This is for and about home cooks - the women all over the the world (and through the centuries) who put dinner on the table every night. They know how to cook quickly, easily, economically, healthily and satisfyingly whether for one or a dozen.

Part memoir, part diary of shopping, cooking, reading and thinking about putting supper on the table, by a former fashion/design writer/consultant whose secret love has always been food.  


Helen's Indian Chicken in Green Sauce


I first ate this aromatic, spicy chicken at Boule, our Australian friends' beautiful old farm in southwest France.

A passionate and adventurous cook, Helen loved dishes served in generous quantities outdoors on a long, trestle table layered with vintage table linens found in local brocantes. Of the many sensational meals enjoyed here over the years, this light, but richly flavoured ginger, cardamon and cumin scented stew is one I now make again and again.

This is the way Helen made it:


1.4 kilo boneless chicken pieces, skinned, cut into small serving pieces

4x2.5 cm cubes of fresh ginger peeled and coarsely chopped

8 to 10 cloves of garlic

1 tsp/ 5ml of ground turmeric

1 tsp/ 5ml of ground cloves

1 tsp/ 5ml of ground cumin

1 tsp/ 5ml of cardamon pods

1 cup of olive or other vegetable oil

2 large onions peeled & chopped roughly

300 mls or 1 1/4 cups of plain yoghurt

1 1/4 tsp of salt

1 level cup of fresh coriander, finely chopped

6 fresh small green chillies, seeded and coarsely chopped (check degree of hotness, maybe use just 1 or 2, according to your taste)

Enough fresh chopped dill and/or mint to fill one level cup.


Heat oil in a wide based pan. Over medium heat, put in the onions. Stir them until brown.

Add the chicken piecesand stir for 10 minutes. Add the chopped ginger & garlic. Stir cook for 10 mins or until the mixture has browned .

Add in the yoghurt and salt scrape up the bottom of the pan, bring to a simmer, cover and then lower the heat and cook for 15 mins.

When the chicken is almost done, turn up the heat to reduce the liquid.

Add chopped, seeded chillies, coriander and mint/dill and stir for 5 minutes .

Remove as much fat as possible before serving.

Serve with Basmatti rice.

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