There's nothing like a quick curry to give you that taste hit to get through the week. I love nothing more than taking time to slow fry my onions and simmering my curry for hours on a weekend, but on a busy school night it's all about the flavour without the hard work. And this is pretty easy using my bottle masala, a healthy, pre-roasted mix of more than 20 different spices - so good for you. The list of ingredients looks long but don't be daunted, it's easy to put together and I often leave a few out.
I have left all the ingredients for a traditional curry in this recipe, but I most often omit the onions, and sometimes the garlic, depending on what I have in the kitchen. Frying onions is a labour of love, your curry will always taste raw if you only fry them for a few minutes - you really need at least 15-20 minutes of cooking, so it's much easier to leave them out when you're short of time. Using only ginger can also give your curry a different flavour which is nice from time to time. I actually really love the ginger only version.
You can also substitute a nice fish in this curry... the fish version with no onion and garlic is one of my favourites. If you're using fish, choose a firm, thick steak that won't disintegrate. Cook your whole gravy first, then gently place the fish in the curry, and simmer for a few minutes until done.
To serve four, you will need:
500 grams of boneless chicken (thigh or tenderloin) or 750 grams to a kilo if using bone-in legs or thighs
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 red onion, finely chopped (optional)
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed (optional)
1 tablespoon of ginger, finely grated
1 stalk of curry leaves (if you have them)
1 green chilli, sliced vertically down the middle
1 heaped tablespoon of bottle masala (or very good, natural curry powder)
1 tin of good quality coconut milk (I use Ayam brand)
1 coconut tin full of water or stock (equal amount)
1-2 teaspoons of tamarind paste (can substitute with freshly squeezed lemon juice)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Finely chopped fresh coriander to garnish (optional)
To make the curry, heat the coconut oil, and slowly fry the onions if using. If not, add the curry leaf (also optional), green chilli, and both ginger and garlic or ginger only to the pan. After a couple of minutes, add the bottle masala, then quickly add the chicken - you don't want the curry powder to burn, followed by the coconut milk.
If you're using fish, just add the coconut milk directly to the aromatics. Fry for another minute or two, then lower heat and simmer until cooked for chicken (around 20 minutes for boneless, 45 for bone-in), around 10-15 minutes if you're going to use fish.
After this, top up the gravy with the extra stock or water, then add the tamarind paste, salt and sugar to taste - you want the gravy to be a bit tangy. Your chicken curry is now done (for the fish version, add the fish now and simmer for another 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish).
Add some finely chopped coriander and serve, leave out if coriander is not your thing.