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Valentine Warner’s Chicken Wing Curry Recipe

Welcome to City Harvest Cooking

City Harvest Cooking is a series where guest chefs and cooks join City Harvest in its London food rescue warehouse to create amazing dishes from surplus food. It’s all about being resourceful and getting creative with whatever might be in City Harvest’s food redistribution depot on the day of cooking. The beauty of food redistribution is its unpredictability, although having a network of fresh produce suppliers means that we often see seasonal goods come through our depot doors.

This year, we kick off City Harvest Cooking with TV chef and food writer, Valentine Warner. Warner is a member of City Harvest’s Food Council, a collective that works with City Harvest to achieve its overall aims – Rescuing Food, People and the Planet – through thought-leadership, engaging with decision-makers and more.

Chef, Valentine Warners cooks with surplus at City Harvest food charity

“City Harvest is my favourite charity, everyone here is amazing. [They’re] redistributing food all over London, so that it can be cooked and given to people who are really struggling to feed themselves, and it’s shocking that the need for what they’re doing is increasing.”

Valentine Warner


Makes approximately 4 servings

Cooking time: 15 mins prep, 30 mins cooking

  • 50 g butter or ghee
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 5 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 3 medium red onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped, minced or crushed
  • 1 handful (25g) fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh red (hot) chilli, whole
  • 2 large salad tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 12 skin-on chicken wings
  • 500 ml water
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • Salt to taste


  • 1 fresh red (hot) chilli, sliced
  • Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
    City Harvest cooking: Valentine Warner's surplus chicken wing curry
    1. In a medium-sized deep pan, melt your butter or ghee on a low-medium heat.
    2. Once the butter is melted – but not burnt – add all the ground spices to the butter and stir gently to toast (approx 5 mins). This will create your chicken curry base.
    3. Add your sliced red onion to the butter and spice mix in the pan and stir on low heat.
    4. Crush your garlic with a teaspoon of coarse sea salt to form a paste. Add this garlic to the onion, spices, and butter mix. Stir gently to prevent burning. Gently fry together until the onions become translucent (approx 5-10 mins)
    5. Add roughly chopped coriander and stir.
    6. Make a side slit in your chilli to remove the seeds and add it, whole, to the spice mix. Once the onions are soft and translucent, and the aromatics are fragrant and toasted, add your roughly chopped tomatoes to the pan.
    7. Stir 1 tsp wholegrain mustard into the mixture. This is used in the absence of mustard seeds – a staple of Indian cooking! Increase the heat a little to allow the tomatoes to break down.
    8. Prepare the chicken wings by giving them a quick wash and cutting off any excess skin or gristle. Add the wings to the pan.
    9. Allow the wings to fry in the spice mixture for about 5 minutes before adding water to the pan.
    10. Bring the water to a simmer and add your chopped bananas to the curry.
    11. Allow the curry to simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes. The sauce will begin to thicken slightly, and the bananas will soften.
    12. Towards the end of cooking, squeeze about a tbsp of fresh lemon juice into your curry.
    13. Finely slice your fresh red chilli and coarsely chop another handful of fresh coriander to sprinkle on your curry.
    14. Serve with basmati rice or flatbread of your choice.

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