I’ve been making curries on and off for years. My ex’s mother made a mean curry and knew how to boil rice which was a revelation in itself, I stole a lot of it from her, and made the rest up via several recipes I tried: it’s not rocket science, and they’ll get better and better as you fine tune and improve them every time.
- 1 cup per person (I use healthy wholegrain brown but basmati is the real thing).
- pinch of salt
- 4 pods cardamom
- Big slug of olive oil
- 2 onions red or white
- 2 cloves of garlic, fresher the better
- 2/3 sweet potatoes and a big handful of okra OR 1 cauliflower and 1/2 broccoli. Aubergine also works well
- 2 carrots and/or 1 or 2 parsnips
- 1 tbsp. garam masala
- 1 tbsp. turmeric
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. of tomato paste (concentrate)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 250 gr. prawn (optional)
- salt & pepper
- lemon wedges
- chopped fresh coriander
- chopped fresh chillies (optional)
- sundries (optional)
First off; rice. Put a cup per person of rice (it’s cheap, and good for you so be generous) into a lidded saucepan. Cover 3/4 inch over the top of the rice with water. Pinch of salt, cardamoms, and bring to the boil. Keep your eye on it while you’re chopping, and reduce to 2 (simmer) with the lid slightly ajar. It’s not always easy this as electric hobs are unreliable, if you have gas: I envy you. Stir every 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 1(low simmer) when the water is nearly absorbed, and turn the heat off when the rice is liquid sticky and on the verge of fluffy.
Start with a big pot. Usual thing, sweat a couple of onions, and garlic cloves finely chopped. While that is sweating away lowly in ample olive oil, add your chopped veg. Good combinations include, okra and sweet potato, or cauliflower and broccoli or aubergine.
Add finely cubed carrots or parsnip to the above combinations. Turn the heat up and sweat this for a good 10 minutes. Keep the mix turning regularly.
Meanwhile combine the garam masala, turmeric, cumin, chilli, and paprika in a small bowl or pestle and mortar if you’re fancy: mix it up.
Open a couple of tins of chopped tomato so you’re ready.
Pour the spice mix in, stir into the veg and cook for a minute, before adding the chopped tomatoes, tablespoon of tomato paste, and 1/2 a cup of water to keep a good consistency.
Pepper and salt if you want, I don’t salt personally. simmer with the lid on for 30 mins at least, stir occasionally..
If you’re having prawns, just add them at the end. If they’re frozen and uncooked this normally takes approximately 7 minutes? Less if they’re cooked/not frozen.
Don’t overcook your prawns, you’ll ruin ’em.
Cut your lemons into 4 (the taste is especially good with cauliflower), chop your de-stemmed coriander, put a spoon in some yoghurt. Serve.
I like a few popaddoms and mango chutney, with it, or you can have naan bread, pitta, chapatis, onion bhaji: whatever.
If you want more heat, chop some chillies. Easier to add than take away, same goes for salt.
You’ll feel righteous after this!