RecipesTravel

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.

Parked-Up-2
A great seclud­ed spot, it was so qui­et in the evening.

Empty-Campsite
A very qui­et camp site on a bit­ter March day

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.

The-Hampshire-Downs
A view across the South Downs, the wind was raw at this height.
Horses
Sev­er­al hors­es enjoy­ing the hay, some­where along the South Downs Way

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.

Farmland
A short walk from the camp site which lies behind the field where the line of trees can be seen.

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

Serves 2–3

Chicken-Curry-2

Preparation-2
Preparation
Chicken-Curry
Equip­ment Required
  • 2 cook­ing pans, at least one with a lid
  • Cut­lery
  • Wood­en spoon (though I use a nor­mal met­al spoon from my cut­lery)
  • Plates
  • 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.

Ingre­di­ents
  • 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

Cook­ing Method
  1. 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.
  2. Mix the chilli pow­der, com­bine the papri­ka and salt togeth­er in a bowl, then add the chick­en, giv­ing it a good coat­ing.
  3. Add the coat­ed chick­en to the pan and fry for 10–15 min­utes, or until gold­en-brown and cooked all the way through.
  4. Stir the toma­toes, gin­ger, cumin and corian­der into the pan, then reduce the heat until the mix­ture is just sim­mer­ing.
  5. 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.
  6. Stir the but­ter into the cur­ry until it has all melt­ed and add a lit­tle lemon juice, to taste (approx. 1/2 lemon)

To Serve
  • 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.

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The Author

sharkbait

sharkbait

A complete self-confessed VW nutjob. My VW T4 is actually my first and only VW I have ever owned but I love it. Having bought my van as a straight forward panel van, I enjoyed the process of converting it how I wanted. Now the van is all done, it's getting out and exploring I love to do.