A Good Standard Curry

This curry makes a great jumping off point for a whole world of sauces. It’s based on this British-style sauce from Great Curry Recipes, but with amped-up spices, since I just can’t help myself. I also turned it into a full vegetarian meal, and it was delicious

gluten-free, vegetarian

A Good Standard Curry

2 yellow onions

Neutral oil

4 cloves garlic

1/2 inch ginger

1 carrot

2 bell peppers

1.5 cups crushed tomatoes

2 Tbsp. + ghee

1 Tbsp. curry powder (your favorite style)

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. coriander

1 Tbsp. asofetida (fenugreek was called for in the original; I used what I had)

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika

1 Tbsp. turmeric

To turn this into a meal:

2-3 potatoes

1 carrot

1 can chickpeas

1 c. water

Lemon juice

Finishing salt

Basmati rice

Thinly slice your onions. Add to a medium- large pan over medium heat where you’ve heated enough oil to cover the bottom till slightly bubbly.

Fry about 20 minutes until really soft and clear with a little color.

While the onions are working, chop the peppers & carrot. Mince the ginger and garlic and make a paste out of them by crushing with the back of a knife or grinding in a mortar & pestle.

When the onions are ready, add the peppers and carrot. Fry 5 minutes to get working.

Add the ginger, garlic and all spices but the turmeric.

Add to tomatoes and enough water just to cover.

Simmer :30, and remove from the heat. Cool until safe to whiz.

Whiz to make a mostly smooth mixture.

Add the ghee to the pan over medium heat and fry the turmeric :30 – 1 minute to bloom. Add the sauce back into the pan and simmer over low for 20 – 30 minutes.

Now to turn this sauce into a meal.

Set the sauce aside, and add a Tablespoon of oil back into the pan. Chop and add the potatoes, second carrot, and can of chickpeas (drained). Let sauté a couple minutes to warm up a bit. I had intended on putting a little color on the chickpeas but I lost patience with life.

Add a cup or two of the sauce and 1 cup of water. Simmer :30, covered.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a liberal sprinkle of finishing salt over basmati rice.

The dinner portion serves 4 easily, with enough sauce leftover to make at least 1 more big meal

Note: This curry is unsalted on purpose. The original recipe was unsalted as well, and I think that’s a good idea since it’s supposed to be used as a base for additions. I’ll be taking this curry and adding some fire next meal – along with more peppers and a deeper taste with tomato paste.

Thai-Style Red Curry

Finally! I’ve been trying to make a silky, luxurious feeling Thai-style red curry for a minute and keep screwing something up. Either I don’t let it reduce long enough, or I drown the flavors some how – or I forget a key component like curry paste or coconut milk.

This go round, I forgot to pick up coconut milk. I swear my kitchen eats the stuff. I’ve lost like 3 cans of it in the last few months. But, with a last-minute grocery trip I was all ready to go. Whoo. I’m glad I was, too – this is a good one.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

Thai-Style Red Curry

1 can coconut milk

Veggie, fish or chicken stock (1 of the empty coconut milk cans’ worth)

2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste

2 tsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsp. soy sauce/coconut aminos

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 stalks fresh lemongrass, peeled to reveal the soft center – mince 1 and whack the other with the back of your knife to release its flavors while cooking

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 scallion, thinly sliced

2 Thai red chilis (optional), minced

1.5 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, chopped

3/4 cup chopped okra

2 Tbsp. minced basil

Minced smoked salmon (optional)

Rice to serve

This is a simple slow-cooker dump meal. Prep all ingredients and dump into your cooker (minus the salmon, basil and green parts of the scallions). Cook however you would make a stew.

When complete, add to a saucepan and simmer until reduced a bit and silky. Serve over rice, topped with the green parts of the scallion and chopped basil.

Serves 4

Indian Spiced Burgers

Our little Monday night burger night needed a little kick in the pants. We’ve been doing whatever fake meats our local market has on hand (our favorites so far have been the Beyond Burgers and the Quorn Southern Fried “chicken” patties)j, and it’s been going really well. This week they happened to be out of good (non-lentil, non-bean) options, so I went for something a little different.

It was a big hit with me; with DH, not so much. He’s much more of a traditionalist when it comes to “staple” kid-friendly foods and has to be in the right mood for anything too far off the beaten path.

gluten-free, paleo

Indian Spiced Burgers

500g ground beef

1 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste (I used prepared)

3/4 small bunch cilantro

2 small green chilis

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. curry powder (your favorite mix)

Juice & zest of 1 lime

1 tsp. red chili powder (I used cayenne)

Mince your cilantro and chili. Add with the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mix until combined well, but not gluey.

Divvy into 4 burger patties and fry until your desired done ness has been reached.

I served mine with Kewpie mayonnaise and a generous dollop of Bombay Sandwich Chutney on a soft bun. DH added cheese to his.

Serves 4


Dilled Curry Potatoes

This sounds like a weird combination, but it works really well. Bonus: this side dish makes a great little flavor punch for pretty much any main component. I served mine with next week’s Indian Spiced Burgers the first night and leftovers with plain chicken in the next day’s lunch and both were flavorful and delicious.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Dilled Curry Potatoes

500g baby potatoes

Neutral oil

1 Tbsp. curry powder (your favorite mix will do, and some fresh curry leaves would also be great here)

1 small green chili pepper

1 Tbsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. red chili powder (I used cayenne)

4 – 5 cloves fresh garlic (3 Tbsp. when minced)

2 Tbsp. fresh dill (or more if you have more – I would have actually liked a little extra)

Salt & pepper

Fill your largest high-sided sauté pan with water to 3/4 of the way up the sides, nestle the potatoes in, add a bunch of salt and bring to a shallow boil for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain carefully and cut into halves.

While the potatoes are cooking: mince the garlic, chop the chili pepper, assemble the dried spices, and chop the dill. Set the dill aside.

Add enough oil to your pan to cover the bottom, and heat over high/medium-high until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the potatoes, liberally salt and pepper, and give a good stir for a couple minutes until they start to color.

Add the spices and garlic and stir-fry until the potatoes are as browned as you want them to be and the garlic goes nice and crispy.

Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the dill to complete.

Serves 3 – 4

Chicken Katsu Curry

Ooh, this is a good one. Not *quite* like the katsu from my regular takeout spot, but not far off. Add a dash of pumpkin purée and some white pepper, and it’s there. Delicious.

Chicken Katsu Curry

Chicken Katsu

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

40 grinds salt

Generous amount black pepper

1/4 cup flour

2 eggs

2 cups panko


1/4 cup neutral oil

1 yellow onion

1 medium carrot

1 inch ginger

4 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. curry powder

1 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 Tbsp. honey

Katsu Sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

2 Tbsp. oyster sauce

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. honey

Preheat your oven to 375F/200C. Add a silicone liner or tinfoil to a baking tray and set aside.

Lay your chicken breasts in a single layer between 2 sheets of baking paper and pound to 1/2 inch thick.

Set up a breading station by placing shallow bowls or plates of flour seasoned with salt & pepper, beaten egg, and panko in a row. Coat the chicken with the flour mix, then dunk in the egg, and dredge in panko. Put on the prepared baking sheet and let stand 10 mins to rest.

Bake 10 mins, flip and bake an additional 10 mins.

While the chicken is cooking, chop the onion and carrot. Add the oil to a large pan and set over medium-high. When the oil comes up to temperature, add the onion and carrot and sautée, stirring frequently, until softened.

While that is working, chop the ginger and garlic. Add to the pan and sautée another few minutes.

Whisk in the flour and curry powder to combine.

Whisk in the chicken stock, soy sauce and honey.

Simmer, stirring frequently, 15 – 20 minutes or until reduced by about half.

Let cool and blend.

For the Katsu sauce, whisk together the ketchup, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tbsp. honey.

Serve with a bowl of sushi rice. Makes enough for 4.

Indonesian Coconut Curry

Oooooh, this is a good one. Velvety, unctuous, vegan – and delicious.

If you’ve got it, some quickly fried tempeh would be fantastic – and location-appropriate- here. I used crisped tofu, which is also great.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Indonesian Coconut Curry

3 cloves garlic
2 small shallots
2 red chilis
1 Tbsp. turmeric powder
1.5 inches fresh ginger
4 macadamia nuts
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. black pepper
Few grinds salt
4 Tbsp. coconut oil
6 small white potatoes
1 can light coconut cream
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
1 pkg. extra form tofu
1 Tbsp. neutral oil
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

First, preheat the oven to 200C (375F).

Prep the tofu by slicing into bite-sized squares, covering with paper towels or a tea cloth and pressing with something heavy. Let sit half an hour.

Delicately place in a large bowl. Add the oil, coconut aminos and cornstarch – lightly fold to combine without breaking.

Turn the tofu out onto a prepared baking sheet in a single layer, ideally with a little space between the pieces. Bake 10 minutes, flip, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until crisped up and browned. Remove and set aside.

Make a curry paste by whizzing everything above the coconut oil in a food processor until a paste forms, adding a little water if necessary.

Chop the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the curry paste and fry until very fragrant and just beginning to brown.

Add the potatoes, coconut cream and kaffir leaves and stir to combine. Sautée 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are softened and the sauce reduces down to a velvety smoothness.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking, fold in the crisped tofu.

Serves 4

Curried Cabbage with Eggs

I was not sure this dish was going to turn out how I’d planned it to. I’m still on a Sri Lankan / curry kick, wanted to make some noodly cabbage, and thought I remembered seeing eggs with cabbage somewhere on the Internets or on a menu. Maybe. I’m glad I took a chance. This turned out fabulous.

Gluten-free, paleo, keto, vegetarian

Curried Cabbage with Eggs

1/2 small head cabbage (about 3 cups when cut into thin ribbons)
1 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste
1/2 red onion (about 1/2 cup diced)
1 Tbsp. madras curry
Pinch turmeric
1/2 tsp. chili flakes
2 – 3 Tbsp. fat of choice (I used ghee)
Juice of 1/2 lime

Cut your cabbage into ribbons and dice the onion.

Heat 2 Tbsp. fat in a large pan over medium. Add the cabbage, salt, and sautee until slightly browned – about 5 – 7 minutes.

When the cabbage is browned, push to the side and add the remaining Tablespoon fat, onion, curry powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric and a bit more salt. Stir together and let go 1 – 2 minutes.

Stir into the cabbage and cook an additional 4 or 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and the cabbage is to your liking.

Take off the heat, sprinkle with the chili and stir. Toss with a couple cranks salt and the lime juice.

Place in a bowl and set aside while you make your eggs.

For The Eggs

2 eggs
1 Tbsp. fat of choice (I used ghee)
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. madras curry

Put the pan over medium-low heat. Add the fat, ginger garlic paste, mustard seeds, turmeric and curry and cook 1 – 2 minutes or until bloomed (fragrant).

Break the eggs into the pan and softly scramble until almost dry. Cut the heat.

Add on top of the cabbage and serve.

Makes 1 dinner sized serving or can stretch for 2 for lunch

Coconut Curry with Naan

I never promised it was pretty. This pic was taken right before plunging into after-dinner snack bowl full #2.

A nice light Thai-style coconut green curry that’s perfect over noodles or simply scooped up by naan bread. Mixed with a little Greek yogurt, I could see this becoming a go-to dip.

Coconut Curry with Naan
Based on Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Rice Noodles from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

Curry paste
1 inch piece of ginger, peeped and roughly chopped
2 green chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, outer layer and tough ends removed and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
zest and juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp canola oil

1 red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sugar
Big pinch salt
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 can (15 oz) light coconut milk

To make the curry paste: Combine all the ingredients in a small spice grinder, food processor or mortar & pestle. Grind/blend to a paste. If your mixture is too dry and isn’t paste-ing, add a little more lime juice or oil and move things around in the bowl. Your paste won’t be smooth, but it will come together and the lemongrass fibers will break up. It’s not the prettiest thing in town, but it gets the job done.

To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil until it begins to sputter. Add the onion and sautee, stirring to avoid burning, 3 minutes or until softened, translucent and beginning to brown around the edges. Add curry paste and continue to sautee, stirring frequently, 3 minutes more. At this point, everything should be looking rather toasty in the pan and the smell should be incredible. Add salt, sugar, lime zest and coconut milk. Stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring up to a boil, knock the heat back to a simmer and let go 7 minutes.

At this point you have a very lovely coconut green curry sauce. You can serve this over rice noodles and broccolini like the original recipe calls for (which is great), or you can spoon some leftover curry sauce into a small bowl and scoop it up with naan bread. This makes an addicting after-dinner (or any time) snack. So addicting I managed to eat 2 small bowls worth right after dinner and i wish I had more.

I would imagine this sauce would keep in the fridge for a few days, but since I decided playing garbage disposal by myself last night was a good idea, we have no leftovers. Which is a total shame, I would eat this again today and in mass quantities.

Note: This is a very, very mild curry. Not hot in the slightest. If you want more heat, I would suggest leaving the seeds in the chiles or adding a bit of heat at the end.

Serves 2 if I’m one of the 2, 4 if I’m not. Really, there is enough curry to happily sauce a family of four’s dinner.