Confession time - I love curry! I've spent years trying to learn how to make a great curry at home. I've used recipes which took hours to assemble, recipes which demand you fill the house with the scent of onion and garlic for days and recipes which promise heaven on a plate but I've always ended up admitting defeat and skulking back to the local take away.
Then a few weeks ago when I only had mushrooms in the fridge, I decided to chuck some curry related ingredients together for something quick. I was feeling too lazy to chop onions so I whizzed them in my little blender with garlic, fresh ginger and whatever spices I had and accidentally discovered I had created curry Nirvana!
Tonight I made it for the third week but this time I wrote the recipe down as I went along so I could share it with you. The list of ingredients looks quite long so I took a pic of what you’ll need because then it doesn't look quite so daunting.
First blend/grind/crush together:
¼ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp chilli powder
Pinch cayenne powder (only if you have it)
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp curry powder
¼ tsp asafoetida powder (again only if you have it, it’s like a cross between powdered garlic and onions)
Split 6 cardamom pods, scrape out the seeds and add them too (I don’t know if this is how you’re supposed to use cardamom seeds but it’s what I do!)
Please note the quantities and spices depends entirely on your taste, this just happens to be what I did tonight, it'll be different next time I do it! I do think the important thing is to use the seeds, it makes the flavour much more rounded.
Next add a tbsp sized splat of coconut oil to a frying pan and heat.
Add your ground up spices and heat gently for a few minutes. In the meantime, grind up:
a handful of cashews as small as you can get them, powder is great
1 cm fresh chopped ginger root
1 garlic clove
2 shallots or 1 small onion.
Add these to the spices in the frying pan and mix in. Cook for a few minutes then spoon out onto a small plate. This is your curry paste.
Use the same pan and quickly cook your veg. I like the combination of soft mushrooms, crunchy baby corn and sugarsnap peas.
Once the veg is softened, add your paste back in. The aromas at this stage are lovvvverlie! You will need to add water and it’s up to you if you like a thick or thin sauce how much you add. I used about 400-600 mls. Let the flavours combine for about 10 mins,just long enough to cook your rice.
Just before you dish up, add salt to taste, spinach and some fresh coriander. Also for added texture sprinkle in ½ tsp each of fennel, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Serves 2 happy curry fiends! (For a korma use coconut milk instead of water.) It's quicker than queuing at the take away, has much less fat than a standard curry and you know exactly what's in it! This version just happens to be vegan but you could just as easily convert it for meat eaters. It really is worth a go....