red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 tube of tomato paste

  • 200g tinned tomatoes

  • 1/2 tin boiled water with chicken stock (you could use leftover gravy)

  • 1 tin coconut milk

Spice mix

  • 1 tbl cinnamon

  • 2 tsp allspice

  • 2 tsp cardamom

  • 2 tsp coriander

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 3 cloves

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • 2 tsp curry powder

  • 1 tsp ginger or a thumb of grated ginger

Crispy shallots

  • 2 small shallots

  • 3 tbl veg oil

  • Salt

Spicy roasted cauliflower

  • 1 cauliflower - chopped up into small-medium size florets (don't miss out on the leaves)

  • 2tbl vegetable or coconut oil

  • 1tsp cumin

  • 2tsp fennel seeds

  • 1tsp turmeric

  • 1tsp chilli flakes

  • 1tsp garam masala

  • 1 lemon, zest, and juice

  • 1 bunch of parsley

  • 1 handful of pistachios

  • 1 handful of sultanas


Crispy Cauliflower

  • Preheat your oven to 180°

  • Toss your cauliflower and the chopped leaves in a large bowl with the oil and seasoning

  • Lay on baking tray and roast for 30 minutes until the edges have crisped slightly and they have turned a deep golden brown

  • Once roasted remove from oven and put back into the bowl you used to dress them

  • Toss with lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper and the sultanas

  • Lay onto your platter for serving


  • Heat up the oil on a medium heat in a large saucepan

  • Add the shallots and garlic and gently cook for 3-5 minutes

  • Add the spices and cook down some more on a low to mid heat until the onions have taken some colour be careful not to have the heat too high otherwise the spices will burn, dad some more oil at this point too

  • Add the tomato paste, the ginger, and the red wine vinegar and cook down for 5 minutes

  • Now add your liquid, begin with the coconut milk, then use the tin for your stock

  • Taste your spicing, adjust as you see fit, and then turn up the heat to reduce for a good 5-7 minutes

  • Add your meat and sultanas and let simmer for around 10 minutes

  • If your chicken meat is being cooked from raw, you will know when it has cooked as it will be white all the way through

  • Turn the heat off, let it sit for a few mins and then finish with salt, pepper a big squeeze of lime

Crispy shallots:

  • To make your crispy shallots, heat up a good glug of veg oil on a very high heat

  • Set aside a plate with some kitchen roll ready for when your shallots are done, this will help get rid of the excess oil and ensure they are super crispy

  • Add your shallots to the hot pan, they should immediately sizzle and start to change colour as they hit the oil

  • Fry until they turn deep gold in colour, this won't take long so watch them closely

  • Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and lay on top of the kitchen roll until they are ready to serve on top of your curry

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