Curry 101

It is no secret, I LOVE CURRY, Indian, Thai, Malaysian, African – you name it, chances are I have made it.

There is actually a formula to curry and one that I very rarely divert from. It is really all about the base, the foundation rather, a good foundation equals a good curry. In most curries the foundation is the COOKING OF THE ONIONS. We are looking for thinly sliced onions, which are cooked SLOW & LOW until you are left with an amalgamation of yummy and sticky onions.


FIRST: start with your BASE, the onions – heat a neutral oil on a medium heat and cook the sliced onions until really soft without any colour – whack the heat up and stir continuously until the onions are a nice caramel colour, think light golden.

With a neutral oil I am referring to a flavourless oil, sunflower and canola are good sources. You can also use Ghee if cooking an Indian curry or coconut oil.

SECOND: add your FLAVOUR, it might be freshly grated garlic, ginger, any toasted spice and/or wet paste – cook for about 5 minutes until fragrant – you are now cooking off the raw taste of the garlic and the onions will absorb all the amazing flavours.

THIRD: add your LIQUIDS, either can tomatoes, coconut milk and/or stock. I always add a 1tspn of salt here.

FOURTH: add your VEGGIES, starting with roots first, chopped butternut, sweet potatoes, potatoes etc (10min) baring in mind that the smaller you cut the root veg the quicker it will cook. You are not aiming for ‘fall apart’ here but rather just soft. Now add your soft veg like florets of broccoli etc and cook for about 7min. Add  your leafy veg like chopped kale, spinach or chard. The residual heat will cook these soft leaves in no time.

FIVE: Have a taste and SEASON, depending on what curry you are cooking, salt, lime juice & zest, chilli, pepper (white, pink or black), grated fresh coconut or coconut cream.

SIX: TOP with fresh herbs most likely coriander, toasted nuts and finely sliced crunchy raw things (sliced mange tout, bean sprouts).

SERVE: steamed rice or a bread of some sorts (naan or paratha), if Asian add some cooked noodles to your curry.

I love having little bowls to accompany my big pot of curry. The ADD ONS: chilli paste, chilli oil, a pickle, a fermented something (think kimichi) and a cooling yogurt something