This post was requested by Jenn, who never liked Indian food until I got Jamie Oliver's legendary 2008 cookbook, Jamie's Food Revolution. In it, there is a whole section called "Easy Curries" and I learned that if I could open a jar of Patak's or Thai Kitchen brand curry paste, I could make yummy curries that everyone loved. These recipes are based on Jamie Oliver's but have morphed into some variations. In this post are two Indian curries and a Thai mango curry. (For a separate post on our family's version of Thai Green Curry click here .) But whatever type of food you are cooking, I highly recommend any of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks; they all have great recipes and beautiful photos.
Basic Ingredients for the Curries:
For Six Servings:
2 medium onions
1 bunch of cilantro
1 thumb sized piece of ginger or 1 1/2 teaspoon ground
1 small green chile like Serrano or jalapeno
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
Purchased curry paste such as Patak brand for Indian, Thai Kitchen for Thai
1 (15 oz.) can of coconut milk
Optional: 4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
Basic Directions for the Curries:
1. Peel and slice the onions. Chop the cilantro, including the stems. Cut the skin off the ginger using a carrot peeler and then finely dice it. Remove the seeds and membrane from the pepper and finely chop it. Adjust the amount of pepper used to the amount of "heat" desired. I only use 1/2 of a jalapeno, but a whole small Serrano pepper.
2. Place the onions, cilantro, ginger, pepper, and olive oil in a pan and sauté over medium low heat until the onions are tender.
3. Add 1/2 cup curry paste (except if making Thai - see directions below), the extra ingredients listed below for a specific type of curry, and the chicken if you are using it.
4. Simmer on medium low for about a minute, then pour in the coconut milk.
5. Simmer for at least 10 minutes and serve with hot cooked rice and warm naan bread.
Use tikka masala curry paste if you can find it, if not, Patak's mild curry paste is fine.
Add a 15 oz. can of chopped tomatoes when you add the curry paste.
Garnish with a few chopped tomatoes.
Use korma curry paste if your can find it, if not, Patak's mild curry paste is fine.
Add a 15 oz. can of drained and rinsed garbanzo (chick pea) beans when you add the coconut milk.
Garnish with almonds. (Some people add a cup of unsweetened coconut - we leave it out.)
Thai Mango Curry
Along with the cilantro, onion, pepper, and ginger sauté 1/2 of a red, yellow, and orange bell pepper.
When the vegetables are tender, add 2 minced garlic cloves and sauté an additional 30 seconds.
Instead of Patak's use 2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste.
Add 1 teaspoon dried lemongrass, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce when you add the curry paste.
Skin a mango and cut into cubes. Add the mango during last five minutes of cooking.