I’m not exactly sure why, but until a few days ago, I have struggled in recent months to want to cook anything new. With no headspace for it, I’ve been in a season of sticking to: old faithful recipes, porridge and weetbix and making one thing last a few nights. But my drought seems to have broken. Perhaps it’s because the weather has turned warmer, or because the kids are on school holidays, but today I tried this blog-worthy recipe, adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food via my friend Kara. It’s all the things this blog is about: not foody-ness – but taste, ease and affordability so that having people over isn’t too stressful. And what a terrific recipe this turned out to be! It can be made ahead of time, or in that last hour between getting home from work and people turning up – because once everything’s in the pot, it’s a simple case of simmering this gluten free meal while doing other things. Depending on the type and price of the chicken you use, this dish will cost between $10-$13 to make and serves 6-8 with rice. Add to this dollops of greek style yoghurt and fresh coriander leaves. I’m loving eating it, even as I type! Thanks for pointing me towards this bonza recipe, Kara.
- 800g chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 2-3cm pieces
- 2 medium onions, halved and sliced thinly
- 1 fresh green chilli, optional (only if you like spicy curries. I left it out)
- A 3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
- 1 small bunch of fresh coriander, washed, leaves removed and stalks chopped finely
- 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
- rice bran or vegetable oil
- Knob of butter
- 1/2 x 290g jar of Patak’s korma curry paste
- 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
- A small handful of flaked almonds, plus extra for serving
- 2 heaped tablesoons desiccated coconut
- salt and pepper
- Greek style yoghurt, for dolloping
1. Put the oil in the pan to heat and add onions, ginger and coriander stalks. Stir constantly for ten minutes to ensure it’s become fragrant and hasn’t burnt on the bottom. If using chicken thighs, throw them in for browning now, otherwise if using breasts, hold off til end of step 2.
2. Add the korma paste, coconut milk, half the flaked almonds, chickpeas, desiccated coconut and sliced chicken breasts. Half fill the empty coconut milk tin with water, pour it into the pan, and stir. Let the whole thing simmer away for about half an hour. This is so easy – now just walk away and do other things, like putting the rice on in the rice cooker.
3. Season carefully once the chicken is cooked and become tender. Serve with boiled rice, adding a few spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt dolloped on top. Sprinkle over the rest of the flaked almonds and coriander leaves.
It was so lovely catching up with my friend Katrina last weekend. Over lunch she raved about this healthy and easy dinner she’d recently tried out and by the end of her description I was keen to give it a go too. I don’t find it easy to cook tasty vegetarian dishes, and have felt the need to have a few more recipes of this kind up my sleeve when caring for vegetarian folk. And Katrina was right – this little number ticked all the boxes: easy to cook, healthy in nature, tasty, affordable and freezable. To lower the GI, carbohydrate and fat content, Katrina helpfully suggests replacing the pumpkin with sweet potato, leaving out the cream altogether and serving it without rice because this curry is nutritionally complete on its own. She also suggested a dollop of greek style yoghurt on top which tasted great. Originally from Notebook Magazine, when served with rice, this vegetarian dish serves 6 people and costs around $7 to make.
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbs mild curry paste
- 1 tbs finely grated ginger
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups (375ml) water or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup (105g) brown lentils, rinsed
- 1/2 cup (115g) red lentils, rinsed
- 600g butternut pumpkin, seeded, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
- 1/2 (about 600g) cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 cup (150g) frozen peas
- 1/4 cup (60ml) cream
- Coriander leaves, to serve
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until onion softens. Add curry paste, curry leaves and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add tomatoes and water and bring to a simmer.
- Add combined lentils and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. Add the pumpkin and cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 10 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Add peas and cream and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
My wonderful mother-in-law gave me this recipe years and years ago. Every now and then my husband says “We haven’t had that mango curry in a while” and I’m always surprised I don’t think to make it more often. This not-at-all hot curry gets devoured quickly, is easy-peasy to make and so affordable. It’s a great option for hospitality because you can do all the preparation in advance, long before people arrive, and simply leave the stir-frying until you’re about to eat – cause there’s no more than 10 minutes cooking time for this dish. Ensure rice on the go in a rice cooker while people arrive and you really won’t have much to do in the kitchen when things are getting underway. The quantities listed below serves 6 and is easily doubled when cooked in a wok for a larger group. This flavoursome dinner costs around $10.
- 2 large chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
- 1x440g can mango cheeks, thinly sliced (home brand is fine)
- 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 6 spring onions, white ends chopped roughly, green stalks thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- 1/2 cup chicken stock (powdered or cubed is fine)
- 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
- 100g snow peas, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a large frypan or wok on maximum heat, cook sesame oil, garlic and white ends of spring onions until fragrant.
- Add chicken strips and fry until brown on all sides. Turn pan down to low and add carrots, curry powder, mustard and stock. Simmer for 5 mins.
- Add green stalks of spring onions, snow peas and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, gently fold through thinly sliced mango cheeks. Serve with rice.
My friend Julie contributed this lovely mild curry recipe and I’m so pleased with the result! Originally from Charmaine Solomon’s Hot & Spicy Book, the whole thing was very easy to make and so tasty. It cooks on the stove for quite a while but pretty much uses just the one pot – and it was no trouble to do other jobs around the place while this yummy curry simmered away. The recipe that follows cost around $25 to make but made no less than 3L, which, served with rice serves approximately 15 people. This recipe is delightfully freezer friendly and can be made in advance for church dinners, weekend hospitality or keeping in the freezer. Thanks for sharing, Julie!
- 2 kg of chuck steak, cut into chunks
- 2 tins of coconut milk
- 5 tbsp massaman curry paste
- 10 baby potatoes or 1kg potatoes peeled and cubed, whole OR 1 kg of pumpkin peeled and cubed
- enough small onions for one per person or 4 large, cut into chunks
- 4 tabs fish sauce
- 4 tabs lemon or lime juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar (at all Asian grocers) or 4 tabs brown sugar
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts (easily left out in the case of allergy)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
1. Put chuck steak in large saucepan or stovetop casserole pot with one tin of coconut milk and one tin of water. Add more water if the steak is not covered. Simmer on very low heat with lid on for one and half to two hours, until steak is almost tender. Remove beef from saucepan and set aside. Keep all the liquid.
2. In the same pan heat one tin of coconut milk until thick and oily and slightly reduced. Add curry paste and cook until fragrant.
3. Add meat and liquid back in with sauces, sugar, onions and potatoes and cook approximately 45 mins until potatoes are cooked and liquid has reduced and thickened slightly (If using pumpkin, don’t add until 20 minutes before serving).
4. Add peanuts and basil leaves just before serving. Serve on rice with green beans or broccoli.