Put the chicken in a medium bowl. Mix in the lime juice, paprika, chilli powder and a grinding of black pepper (step 1), then leave to marinate for at least 15 mins, preferably a bit longer.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick wok or sauté pan. Tip in the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, whole chilli and cumin seeds, and stir-fry briefly just to colour and release their fragrance (step 2). Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and fry over a medium-high heat for 3-4 mins until the onion starts to turn brown. Add the remaining oil, then drop in the chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 mins or until it no longer looks raw. Mix the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander and garam masala together. Tip into the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 mins (step 3). Pour in the passata and 150ml water, then drop in the chunks of pepper. When starting to bubble, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins or until the chicken is tender.
Stir in the tomato, simmer for 2-3 mins, then add the spinach and turn it over in the pan to just wilt. Season with a little salt. If you want to thin down the sauce, splash in a little more water. Remove the cinnamon stick, chilli and cardamom pods, if you wish, before serving. Scatter with fresh coriander and serve with warm chapatis or basmati rice, if you like.

Healthier chicken balti


450g skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp paprika
[Paprika]¼ tsp hot chilli powder
1½ tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods, split
1 small to medium green chilli
½ tsp cumin seed
1 medium onion
[Onion], coarsely grated
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
2½ cm-piece ginger
[Ginger], grated
½ tsp turmeric
[Turmeric]1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
[Garam masala]250ml organic passata
1 red pepper, deseeded, cut into small chunks
1 medium tomato
[Tomato], chopped
85g baby spinach
[Spinach] leaves
handful fresh coriander, chopped
chapatis or basmati rice, to serve (optional)


This salad is all about sourness. The combination of lemon and sumac really packs a punch. Great with a barbecue.


For the dressing, place the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, crushed garlic and sumac into a bowl and whisk together to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (You will not need all the dressing for this recipe, so set the remainder aside in the fridge for up to a week.)
For the salad, place the torn pitta, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, radishes, shallot, rocket leaves, Little Gem lettuce leaves and mint leaves into a large bowl and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, pour the dressing, to taste, over the salad and gently mix together to coat the salad evenly.

For the dressing
100ml/3½ fl oz olive oil
1 lemon, juice and zest
½ garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp sumac (a sour-tasting ground spice, available in Middle Eastern delicatessens)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
1 pitta bread, torn into small pieces
8 plum tomatoes, seeds removed, quartered
half cucumber, peeled, cut into 5cm/2in batons
half green pepper, cut into strips
8 radishes, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
small handful rocket leaves
1 small Little Gem lettuce
handful fresh mint leaves