We love Indian and Thai food here too. This past week has been lots of yellow curry.
I used this simple recipe:
The cooking times/temps seem a little off - just simmer, that's all you really need it to do.
The first time we followed it and used potatoes with the chicken, but the next time I threw in broccoli, asparagus, carrots, green onions and cashews. Tofu would be good too, for the veggietarians. Really easy, and really yummy. I love dishes with coconut milk. You can get yellow and red curry pastes at asian markets, then just divide it up in an ice cube tray and stick it in the freezer, tossing a chunk in when you want to cook it. Very fast meal.
My favorite Indian dish is Mutter Paneer - which is homemade cheese cubes and peas in a spicy tomato-ey sauce. Serve over basmati rice.
It seems complicated, but it's not.
For example, you can have minced ginger in a jar in the fridge, or chunks of it in the freezer.
I started buying a few pounds of paneer at a time, cutting it up into cubes, deep frying them until golden brown, and then sticking them in the freezer. Then I'm always ready to make this dish! Every time I chop up 1/2 an onion, I'll chop up the other 1/2 and freeze it, then I have that ready to go, too.
Clarified butter is butter that has all the solids removed. It's easy to make at home, but you can also buy it at the indian grocery. I use it for other cooking too. It adds that nice buttery flavor, but doesn't scorch.
1 tablespoon clarified butter (Ghee)
1 teaspoon cumin seed (not the ground cumin)
1 cup finely diced onion (I use yellow, but red ones are usually used in indian cooking)
1 tablespoon finely chopped gingerroot
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes with their liquid (you can use fresh if you want, but I'm lazy)
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cayenne (1/2 for mild, 1 tsp for a bit more spiceyness)
1 teaspoon Garam Masaala*
1 bag (16 oz) frozen petite peas
2 cups of 1/2 inch fried paneer (or more if you like paneer - I do!)
1 cup water
basmati rice for serving
I measure everything out ahead of time, because it all goes pretty fast.
*A note about Garam Masaala. The Spice Island version is not spicy. But the Garam Masaala that I got at the indian grocer obviously has some cayenne in it. So that'll determine whether or not you add in more cayenne in this recipe or not.
1. Heat ghee in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seed; sizzle for 15-30 seconds to release flavor.
2. Add onion and ginger. Stir-fry 2-5 minutes or so, until onion is golden brown.
3. Stir in tomato. Cook 1-2 minutes until tomato is softened. Stir in salt, cayenne, and garam masaala. Cook 1 minute.
4. Stir in frozen peas, paneer, and water. Simmer 10-12 minutes until peas are tender and sauce thickens slightly. Stir in cilantro.
This recipe was adapted from the Betty Crocker Guide to Indian Home Cooking. I changed it up a bit to make it more saucy, because the original recipe didn't have much.
Finally, an easy Mulligatawny:
from The Six O'Clock Scramble
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 tsp. minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1 Tbsp. minced ginger (or 1 tsp. ginger powder)
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. garam masala
3/4 cup dried yellow or green lentils
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 box (32 oz.) chicken or vegetable broth (we used chicken broth)
1/2 cup coconut milk
serve over basmati rice or by itself
(If you have soaked the lentils for faster cooking, drain them before proceeding with the recipe.) Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, curry powder and garam masala and sauté it, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Stir in the lentils to coat them and add the tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer it, stirring it occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 25-30 minutes (or 10-15 minutes for presoaked lentils). Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package directions.
Puree the soup to desired thickness in a blender or using an immersion blender right in the pot-it can be smooth or chunky, depending on your preference. (A WARNING - do NOT ever blend more than a cup of hot soup in a regular blender at one time - the steam escapes rather dramatically, and you could find yourself covered in boiling hot soup!) Stir in the coconut milk until it is heated through, and serve it over the rice.