June 24, 2006
Friday night is curry night. Saturday or Sunday is good too. It takes time to cook, and is best enjoyed at leisure, in front of an Alan Partridge DVD or Match of the Day.
Curry is great for using up old veg – an entire cuisine designed to hide the flavour of gently rotting produce.
This is my all-purpose curry recipe for when I can’t be bothered to wade through Madhur Jaffrey to find an authentic korma or jalfrezi recipe:
Chop a couple of big onions, a few cloves of garlic and a big lump of ginger into small bits. Fry slowly in a big saucepan with several gulps of sunflower oil and/or ghee. When the onion is transparent, blitz with a hand-blender. Now, make a paste of water with a teaspoon or two of ground turmeric, paprika, cumin and coriander. Cook in the onion paste for a good 10-15 minutes. It should be starting to resemble a curry now. Maybe add a couple of chopped tomates at this point. Or not. Season well.
Now add whatever veg you have left-over. Par-cook if using root veg. Just bung in other stuff – cabbage, spinach, peppers, courgettes. Whatever you fancy. Pretty much anything goes in a curry. Towards the end, after maybe 1 or 2 hours of slow cooking, add a flat tablespoon or so of garam masala. This adds a strong fragrant spiciness to the final taste.
Serve with your favourite curry accompaniments. For me it’s got to be minty yoghurt, mango chutney, naan or chapattis (a speciality of her-indoors), dhal. Maybe rice cooked with a couple of cardamon pods and some lemon zest. And a couple of cans of luke-warm bitter.
Then my favourite bit – cold curry for breakfast. Slobby, spicy, oily bliss.