If you’re anything like me, once you have tried making a curry “from scratch” you will literally never go back to the jar variety. Yes, jars may be easy and yes, they may taste OK for a chuck it in a pan jobby. But to me, that ain’t real curry.
I have always favoured adding the spice mix concoctions ‘raw’ whilst cooking, which is very easy and takes no time at all. But after investing, and yes it’s a great investment (as I told my boyfriend), in a food processor, I decided to have a stab at making curry paste for the first time. I know what you’re all thinking, she’s a food blogger and she’s never made a curry paste before? Well, we’ve all got to start somewhere, right!
With a chuck it all in and see attitude, I aimed for a Tikka Masala paste with a couple of tweaks and my first curry was of the prawn variety.
For the paste…
♥ 2 cloves of garlic
♥ A teaspoon of ginger (I used lazy ginger)
♥ 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
♥ 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
♥ 2 teaspoons of garam masala
♥ A sprinkle of sea salt
♥ A drizzle of olive oil (or sunflower)
♥ 3 tablespoons of tomato puree
♥ 2 fresh red chillis (I used 2 heaped teaspoons of lazy chilli)
♥ A handful of fresh coriander
♥ A teaspoon of ground coriander
♥ 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
♥ A grind of cracked black pepper
♥ A squeeze of lemon
For the curry (serves 2)…
♥ 1 white onion
♥ 1 red pepper
♥ 1 clove of garlic
♥ 1 can of chopped tomatoes
♥ A squirt of tomato puree
♥ 2 tablespoons of the curry paste
♥ A dash of water
♥ Fresh king prawns (or meat if you’d prefer, would be yummy with chicken or lamb)
♥ A wedge of lemon and spring onion to serve (absolutely optional, but delicious)
This is how we do it…
Firstly make your curry paste. It is literally as easy as putting all the ingredients and spices into your food processor and blitzing. If the mix remains fairly thick, keep adding a dash of water until it is more of a paste consistency.
You will need two tablespoons for this recipe, but you can put the leftover paste into a sealed glass jar and keep in the fridge for about two weeks or freeze in portions if you’d prefer.
Now fry off the onion in oil for a few minutes until slightly browned, add the pepper and garlic and cook for a few more minutes before adding the tomato puree and two tablespoons of the paste. Loosen with a drop of water and cook for a few more minutes for the spices to cook off and soften.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cover the pan letting the sauce cook for around 15 minutes before uncovering and cook for around 10 more minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
At this point add your prawns to cook through until they are pink in colour. Serve with basmati rice and sprinkled with spring onion and a squeeze of lemon. If you prefer a more subtle curry, add a dash of yoghurt afterwards to ease the spice.
(If you decide to use meat, you will need to cook this before, so add in with the peppers and garlic at the beginning).
I know it seems like a lot of ingredients and spices, but honestly you will have most of these in the back of your spice cupboard, or maybe even to hand if you are a religious curry lover. And if you don’t, once you have bought them, they really will come in handy in the future.
I buy my spices from Tiger, they are £1 for a huge bag, but if there isn’t a store handy, head to the “World” aisle in the supermarket and you can also get big bags of spices much cheaper than buying the individual jars.
I’d love to try out some other curry pastes. Have you got any recipes that I can try next?