Cawl and Curry


Traditionally Friday night is curry night and tonight is no different.  Each week I usually try out a new blend or adapt an existing recipe, whether its an Indian, Pakistan, Vietnamese or Thai, I’m game to experiment, which also includes various meats and fish.

Today I’m busy so I’m going to stick with a quick and easy favourite in the slow cooker, and add to that, make my three pan cawl for Sunday. Just like a curry, its good for the cawl to  mature for a few days in the fridge.

The quantities serves six but you can play around with it, as I do!

I start by heating olive or rapeseed oil in a large frying pan and add the butter ghee  and heat over a medium heat. Then stir in the chicken, onion and garlic. You can use chicken breast or boneless thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces, I use one breast per person, cut into chunks. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onion has softened and turned translucent.

Now for the fun bit!  Stir in 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 1 tablespoon of curry paste, 2 teaspoons of tandoori masala, 1 teaspoon of garam masala and the tomato puree, I use a small 142g tin.  Then keep stirring until there are no lumps and all is smooth. You can choose what curry powder strength you want and whatever paste you fancy.  I experiment with different strengths and flavours depending who I’m cooking for, but there is a vast variety to choose from for sure.

Once this is ready just pour into the slow cooker and add a 400ml tin of coconut milk and 200g of natural yoghurt. Give it a quick stir and add around a dozen cardamom pods. You can season to taste if you so wish.

Cook on High for 4 to 6 hours, or on Low 6 to 8 hours until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced to your desired consistency. Remove and discard the cardamom pods before serving.

And as they say folks that’s all there is to it! Simple and delicious………..

I serve with plain, biryani or jasmine rice, depends how the mood takes me.  Tonight I’ll make my lovely biryani rice. Don’t forget those spicy poppadoms, chutney and naan breads 🙂



  • 2 tablespoons ghee butter
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 4 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs or 6 small chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons tandoori masala
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 142g tomato puree
  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 1 (400ml) tin coconut milk
  • 200g natural yoghurt
  • salt and pepper to taste



While the curry is cooking, time to make the cawl.  Cawl is a traditional Welsh meat, usually lamb, and vegetable soup. Ideal for cold days and a trusty pick-me-up after a night’s revelry and hangover 😉 This one is best left to chill overnight before serving, but if you want to let the flavours develop and mature, leave it in the fridge for up to three days, which is what I’m going to do.

Ok so why three pans….. well….  I like to make everything from scratch and so I use one pan to make the stock, one for the soup and one for the meat and vegetables.

This recipe involves a lot of chopping but it’s well worth it.  I use whatever is to hand vegetable-wise but it usually contains: onions, leeks, swede, carrots, parsnips and potatoes.  The supermarket casserole vegetable pack is usually a good starter for this one.

So after peeling all the vegetables, I put all the waste into one pan to make the stock, half the vegetables that have been diced into the second and whats left into the third to make the soup.

Adding water to the waste pan, bring to the boil and then simmer while prepping the other pans. I either use the stock in this soup or freeze for use later.

In the second pan I saute the onion, garlic and  for around 10 minutes then add the left over vegetables, off-cuts and pieces which were not diced and let sweat for a further 10 minutes.  To this I add vegetable stock that I have prepared earlier, I have a freezer full of these blocks, or you can make a stock using cubes.  Bring to the boil then leave to simmer.

Boil 2 litres of water and add a kilo of diced lamb, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes then add the diced vegetables; leeks, swede, carrots, parsnip and potatoes. Bring back to the boil, then simmer with the lid on until all the vegetables are tender.

Once the vegetables in the second pan are tender I blitz into a thick smooth soup and add the lamb and diced vegetables and stir, adding cracked pepper at this stage. If you want you can thin the soup with the stock, depending on how thick you like your cawl.

Taste and season, place the lid on top, then pop in the fridge to chill overnight or in my case until Sunday for even tastier results, it should last 3 days.

Reheat out of the fridge and serve with warm bread and a few wedges of mature Caerphilly cheese and a bit more pepper.

For the adventurous among you, I add some cayenne pepper and/or smoked paprika to give it a bit of a kick, but this is purely optional, ENJOY!


Time to chill before the guests arrive for the weekend with a glass of vino or two……….

Excited about the prospect of tomorrows game, have a good weekend everyone!


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