Eat Well : Mmmm … curry

There’s just something about a pot of simmering curry on the stove that makes me sigh in deep contentment.  And I’ve been craving curry all week.  Every single day of this past week, that’s all I’ve wanted to eat.  I would envision a plate of quinoa topped with curry vegetables, and my heart would skip a couple of happy beats as I imagined the invigorating play of spices. Lucky for me, curry is an easy dinner to put together.  Prep your ingredients the night before, and you’ll have curry for dinner in 30 minutes.  Trust me, I did it twice this week.

Here are some tips for an easy, delicious curry

1. Always start with the onions, ginger and garlic.  This is the base for any curry dish.  Start with the onions.  Finely dice your onions and fry them until they are translucent.  Then add the ginger and garlic (also finely diced) and fry them for a couple of minutes.  Be careful not to burn them.  These 3 key ingredients will give your curry the robust flavor your want.  So repeat after me: onions, ginger, garlic.

2. Don’t forget to season.  This is a rookie mistake.  We assume that because we’ve already tossed in so much spices, there’s no need for salt.  The spices give the dish its flavors but you’re still going to need a little bit of salt to bring it all out.  Remember to taste your curry, and season towards the end if needed.

3.  Watch the water.  I like my curry sauces thick and flavorful.  Nothing bugs me more than thin, diluted curries.  The trick is in adding the water a little bit at a time.  Mix your spices with some water to prevent burning, but do not pour in too much water.  Use a thickening agent like tomato paste.  Add in yoghurt, coconut milk or cream.

——————

I started the week with what I was dreaming of the entire day.  A basic vegetable curry spooned over quinoa.

Kitchen Adventures5

You will need:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger (2cm), finely chopped
  • Vegetables of your choice – I like using lady’s fingers, eggplants, carrots and cauliflower
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of curry powder (mix in water to make a paste)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Large dash of coconut milk
  • Chillies or chili powder for an extra kick
  • 400 ml water (pour in the water a little bit at a time until you get the consistency you want)
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent.  This will take about 8 minutes.  Add in garlic and fry for a few minutes.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.   Stir in curry and tomato paste, cook 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, mixed vegetables, water, salt and pepper to taste. Cook approximately 20-30 minutes until vegetables are well done (not crunchy).
  3. Stir in a large dash of coconut milk about 10 minutes before you’re done
  4. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro prior to serving.

And towards the end of the week, I decided to toss up a chickpea and spinach curry, and this too hit the right spot.

I heated the leftovers over some kamut pasta for a late night supper, and it was absolutely delicious!

I must say that I’ve pretty much satisfied my curry cravings.  For now 🙂

Kitchen Adventures3

 

You will need:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 400 g baby spinach leaves
  • 1 can of chick peas,drained
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of curry powder (mix in water to make a paste)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 large tomato
  • 300ml vegetable stock/water (pour in a little at a time until you reach a consistency you want)
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent.  This will take about 8 minutes.  Add in garlic and fry for a few minutes.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.   Stir in curry and tomato paste, cook 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, water, salt and pepper to taste. Cook approximately 15 minutes
  3. Add in spinach and stir through for 3-4 minutes
  4. Serve hot.
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4 thoughts on “Eat Well : Mmmm … curry”

  1. Mmmmm..that looks delicious indeed. Hubby is the “curry maker” in the house and we had vetkoek and curry mince on Saturday. Unfortunately because of my spastic colon he can’t use onions or strong curry but it was delicious. Great shots and thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Curry in the air? Read a recipe in the NY Times a few days ago which inspired me to invite another couple (with whom we’d shared an Indian dinner in a restaurant) for Chicken Curry with Sweet Potato in a couple of weeks.
    Your recipes give me courage!

    1. It certainly feels that way! My mother invited us to her house yesterday for fish curry – delicious! Curry chicken with sweet potato sounds like a winner – let me know how that turns out, and I would love to have the recipe too.

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