Craig and I love curry and we tend to prefer making our own curry paste as its cheaper and always tastier! We get our recipes from all over the place, recipe books, the internet, a few random Indian ladies from our workplaces and one time my sister Camilla and I went on an Indian food tour in Melbourne where we learnt a few great tips and tricks. The following recipe is from the Jamie Oliver book: Jamie’s Ministry of Food. It is easily one of my favorite books because it has a wide range of really simple international meals.
One think I would always recommend is to slowly build up a good spice cupboard. When Craig and I first got married I didn’t cook much but I always had good intentions! So I started buying lots of different spices, that way when I wanted to make something I didn’t have to buy much. Also, when I make something like this curry paste I tend to make at least double the quantity the recipe suggests and then I freeze half to use another time. These last around 3 or so months in the freezer.
- 2 cloves of garlic
- a thumb sized piece of fresh root ginger (this is always going to be better than ginger from a jar, but that is all I had this time so it had to do!)
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbs groundnut oil
- 2 tbs tomato puree
- 2 fresh red chillies
- a small bunch of fresh coriander
- 1 tbs desiccated coconut
- 2 tbs ground almonds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
Peel the garlic and ginger.
Put a frying pan on medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan.
Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat.
Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine – or – put them in a food processor and whiz to a powder.
Either way, when you’ve ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the resat of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste.
To make Chicken Tikka Masala:
I just brown some onion in a pan with a little oil or butter, add the curry paste and chicken (a chicken breast of a couple of thighs diced) stir well to coat and heat through for a couple of minutes
I then add any chopped vegetables such as green beans, peas, potato, sweet potato, carrot etc, plus a 400g can of chopped tomatoes and a 400ml can of coconut milk.
Bring this to the boil and then turn the heat down simmer on low for about 20 minutes with the lid on. Add a little water if you think the curry is drying out, you want it to be pretty saucy.
When the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked though add salt and pepper to taste and serve with some fresh coriander, a few flaked almonds and a couple of tablespoons of natural yogurt on some basmati rice that you have cooked in your rice cooker while you were allowing the curry to simmer!
Note: If you want to make a super hot curry add another fresh chilli when browning the onion. To make your basmati rice really nice (ha) add four or five cardamon pods, or a cinnamon stick to the rice cooker along with the rice. This gives the basmati rice a really distinct flavour.
For our curry tonight we added 1 1/2 cups of purple cabbage, half a sweet potato and a cup of green beans. For the rice I put in three pieces of cinnamon bark. You can get cinnamon bark and pretty much all the other ingredients in the curry paste from an Indian grocery store. If you live in Melbourne near me there is one on every corner!!