This is my own easy curry recipe. It has developed over years of trying different ones.
By easy I mean without roasting and grinding your own spices. It uses a pre-made spice mix called tandoori masala. Although you can always make your own.
I find the tamarind paste gives it a lovely zing, and the curry leaves lend a depth of flavour. Again the paste is pre-made, so you could leave this out.
I have tried this with both fresh and tinned tomatoes and I don’t think there’s much of a difference. As peeling tomatoes can be annoying I recommend using the tinned version in this case!
From the garden:
- 6 courgettes, cubed (or other veg, here I have also added courgette flowers)
- 4 medium potatoes, cubed
- cucumber (to serve)
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- thumb size piece of root ginger, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp tandoori masala
- 2-3 green finger chillies, chopped
- 6 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or 400g tin of chopped tomatoes)
- 5 cardamon pods (optional)
- 1 tsp tamarind paste (optional)
- 6 curry leaves (optional)
- 400 ml water
- Heat a tbsp of oil in a wok or large frying pan to a high heat, and fry the courgettes until they’re brown. Put them into a bowl and set aside. You can skip this step if you don’t have time.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok at a high temperature for 2 mins. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, and are golden brown at the edges.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes, making sure not to burn it.
- Add the salt, turmeric, tandoori masala and mix everything together. Cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the chillies, tomatoes, vegetables, potatoes and all the optional ingredients if using. Cook together for 5 minutes.
- Add the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Once it has reduced to a sauce, cover with a lid for the remaining time.
- Serve with fresh coriander, natural yoghurt (or home made raita), cucumber, a lemon wedge, and rice or naan bread.
- Add toasted cashews/almonds/seeds for a crunch.
- Squash, pumpkin, cauliflower: Use the same timings.
- Aubergine, mushrooms: Always fry them first on a high heat with a little salt.
- Okra: Make sure they are dry before cooking. Chop into pieces and fry for around 10 mins first, until cooked. Set aside and add again 10 mins before end of cooking.
- Chicken legs/thighs/wings: Simmer for at least 30 minutes in total.
- Chicken breast: Fry first for around 10 minutes until just- cooked, then set aside and add right at the end.
- Diced lamb: Add 100ml more water, simmer for at least an hour (preferably two), and add the potatoes twenty minutes before the end.