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How to Make a Simple, Easy Indian Curry

Tony is a curry addict. Ask him what he wants—the answer will always be a curry. He has travelled to India many times in search of recipes.

Indian curry is an absolutely delicious meal.

Indian curry is an absolutely delicious meal.

What Is a Curry?

Curry is a British term for a spicy gravy dating back to Victorian times, although it is sometimes used in India these days. Although it is sometimes used in India these days, you will very rarely find the dishes we are familiar with available there. It is really the term used for spices blended to create exotic flavours and intensify the flavours of other foods.

There used to be the myth that the spices were to hide the fact that the meat had gone off. However, it is just the opposite; as far back as Henry VIII, a king that loved his food, the very wealthy flavoured their meals with exotic spices.

Queen Victoria had her own curry chef and loved the flavours of her Empire. Curries do not have to be very spicy hot to work; they add a wonderful richness to even the simplest of vegetables and meat.

Full of Flavour

Here is my recipe for a basic Indian style curry, which is suitable for anyone. Curries don’t have to be very hot, but they should always be full of flavour.

Ingredients

  • Turmeric powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Cumin powder
  • large Red Onion, Chopped fine
  • Ginger
  • Chili powder
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • Ghee or Oil

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pan or deep frying pan and put the onions in.
  2. Don’t add any oil yet, just sweat them a little. When they begin to steam, keep stirring them on a middle heat, as they begin to go a little bit transparent put in your preferred oil, ghee (this is clarified butter, and imparts a wonderful flavour). Let the whole thing gently fry, this will give you a far better flavour [this also applies to gravies too] when they are just turning golden take them off the heat and put aside.
  3. 1 tsp cumin, 2tsp coriander, 1 tsp turmeric, 1tsp Kashmiri chilli powder.
  4. In a small frying pan put the spices spreading them out over the bottom of the pan. Toast with a very gentle heat; as they begin to give off an aroma add two tablespoons of ghee or oil, and then mix with the powder until it forms a paste now also add the garlic and ginger. Be very careful not to have the heat too high. Add water and stir to form a gravy, cook until the oil begins to separate from the rest of the mix.
  5. Now fry and seal your meat, chicken, lamb, beef, or whatever you like.
  6. When you think the meat is sealed, add you onions, and then add these to the spices you have just cooked stirring very well.
  7. Add a few chopped tomatoes or use a tin
  8. Bring it to the boil on a medium heat, then turn the heat down and let it simmer for an hour with a lid on, then fifteen minutes without the lid, but stir well, and obviously don’t let it go dry.

A Detailed Ingredients List

  • I have a Holy Trinity of ingredients; onions, garlic, ginger. I start every curry and most other cooking with a mixture of these. I use two large onions, red if I have them, four cloves of garlic and about an inch of fresh
  • I start every curry and most other cooking with a mixture of these. I use two large onions, red if I have them, four cloves of garlic and about an inch of fresh ginger for every pound of meat.
  • [My mouth’s watering already] I chop one onion very fine, the other slightly courser, also chop the garlic and ginger very fine. Chop them by
  • Chop one onion very fine, the other slightly courser.
  • Chop the garlic and ginger very fine. Chop them by hand not in your processor, you can control the chop better that way.
  • From your local Indian or Asian shop, [where by the way you will find far better fresh food a lot cheaper than the big named supermarkets] you need: 1 tsp cumin, 2tsp coriander, 1 tsp turmeric, 1tsp Kashmiri chili powder. I prefer fresh chili. If you can find Kashmiri chillies or powder then this is not as hot as other chillies, but adds colour to your meal. if you want it to be hotter then add more chili.

Detailed Cooking Instructions

How to Cook

Heat a large pan or deep frying pan and put the onions in; don’t add any oil yet, just sweat them a little. When they begin to steam, keep stirring them on a middle heat, as they begin to go a little bit transparent put in your preferred oil,

When they begin to steam, keep stirring them on a middle heat, as they begin to go a little bit transparent put in your preferred oil, ghee (this is clarified butter, and imparts a wonderful flavour) is the best to use, but grapeseed, olive, or peanut oil is okay too. Let the whole thing gently fry, this will give you a far better flavour [this also applies to gravies too] when they are just turning golden take them off the heat and put aside.

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Let the whole thing gently fry, this will give you a far better flavour [this also applies to gravies too] when they are just turning golden take them off the heat and put aside.

In a small frying pan put the spices spreading them out over the bottom of the pan. Toast with a very gentle heat; as they begin to give off an aroma add two tablespoons of ghee or oil, and then mix with the powder until it forms a paste now also add the garlic and ginger. Be very careful not to have the heat too high. I do it this way to make sure they don't burn.Add water and

Add water and stir to form a gravy, cook until the oil begins to separate from the rest of the mix.

Now fry your meat, chicken, lamb, beef, or whatever you like. When you think the meat is sealed, add you onions, and then add these to the spices you have just cooked stirring very well. You can add a few chopped tomatoes or even a tin [don’t spoil it with a cheap tin, there are some good quality tasty tomatoes on the market. Bring it to the boil on a medium heat, then turn the heat down and let it simmer for an hour with a lid on, then fifteen minutes without the lid, but stir well, and obviously don’t let it go dry.

Eat with chapattis, rice or crusty bread. Enjoy!

I hope this will encourage you to experiment with Indian cooking; if you want to know how to make chapattis I have an article on the subject. Please leave a comment as this is very important.

What to Drink With This Meal

To find the right wine for a curry is not easy. I often have a fruit drink, mango or something a little bit tangy, lemon or grapefruit juice is nice too.

If the curry is hot for you, then why not try a cooling yoghurt drink which will stop the burn for you.

A nice cup of tea with or without milk usually finishes this meal with something sweet fresh mango or even one of the many wonderful Indian sweets.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

35 min

45 min

1 hour 20 min

This will make enough for four servings

Raita Recipe

A very nice sidedish for all curries is Cucumber Raita.

  • Chop half a cucumber and squeeze out as much juice as you can.
  • Mix together sugar about 1teaspoon and fresh mint leaves, or bottled if you prefer.
  • One coffee mug of yogurt, Greek styles is okay and mix with the other ingredients.
  • Fine chop some tomatoes and mix it all together for a delicious addition to your meal.

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