Thursday, January 31, 2013

Top Tips and Recipes for Curry


As we are creatures of routine Thursday night is often ‘curry night’ for us, but not of the takeaway kind. France doesn’t really do curry and in our little bit of rural France there isn’t really much choice in takeaways at all. I have developed my own mixes of spices and other ingredients over the years to make my own delicious curries, much healthier and cheaper than high street curries and I even have my own naan bread recipe too.

French Village Diaries Curry Recipe
Ready for the freezer
No two of my curries are the same as a lot depends on what is in season, or what needs using up in the fridge, but the following recipe will work just as well with any diced meat, courgettes, butternut squash, plus tinned lentils or chickpeas. Having watched Dave Myers and Si King (The Hairy Bikers' Great Curries ) on TV last night I just have to share their brilliant top tip for curry paste. I regularly make up large batches of walnut pesto using wild garlic, basil, rocket or parsley and freeze it in ice cube trays so it is always ready to use. Si and Dave made a huge batch of curry paste in a food processor and froze it in…you guessed it – ice cube trays – I seriously can’t believe I didn’t think of this myself!

Here is what went into my batch of curry paste today, some will be used tonight with lots of sliced onions sautéed with 2 tsp of cumin seeds, mushrooms, diced carrots, peppers and a tin of lentils, and the rest is safely tucked up in the freezer.

1 sliced chilli (I kept the seeds in, but you can scrape them out)
1 whole bulb of garlic
Fresh ginger, finely sliced – I used a 50g piece (or about twice the size of my thumb)
1 bunch of fresh coriander (I substituted this for parsley which is growing in the garden at the moment and the coriander isn’t)
2 tsp of cinnamon
8 tsp of ground cumin
8 tsp of turmeric
8 tsp of ground coriander (omit if using fresh coriander)
2 tbsp of tomato purée
Water added when mixed to make a wet paste consistency

French Village Diaries Curry Recipe
Courgette curry, one of our favourites

For a creamy curry I add a small carton of coconut milk just before serving or top tip for a healthier option, mix 1 tbsp of desiccated coconut, 1 tbsp ground almonds, 125g natural yoghurt and 3 tbsp of water and add this instead of the coconut milk.

Another curry top tip is to add an extra whole chilli but remove before serving and slice with a pair of scissors. This peps up the heat for Ade and I when added to our plates, without making it too hot a curry for Ed.

I always serve my curries with rice and naan breads.