The Constant Gardener and African Chicken and Peanut Curry

19 Feb

Have you seen the film the Constant Gardener. It stars Rachel Weiss and Ralph Fiennes and is part mystery thriller, part love story. I love this movie. I have seen it more times than I can count and I have also read the book.

There are a few reasons I love this movie, firstly it helps keep at bay my desire to see the world. I love to travel but unfortunately can’t do it as often as I would like. Watching movies set in different places around the globe helps satiate my desire to travel for a little while at least. The story is set largely in Africa and the cinematography is beautiful. It showcases the beauty of the continent in all of its rugged an often poverty stricken complexity. Secondly, I absolutely love the character of Tessa. She is a woman I really admire. Passionate and fearless she searches for and takes on the challenges of new experiences and does so without losing her warmth. Her ability to act with integrity in the face of moral difficulties I find inspiring. She doesn’t appear to fear failure nearly as much as she fears not living fully and with empathy. While I like to think I share some of Tessa’s characteristics, I know that often I am constrained by making sure I appear polite and not too demanding. I try to tone down those passionate responses for fear of judgement or being accused of being judgemental. Every time I see the movie I vow to live more like Tessa, passionately and with vigour and unrestrained love.

While I struggle with trying to live my life less concerned about the perceptions of others I also have to keep at bay my desire to travel, at least until my studies are complete. So I use cooking to allow me to access parts of the world I can’t get to right away. As I have said before I can not claim any real authenticity with some of my more exotic recipes, but what I can assure you is that even if the recipe is only inspired by the exotic location you dream of, it can act as a brief sensory trip into another culture and world. Beware this curry does have a little chilli kick!

What country/continent would you like to visit? Do you cook as a substitute for travel?


African Chicken and Peanut Curry

Serves 4-6

Adapted from a recipe found at West African Chicken Curry

  • 4-6 chicken thighs diced
  • Canned cherry tomatoes
  • ¾ can of coconut milk
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 apple peeled and cored and diced
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and diced
  • 70 gms of raisins
  • 1/12 tbsp of crunch peanut butter
  • 2 tsp of curry powder
  • 2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp of honey


1. Brown onion and chicken together. Remove from pan.

2. Add the sweet potato and apple and cook for a further 2 minutes

3. Add the curry powder and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant

4. Add the cherry tomatoes with juice and half the can of coconut milk. This may be all you need but you can add some more later if taste or consistency requires it

5. Add the chicken back to the curry and allow to simmer gently. For about 20 mins

6. Add the peanut butter and raisins, stir until peanut butter is incorporated

7. If you think it needs more coconut milk you should add it now.

8. Add the honey and allow to simmers for a further 10 mins.

9. Serve with rice or cous cous


7 Responses to “The Constant Gardener and African Chicken and Peanut Curry”

  1. Karlheinz 19/02/2012 at 10:05 am #

    Sounds delicious,I’ll try that when I come back,in a week’s time.Because at the moment I travel to substitute for cooking.

  2. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge 19/02/2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Oh my goodness, this looks amazing.
    Sounds like something I would love…. 🙂

  3. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 20/02/2012 at 7:39 pm #

    I must read that book now, it sounds right up my alley! Perhaps while eating a bowl of this delicious looking curry!

    • thelegaltart 20/02/2012 at 7:52 pm #

      The book is great, but i must admit while i usually don’t think movies are better than books, this may be the exception!

  4. Suri 29/02/2012 at 1:58 am #

    I tried and it was awesome! You definitely should try it. :):)

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