The South Downs for a bike ride and a chicken curry
Not much else going on, so I figured I would get my blog going and take a trip down the road to the South Downs. Not really being that far away, I’m surprised I’ve never explored this area before. Loaded up with my bike, ingredients and a nice bottle of white I set off. I stopped off at Go Outdoors in Southampton on the way to pick up an Outwell pan set, something I’ve been meaning to get for a while. Next it was on up to Winchester, then on to West Meon. I found a nice little camp site tucked away in the countryside (Brocklands Farm), it doesn’t have much in the way of facilities but the location is great. With it still being mid March and a cold easterly wind blowing, it’s probably not surprising that I’m the only camper, except for a family in a caravan. There is access to lots of surrounding farmland on the edge of the South Downs included in the small £8 charge.
First thing I did after a couple of site photos was take off on my bike, it wasn’t long before I realised I was going to be taking on some big hills but great fun going down them. I never rode too far as I had already taken a long ride on Tuesday while the van was being fixed, so still a little sore in the usual areas. It was ‘t long before I picked up the South Downs Way, the scenery along this route is stunning, even on a dull cloudy day like this one. I would imagine it gets busy in the summer, but I only passed a few people throughout the complete ride.
Deciding I had ridden enough, I made a quick return along minor roads in the Meon valley, passing it’s beautiful cottages, churches and barns, arriving back in West Meon by mid afternoon which was somewhat earlier than I had planned.
I was hoping to use my laptop to update my blog and do a bit of other work, however it was when I tried to use it I realised the battery was not working at all. I have an adaptor for a 12v socket, but the only socket I have doesn’t seem to like the plug too much and it keeps popping out, plus it’s at the back of the van, so I know what my next job is. Luckily I had my iPad with me, using my iPhone as a hub, the Three 3G connection is very good, one of the reasons I chose this camp site.
After a nice cup of coffee I thought I would start getting my curry ready, it was just as I started that the lady who runs the campsite arrived for payment and to kindly give me a map of the surrounding farmland. As the sun was beginning to break through the cloud, I grabbed my camera and had a little explore. Unfortunately the sun was not quite strong enough to give any dramatic shots.
Once done I had built up an appetite, so as it was getting dark I continued with my curry, I have included the recipe and some pictures below, much satisfaction was had.
Sharkbait Chicken Curry
- 2 cooking pans, at least one with a lid
- Wooden spoon (though I use a normal metal spoon from my cutlery)
- 2 gas hobs
- 1 chopping board
- 1 good kitchen knife
- 1 bowl for mixing
- Sieve for rice (or use instant boil in the bag rice)
- Fridge (if not cooking straight away)
Note: Scales are not really necessary, you can buy in packs to the sizes listed.
- Splash of olive or vegetable oil (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
- 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled, diced
- 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon of paprika smoked
- Pinch of ground sea salt
- 600g chicken breast chunks
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
- 3 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons of ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 lemon, juice only
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic over a low to medium heat for 4–5 minutes, or until softened.
- Mix the chilli powder, combine the paprika and salt together in a bowl, then add the chicken, giving it a good coating.
- Add the coated chicken to the pan and fry for 10–15 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked all the way through.
- Stir the tomatoes, ginger, cumin and coriander into the pan, then reduce the heat until the mixture is just simmering.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 20–30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a tablespoon of water every so often if the mixture appears too dry.
- Stir the butter into the curry until it has all melted and add a little lemon juice, to taste (approx. 1/2 lemon)
- Long grain rice, cooked according to packet instructions
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 1 handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 1 red chilli, sliced
To serve, spoon onto serving plates. Serve with long grain rice and lime wedges on the side, then garnish with the chopped coriander and sliced red chilli. Enjoy!
TIP: If you don’t care so much for the environment I find washing up is much simpler using anti-bacterial wipes and a tea towel, saves having to keep filling the sink or having a bowl in the way.