Curries are delicious first and foremost. When made from real ingredients, they’re also super good for you. They are easy to make. They are cheap to make. And, they are easy to vary depending on what’s in the cupboard. So let’s get started.
I begin all of my curries by sizzling some sliced onions and chopped up garlic in a generous (like, really generous) amount of oil or fat. (I use a good cast-iron pan and a wooden spoon). Think ghee, butter, coconut oil or olive oil. I do this on a medium to low heat until they are nice and soft. Yeah, this is an enjoy-the-process kind of meal; the longer it takes, the better the flavours. Put on some music and get into it.
Next, I add an array of dried and ground spices and salt. You can mix it up here, choosing from any combination of cumin, turmeric, ground ginger, garam masala, ras el hanout, curry powder, chilli flakes, ground coriander and paprika. Or, use a quality curry paste that contains only good things (my favourite is massaman). Fresh ginger and lemongrass can be welcome additions here, too. Stir your selection (as many as you like – a cumin, paprika, turmeric, ginger combo is a starting point – TBSP of each) through the oil, onions and garlic until it starts to smell amazing.
Some creamy goodness and some stock come next for me; about a cup of each. Pour in a can of coconut cream (my favourite), some yoghurt, or full fat cream, and some homemade stock if you have any made up; chicken or veggie stock for white meats and beef/lamb stock for red meats. Or just ignore that rule. Alternatively use water and a little extra salt. Add it to your pan and let it simmer for a wee bit.
Now add some chopped meat (or not – veggie curries are great too. Try chickpeas, lentils or paneer cheese! If using paneer then add it at the end). My favourite has got to be white fish – but add it at the end instead. Let the meat cook through in the creamy curry goodness until half cooked.
Time for the veggies – add any that you like, chopped up small, and continue to simmer away for another 20 minutes or so.
Taste your curry regularly until it has the perfect flavour and consistency for you!
Remember if you are using fish or paneer, add it towards the end as they take a lot less time to cook.
You can add some fresh coriander at the end too.
*Tip: Baby spinach stirred through at the end adds a nutrient boost!
*Tip: You can just throw it all in the slow cooker, give it a stir and cook on low for about 8 hours. Easy!
Enjoy your curry adventure!
A little message at the end: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science, and I do my best to consult reliable research. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts, because I would love to know more.