Tag Archives: curry

Sweet Potato Curry with Coconut Milk from Karnataka

When we lived in India I needed to go to Cochin in Kerala for work. The market research session I was attending didn’t start until the afternoon, so I had the morning to explore Fort Cochin. There amoungst the alleyways I found a tiny little bookshop piled high with books. A wonderful little treasure trove. From that store I bought a South Indian Vegetarian cookbook which I love exploring. This recipe is based on that for Urulaikizhangu Saagu which is a Potato Curry from Karnataka. Using sweet potatoes to make a Sweet Potato Curry gives it a slightly richer flavor (and a few more vitamins), and I skipped the process of making homemade coconut milk, and stuck to a store bought can for convenience. It is truly delicious!


  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 270ml can coconut milk
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Spice paste

  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 3 dried chillies
  • 1 Tbsp Bengal gram or Moong dal
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp Bengal gram or Moong dal
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 sprig curry leaves


  1. Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut into 1-2cm cubes. Cook in salted, boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside
  2. Grind ingredients for spice paste in a mill accessory on a blender or food processor. Gradually add 2-3 Tbsp to make a paste
  3. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add all the Tempeeing ingredients and fry until the mustard seeds start to splutter
  4. Add the onions to the Tempered spices and fry until golden, around 3 minutes
  5. Add green chilies, ginger, tomatoes, turmeric, and salt. Fry for about 2 minutes
  6. Add 1 cup of water and turn up the heat (from 6 to 7 on an induction cooktop). Simmer for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally
  7. Turn down the heat (to 6 on an Induction cooktop). Mix in the spice paste and sweet potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure all ingredient should are well mixed together and the mixture does not catch on the pan
  8. Pour in the can of Coconut Milk and stir to combine thoroughly. Simmer for a few minutes over a low heat.
  9. Serve with rice, idli, dosa, or roti

Thai Green Chicken Curry

Thai Green Chicken Curry

A Thai curry is a very regular event at our table. It is one of our go to, mid week meals. We love to spice it up. You can adjust the spiciness with how much curry paste you add, and it depends on how spicy the paste is that you use as well, so do experiment a little to vary it to your own taste. We make our own paste, but we also have found a very good paste from a Thai supermarket that avoids any nasty ingredients as well. Up to you which you prefer.


  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1-2 Tbsp green curry paste (store bought, or see the separate recipe to make your own Green Curry Paste)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce – check the label carefully to make sure it is just fish and salt and does not have other nasty ingredients (or use vegan fish sauce if you are vegetarian or vegan)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized portions.
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 handfuls pea aubergines
  • 6-8 apple aubergines, cut into wedges
  • (If you can’t find the pea and apple aubergines then use green beans, mushrooms and regular aubergines instead or any other vegetable that you like)
  • large handful of Thai basil
  • few kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 large red chillies, cut on the diagonal to give slices


  1. Put the coconut cream into a frying pan, add the curry paste. Cook over a moderate heat for a minute or two. Keep on stirring to make sure it does not stick or burn.
  2. Add the coconut milk and water and stir well to combine
  3. Season with fish sauce
  4. Add the chicken and cook slowly for about 10 minutes
  5. Add the vegetables and cook for 5-7 minutes until the aubergines are cooked through
  6. Add the kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil. Stir well and simmer for another minute
  7. Remove from the heat and garnish with sliced red chillies.
  8. Serve with (cauliflower) rice and a green mango or papaya salad

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Brooklyn Brothers – The Album

Thai Pumpkin and Mushroom Curry

Thai curry with mushrooms and pumpkin
This recipe has become one of our go to staple dinners. We keep a pot of homemade Thai curry paste in the fridge (it lasts a couple of weeks) and whip this up as a quick after work meal together with rice or cauliflower rice.
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the curry paste. Fry until the paste becomes fragrant.
  2. Add the coconut milk and stir.
  3. Add fish sauce, water and vegetables and bring to the boil.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes or until the veggies are done.
  5. Add the kaffir lime leaves, stir and serve with rice or cauliflower rice.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: William Fitzsimmons – Gold in the Shadow


Thai Green Curry Paste

Thai Green Chicken Curry
This is a basic Thai Green Curry paste recipe that can be used as the basis to make Thai green curries with any number of fresh vegetables, chicken or other meats, such as our Thai Pumpkin and Mushroom Curry and Thai Green Chicken Curry.
  • 15 medium green Thai chillies
  • 1 tbsp fresh galangal
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp zest of kaffir limes, chopped (substitute with zest of regular limes if not available)
  • 2 tbsp scraped and chopped coriander root (from the stems of fresh coriander)
  • 3 tbsp red shallots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and ground
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (substitute for fermented tofu in brine for a vegetarian / vegan version of this recipe)
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender – except the shrimp paste – and blend until smooth. You might need to use a little water to get the blending started. Never use oil in your paste!
  2. When the paste is smooth, add the shrimp paste and blend a little more.
  3. Use or store in a glass container in the fridge. Will keep for a few weeks.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify:  Emily Rice – Find Me Here

Salmon Coconut Curry

Salmon Coconut Curry

We lived in India for two years and love Indian food. This curry is inspired by the food of Southern India, and is full of flavour, but not spicy. It uses chili only to create flavour rather than heat, and you remove the chilies after the dish is cooked. It is mild enough for children to eat, but extra chilli could be added if you prefer to add some spice.


Spice paste

  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 100 ml coconut milk


  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 6 green cardamon pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 3 whole green chilies, pricked all over, whole
  • 120 ml coconut milk
  • 150 ml water
  • 250 gr salmon fillets, cut into pieces (can also use salmon trimmings)
  • 15-20 curry leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp amchar (mango powder)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • fresh coriander to garnish


  1. Place all of the spice mix ingredients into a blender. Blend well to form a spice paste.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in a moderate heat pan, add the mustard seeds, cardamon pods, cloves and cinnamon stick and fry until fragrant.
  3. Add the onion, and fry gently until soft.
  4. Add the spice mix, salt and chillies to the pan and stir well. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the coconut milk, water, salmon fillets, curry leaves, pepper, garam masala, and mango powder. Stir to combine and then let it simmer for around 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice and garnish with some fresh coriander.
  7. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Anoushka Shankar – Traces of You

Spinach coconut curry with meatballs

Spinach meatball curry

This is a substantial and warming meal that is great paired with cauliflower rice or rice. You can adapt it to your own level of preferred spiciness by adapting how much chili powder you include. This is a slightly spicy version.


For the meatballs

  • 500 gr lamb mince
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil

For the curry

  • 220ml coconut milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 5 green cardamon pods
  • 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 500 gr baby spinach (or similar green vegetables)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. First make the meatballs. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Now, make around 15 golf ball sized meatballs. Wet your hands before making a ball so they won’t stick to your hands.
  3. Put them on a plate and let them firm up in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the ghee or oil in a large frying pan and brown the meatballs on all sides. When ready, put them on a plate and set aside.
  5. When all the meatballs are done, fry the curry leaves and cardamom pods for a few seconds until fragrant.
  6. Add the onion and fry until soft.
  7. Add the spices and the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute more.
  8. Then add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil.
  9. When boiling, add the spinach, cover and cook until wilted.
  10. Take the lid of, add the meatballs, season with salt and pepper and cook until the sauce thickens a little and the meatballs are heated through.
  11. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Hindi Zhara – Homeland



Thai Curry Paste

Thai Curry Paste

Thai curry pastes are used as the basis for Thai curries. They can be made at home fresh (which we also do), but there are also some very good pre-made curry pastes available that can save you the time of preparing them from scratch.

Common ingredients used in many Thai curry pastes are:

  • Shrimp paste
  • Chillies, depending on the curry these can be dried or fresh, red or green.
  • Onions or shallots
  • Garlic
  • Lemongrass
  • Galangal
  • Coriander (cilantro) root

We keep Green, Yellow and Panang curry pastes in our store cupboard, which with the addition of coconut milk, onion, garlic, and vegetables can be turned into an easy dinner when we are running late.

Be careful to read the label, as not all curry pastes are created equal. The ones that we buy were recommended by a foodie friend of ours from Thailand, and contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives. We go to an Asian foodstore (Thai supermarket) to buy them as they are not available in our supermarket.

Cardamon Chicken Curry with Papaya

Cardamon and papaya chicken curry

Cardamon is a deliciously fragrant spice. When combined with the sweetness and pungency of papaya it creates a chicken curry that is fragrant and full of flavour.



  • 4 chicken breasts (500g) cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3cm fresh ginger, finely grated
  • Rind of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • Salt and pepper



  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and put in the fridge for about an hour.
  2. Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a frying pan. 
  3. Add the curry leaves and cardamon pods and fry until fragrant
  4. Add onion and fry until soft. 
  5. Add the chicken with the marinade, and brown all over.
  6. Add coconut milk and water, and cook for 10 minutes
  7. Add papaya and chillies and cook for another 5 minutes
  8. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice

About papaya:
The papaya (also known as papaw, or pawpaw) is native to the tropics of the Americas, perhaps from southern Mexico and neighbouring Central America. However, it is now grown in most tropical countries and can be found used in many cuisines. The ripe fruit of the papaya is usually eaten raw, without skin or seeds, but can also be used in curries. The unripe green fruit can be eaten cooked, usually in curries, salads, and stews. Green papaya is used in Southeast Asian cooking, both raw and cooked. The fruit is rich in papain, and can be used for tenderizing meat and other proteins. The black seeds of the papaya are edible and have a sharp, spicy taste. They are sometimes ground and used as a substitute for black pepper.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Warpaint – Warpaint



Lamb Koftas with Thai spices

Thai koftas

In its simplest form, koftas consist of balls or sausages of minced or ground meat—usually beef or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onions. They can be found from Greece, all the way across to Pakistan and India. This version uses Thai rather than Middle Eastern spices to make a simple but flavorsome meat dish.



  • 2 Tbsp yellow curry paste
  • 60ml coconut milk
  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 white onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • salt and pepper


  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp yellow curry
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • cucumber and salad leaves


  1. First mix the coconut milk with the curry paste in a bowl
  2. Add the minced lamb, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in another bowl. 
  3. Wet your hands and shape the meat into 6 sausage roll shaped koftas
  4. Brush the outside of the koftas with the curry paste mixture.
  5. Put them into the fridge for 30 minutes
  6. Bake in a little coconut oil for about 3 minutes in a hot pan until brown all over. 
  7. After making the koftas, fry the shallots, garlic from the sauce ingredients in a pan. 
  8. Add the curry paste and coconut milk and stir until it thickens. 
  9. Serve over the koftas with some cucumber slices and salad leaves. 

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify:  Hurray for the Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes

Cauliflower Rice with Indian Spices

Cauliflower rice with Indian Spices

We lived in India for 2 years and fell in love with the food. Indian cooking has been a regular feature of our table, and counts amoung the favorite foods of our son. This isn’t a traditional Indian dish, but is inspired by the spices of South India to create a rice substitute dish that combines beautifully with South Indian curries such as South Indian Prawn Mango Curry, or Coconut Spinach Curry with Meatballs.



  1. Blend the cauliflower in a blender or food process until it has a rice like consistency.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the curry leaves, mustard seeds, cardamon pods and dried chillies. Fry off the spices until the spices are fragrant and the mustard seeds begin to splutter.
  3. Add the dried coconut and fry for another couple of minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the cauliflower to the pan and fry for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked through, stirring constantly to avoid it sticking.
  5. Serve with any Indian curry such as South Indian prawn mango curry, or Coconut spinach curry with meatballs.

About cardamon:
Cardamon (also known as cardamom) is a spice native to India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan. They are recognised by their small seed pods, triangular in cross-section, with a thin outer shell and filled with small black seeds. Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smokey, though not bitter, aroma. Cardamon is used in both sweet and savoury dishes, and can also be added to tea as is commonly done in India when making Masala Chai (tea).

Curry leaves:
The curry tree is a tropical to sub-tropical tree, which is native to India and Sri Lanka. Its leaves are used in many dishes in India and neighbouring countries. Often used in curries, the leaves are generally called by the name ‘curry leaves,’ although they are also literally ‘sweet neem leaves’ in most Indian languages. Small and green, they are best bought fresh rather than dried, and do not last particularly long. You can find them in specialist Indian or Asian stores in many cities around the world.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Anirudh Ravichander – Best of Anirudh