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Hot and Sweet Pepper Curry Sauce with Chicken, Lamb or Beef

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 2 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 tablespoons vegetable, grapeseed or peanut oil

1 tablespoon ground coriander, a palmful

1 tablespoon ground cumin or cumin seed, a palmful

2 teaspoons turmeric, 2/3 palmful

2 cardamom pods, split, or 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped

2 sweet red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

2 hot chile peppers, such as Fresno chiles, sliced

One 1-inch piece ginger root, grated

1 onion, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups passata or tomato sauce

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup mango chutney, such as Patak brand Major Grey's

1 large fresh bay leaf

1 small cinnamon stick

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, boneless leg of lamb or beef sirloin, cubed into bite-size pieces

2 limes, juiced

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

12 ounces farm spinach (bundles), stemmed and cleaned, coarsely chopped

To serve:

Grilled naan bread and/or basmati rice

Plain Greek-style yogurt

Cilantro leaves

Thinly sliced scallions


  1. Marinate the meat sprinkled with salt, pepper and paprika in the lime juice for 1 hour. 
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven, then add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and cardamom and stir until very fragrant, 1 minute. Next add the garlic, sweet and hot peppers, ginger, onions and some salt and pepper. Soften for 5 minutes partially covered, and then add the passata, stock, chutney, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and diced tomatoes. Simmer over low heat, about 1 hour. Remove the bay and cinnamon. 
  3. Add the marinated meat to the sauce and simmer to tender. Wilt the spinach into the sauce. Serve, or cool and store in the refrigerator or freezer for a make-ahead meal. 
  4. Serve the curry with naan bread and/or over rice with a dollop of yogurt for mixing in. Garnish with cilantro and scallion slices.

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