If you have never made an Indian curry of any sort you must really give it a shot. Curry's are one of the easiest ways to spice up your meal routines. They can be made with minimal ingredients and take a relatively short time to make. I will walk you through a simple curry that we like to call Feuille Family Indian Curry.
You will need the following:
- 2 Tbsp Whole Cumin Seed
- 1 Tbsp Whole Coriander Seed
- 1 Tbsp Turmeric
- 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 Tsp Cayenne
- 1.5 Tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, Zested
- 1 Cinnamon Stick, Whole
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, Julienne
- 2 Medium Carrots, Medium Dice
- 1-2 Tbsp Garlic, Chopped
- 1 - 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 16 oz Can Coconut Milk or Cream
- 1 Cup Cilantro, Chopped
- Any veggies or meat that you desire. I always just see what I have in the fridge. In these photos I was making a sweet potato, cauliflower, chicken curry. I really do not have any amounts. I go by ratios and look. I did however use 1 head of cauliflower, 3 sweet potatoes, 3 chicken breasts and 3 chicken thighs (cut into bite size pieces).
First you will need to lightly toast the Cumin and Coriander seeds. Place an empty saute pan on med/high heat and toast the whole seeds. Make sure you do not burn them. It doesn't take long so just focus on this. Do not try to do other stuff, it usually ends up badly....as in burnt seeds and wasted time.
Place the toasted seeds on a plate or bowl and allow to cool. You really want them to cool before you grind them up. Otherwise they will form a paste instead of a powder. Mix ground up whole seeds with remaining spices and salt. You can us a mortal and pestle or just a coffee grinder.
Next take a nice big pot and add 1/4 cup of coconut oil or fat of your choice. Heat pan to medium heat and saute the onions until translucent and then add the chicken, carrots and sweet potatoes. Cook until the carrots and sweet potatoes are soft or around 15 minutes. Then add cauliflower and cook for 5 more minutes. Add your spice mixture and stir until all veggies and meat in pot are coated with the spices. Cook for one additional minute and then add your ginger, garlic, tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then reduce and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
I always taste it around this time and make sure it doesn't need anything salt or sweet. I usually add a Tbsp of honey to it. Tomatoes are very bitter and acidic and are complimented well with sweet things. You can use honey, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar or even red wine to sweeten tomato sauces or tomato based dishes.
Right before you are ready to serve you should add the fresh cilantro. This is a game changer in my opinion. It takes the curry to a whole other level of flavor. And since I like to eat a lot of fat everyday you can even throw in a nice chunk of butter at the end.
We had some spinach in the fridge so we served the curry over it. Highly recommend that as well!
This is by no means a traditional Indian curry. Most curries do not have garlic or butter in them. I recommend and encourage being creative with different meats and veggies depending on what is available and fresh at your store or farmers market. Greens always work well and so do any kind of squash or zucchini.
I would encourage you to measure out tbsp and tsp but then dump them in your hand. Try to learn how much a tbsp looks like etc, Learning to use your experience and intuition in the kitchen is invaluable. Being able to make quick confident decisions can help reduce the stress in the kitchen environment. They might not always work out but at least you believed in what you were doing at the time. Cooking food for others puts you in a vulnerable space and can be very rewarding. The risks are definitely worth the expansion you can create in your being and consciousness and they will carry over into other areas of your life. Cooking can be used as a spiritual practice!