By Trilby Goouch
When it comes to curry, the flavour, spiciness and ingredient combinations are seemingly endless; whether cooking with Thai, Indian, Korean, Chinese or Cambodian flavours, curry is an economical meal that can sustain you for days (and who doesn’t love leftovers). There are many ways to cook a curry, and you can adjust your method based on how much time you have on your hands and what ingredients you have available. One of the most common forms of curry has Indian flavours, which is what I’ve focused on in this post.
To begin with, here is a brief description of the different types of curries and ingredients you can try:
Wet or dry: Wet curries are cooked in a sauce, usually one that contains a vegetable base, coconut milk, yogurt or vegetable/chicken stock. Dry curries are typically coated with spices, such as aloo gobi.
Indian curry is typically cooked with beef, goat, chicken, lamb, and seafood/shellfish (although I find the spices overpower the fish).
Traditional meat dishes:
• Chicken korma: Cooked in a thick, creamy sauce with nuts such as almonds or cashews.
• Butter chicken: Cooked in a rich, tomato-based buttery sauce.
• Vindaloo (extra spicy!): Lamb vindaloo is the most common option, often cooked with potatoes and lots of spice.
• Chicken Tikka Masala: A creamy, tomato based, orange-coloured curry served with chunks of chicken that are marinated in spices and yogurt.
Traditional vegetable dishes:
• Aloo gobi: A cauliflower-based curry.
• Saag Paneer: Sauteed creamy spinach served with paneer, an Indian cottage cheese.
• Vegetable korma: Same as chicken korma.
• Dal: A dish in which lentils/chickpeas/split peas are pureed and sautéed with spices.
• Mattar paneer: A tomato-based curry cooked with peas, paneer (cottage cheese), garam masala (a traditional Indian spice) and cumin.
Purchase canned curry sauce or paste, both of which can be found at Metro, Loblaws or John’s. My favourite brands are Pataks, Kitchens of India and Sharwood’s; simply sauté your meat and vegetables, pour a can/paste into the saucepan and simmer on low for as long as time permits. Most tins and packages serve four, so feel free to double your recipe by making 8 servings and make enough to last a week (or freeze half). Curry freezes well, and storing in individual containers makes for an easy and quick leftover option.
Rice: Instant rice that you can make in the microwave or over the stove is your best option; you can use a brown or white depending on your preference. Make sure to store your rice separately to prevent it from getting soggy when mixed with the curry.
Naan: A traditional Indian side, naan is an oven-baked flatbread that accompanies curries and makes for a great way to soak up sauce. Traditional naan is a labour of love, so I suggest purchasing some whole-wheat pitas that you can toast and brush with butter. Another way to eat your curry is to make a wrap-simply stuff your naan with your leftover curry.
Chutney: Chutney makes a nice addition to any curry and can be purchased at Metro, Loblaws or John’s. My favourite brand is Major Grey’s.
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