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Welcome back to Simple Tastes with a new recipe by Asha Fowells. This quick curry recipe is for those (like me) who reach for the jar of sauce, because they are unsure how to create a curry from scratch.
All you need is a few spices, a tin of tomatoes and your choice of protein. You can use this recipe for meat, fish or vegetarian dishes, and it is adaptable for those who have dairy intolerances. See the notes at the end of the recipe for adaptations.
Many people online don’t know this, but I’m Indian. Well, not properly Indian as I was born in the UK, but certainly Indian to look at and I was raised on Indian food (so much so that I refused to eat school dinners when I started primary school because toad in the hole followed by steamed jam pudding and custard was “foreign”, but that’s another story).
This is my quick curry recipe. I literally start it off, then cook the rice when the protein element has gone in. Oh, and the recipe is based on my mum’s Punjabi curry recipe, so no negative feedback please because my mum is awesome and not just at cooking Indian food!
With this recipe, you can choose the protein to put in your curry, such as a couple of chopped chicken breasts or thighs, a couple of salmon or white fish fillets, some chopped and fried paneer plus some toasted cashew nuts, or a tin of chick peas.
You’ll also need some vegetables – leaf spinach works well, so do peas – the main requirement is that they cook quickly, though you could put in precooked veg such as grilled aubergine.
Put a pan on the cooker on a medium heat and add a splash of oil. While it is warming up, finely chop your onion, garlic and ginger (you could use a food processor for this), then bung them in the pan, turning the heat down as you do.
Let them cook for a few minutes until they are translucent, then add the other spices and salt, give it a good stir, cook for another minute then tip in the tin of tomatoes. Let it bubble for about ten minutes until it is lovely and saucy.
This would be a good time to put on your rice if that is what you are serving with it. When it has turned saucy, add your protein, cover the pan and leave to gently cook.
Paneer will take the longest to cook and need a little water added to the pan otherwise it will be dry and not very nice. Chicken takes about 10 minutes, fish and chick peas about five.
When the protein is nearly cooked, add your veg, stir in the yoghurt and put the lid back on and cook for another couple of minutes.
Voila! Your quick curry is done. Serve with rice, popadums and yogurt. Add a naan if you are feeling fancy.
The base sauce freezes well, as does the curry in its entirety. If you are planning to do the latter, don’t use low fat yogurt as it will split on reheating. The yogurt can be left out entirely if dairy is an issue.
Feel free to play around with the recipe. Add some ground almonds to make it more luxurious, for example, or a tin of lentils as well as chicken and spinach.
Chilli powders vary, so add less then taste it to see if you need more. Ready chopped garlic, ginger and chilli (or powders) are perfectly acceptable substitutes in this recipe, as is microwave rice, supermarket naans and ready made popadums.
It’s about the taste not the process.
Come and chat on our Facebook Group, and let us know how this recipe turned out. When I made it, I substituted cream for the yogurt, as I’d run out.