A versatile curry base that you can add whatever choice of vegetables or protein you please. Would be particularly delicious with roasted pumpkin mixed through. Simple & delicious garnished with ghee, fresh chilli, coriander, flatbread, chutney & minted yoghurt. Warming spices are the hero ingredients in this one - packed with anti-oxidants & flavonoids - your immune system will thank you coming into the cooler months. Don't be put off by the amount of spices in this! You may need to buy some special spiced from your local indian grocer but they will last you for many future curries.
1/2 brown onion finely diced or cut into thin 'half moons'
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 thumb size ginger knob, finely sliced
1 birds eye chilli sliced (optional)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ajwain seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 small handful of dried curry leaves
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric ground
1/2 teaspoon coriander ground
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon asafoetida or hing powder
1 can of coconut cream
1 tin of tomatoes diced (or 3 large tomatoes)
Good quality olive oil
Ghee, butter or alternative
Vegetables of choice (I used eggplant, cabbage, carrot, zucchini)
Protein of choice
Sugar or sweetener of choice
Salt & pepper to taste
Lemon juice or apple cider
The key to this is to create a really pungent base with all your spices
1. Add onions to pan and a generous amount of olive oil / ghee to pan. Cook on med - high heat until brown & crispy on edges
2. Add ginger, garlic & turmeric & all spices except garam masala to pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, what we want here is to really cook this to the edge. It should thicken & be like a paste consistency
4. When the paste starts to get sticky, turn the heat down & add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Continue to stir for 30 seconds and add hard vegetables.
5. Stir paste through vegetables until they are all coated. Add coconut cream. Stir well.
6. Turn heat down to medium & add all soft vegetables on top (don't stir through). Put the lid on & leave until all vegetables are soft but not mushy. Take curry off heat.
7. This is the most important bit -seasoning. All spices used are quite bitter so add sweetener of choice (I use rapadura sugar), garam masala, salt & pepper little by little tasting each time until it is juuuuuust right. We want a nice balance of sweet, spicy, salty & tang. Add more lemon juice or vinegar if necessary.
8. That's it - viola! Let sit for a little bit before serving & serve with rice & garnished mentioned in intro.
This will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days depending on what protein you used (vegetarian sources will last longer), or simply freeze for fuss free meals in the future. Best topped with my favourite - tangy, spicy, salty Indian pickles Aam Ka Achaar (available at your local Indian grocer).