Lily Kwok's Chicken Curry

“Twenty-eight year old lawyer Helen Tse is third generation British Chinese. This curry recipe came from her grandmother, Lily, and uses spices she collected at the ports the boat stopped on her journey from Hong Kong to Britain. Her grandmother was the first woman to open a Chinese restaurant in Manchester, which is now run by Helen's twin sister.”
1hr 20mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and cook the chopped onion for a few minutes over a high heat.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic and red chilli.
  3. Stir for 30 seconds then reduce the heat to very low. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, making sure nothing browns or burns.
  4. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, curry powder and chilli powder and cook very gently for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Don't burn the spices or the sauce will taste acrid; sprinkle on a few drops of water if you're worried.
  6. Remove from the heat and cool a little.
  7. Put the water in a food processor or blender and add the contents of the pan. Whiz until very smooth. Add the two flours and blend again.
  8. Put the puréed mixture back into the pan and cook for 20-30 minutes (the longer the better) over a very low heat, stirring occasionally.
  9. You can add a little hot water if it starts to catch on the pan, but the idea is to gently "fry" the sauce so that it darkens in colour to an orangey brown.
  10. Once you've achieved a thick paste, gradually stir in the stock and simmer until the sauce has cooked down.
  11. For the chicken: season the cornstarch with salt and pepper. Toss the chicken strips in the cornstarch to coat.
  12. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken for a few minutes until it turns white.
  13. Add the onions and peas and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add the curry sauce and heat until piping hot.
  14. Serve with boiled white rice.

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