Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I love making curry; I love eating curry. Yum, yum, YUM, CURRY!!!

My parents cooked curry from time to time when I was young, and even made their own green mango chutney. In Kenya I learned to make several variations on the curry theme; the recipe below is my best version, although every batch I make is slightly different. I love making a pot of vegetarian and pot of chicken and having a Curry Party: folks only need to bring beer and contribute a condiment* and you've got yourself a yummy meal!

I apologize in advance that I do not measure things (in the list of ingredients below my friend "Aitchpea" has kindly added her approximations). Since I usually make this for a large crowd, the quantity in this recipe will be large. The key to curry is to keep tasting it to decide if it needs more tomato, more coconut/sweet flavor, more "heat", more 'curry' flavor...or more or less "broth"--I like mine soupy enough to appreciate the rice, but thick enough to be very flavorful.


butter/ghee [1 stick]
black (or yellow) mustard seed [about 1-2 TBS]
ground black pepper [maybe a tsp?]
Patak's mild or hot curry paste [half a jar] OR curry powder--many tablespoons
garam masala [TBS] (garam masala is a spice combo of pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ginger--add more of any of these spices to your own taste )

cayenne pepper or chili powder for heat
potatoes [4-6, cubed]
onions [one large, diced]
garlic [4-5 good-sized cloves]
chicken[1 package of breasts or thighs, cut up into bite-size pieces--~1.5 lbs]
peeled diced tomatoes [one large can]
coconut milk [one can, but maybe more]
chicken or vegetable broth [one can or carton]
lentils and water
turmeric [tsp]
V-8 Juice [to desired taste]
other veggies: green beans, cauliflower, garbanzo beans (I've even used sweet potatoes)
Basmati or jasmine rice

Start with a STICK OF BUTTER (or equivalent amount of olive oil or ghee, depending on how authentic you want to be). Melt in a large pot and add some BLACK (or yellow, if you can't find black) MUSTARD SEED. Add GROUND PEPPER, GARAM MASALA and PATAK'S CURRY PASTE (this is way better than any curry powders I've tried--you can get it at Cost Plus/World Market). The idea is for the spices and butter to simmer together awhile. Before the butter burns/browns, add diced POTATOES, CARROTS, diced ONIONS, GARLIC, and CHICKEN (if you're making non-vegetarian). Saute for awhile--let those spices soak into the main ingredients).

Add a big can of PEELED DICED TOMATOES. Add a can of COCONUT MILK. Add a can or carton of CHICKEN or VEGETABLE BROTH. If you're making veggie curry, you might add LENTILS and water. Let this cook awhile and taste. If the curry flavor is there but it's not yellow enough, add TURMERIC. If you need more liquid, add a can of V-8 JUICE and/or coconut milk. For sweeter flavor, add pineapple juice (but condiments add this element, too).  Add SALT to taste.

Add your GREEN BEANS and CAULIFLOWER about an hour before serving so they don't overcook. I usually let the curry simmer at least four hours (crock pot!). Serve with BASMATI or JASMINE RICE.



Aitchpea said...

I saw the title, and said "Yay"--Fer is posting about curry, and I need that recipe again. Then I squealed at the mention of me! How I wish I could come to another one of your curry extravaganzas.

Theresa Vernetti said...

Thanks, friend ! I made curry for twenty people on a camp stove in Ethiopia....yes, it can be done. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

Theresa Vernetti said...

Globe, Az has now been introduced to the wonders of the magic curry. Instant fans ! It will be invited to the next Bollywood garden party.