Jim came home with a punnet of scotch bonnet chillies yesterday, so I need to find something to do with them. After last night’s over-indulgence, it has to be something healthy, so I’m trying out another recipe from The Hairy Dieters cookbook. It is a new recipe to me so there are none of my own twists (or corner-cutting) yet, although I’m tempted to dry-fry the chicken and other ingredients in the first stage of the recipe.


Stage 1

  • 6 long green chillies
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 200ml cold water
  • 2 tbsp low-fat yogurt

Stage 2

  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered

Stage 3

  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp water

Because I’m using a different kind of chilli to those in the recipe, I’m going to have to be a bit adaptable here. But the instructions in the book are as follows:

Stage 1

Finely chop 4 of the chillies. Split the other 2 chillies from stalk to tip without opening or removing seeds –  I think these last two are mostly garnish.

Cut each chicken breast into 7-8 bite-sized chunks.

Heat the tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, add the garlic, chopped chillies, chopped tomatoes, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, sugar and salt. Fry until the vegetables soften but be careful not to burn.

Next add the chicken pieces and whole chillies. Cook for 3 minutes, turning the chicken regularly.

Pour over 200ml of the water, add the yogurt and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by a third.

Stage 2

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the onion and pepper on a high heat until lightly browned. Add the quartered tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes more. The vegetables should be just tender.

Stage 3

Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of water to form a smooth paste.

When the chicken is cooked, stir in the cornflour paste, simmer, stirring continuously.

Remove from heat, add the stir-fried vegetables and toss together lightly. Serve immediately.

SERVES 4 at 279 calories per portion, although I would add rice, which would obviously push up the calories. Thank you Hairy Bikers.