read the news // live the culture
CultureFood & drinksRecipes

Original recipe of the week: Curry in a Hurry

  Saturday 21st January 2012

Usually associated with that British tradition of the “Friday night curry”, this is often considered a naughty treat, consisting of chicken tikka masala, naan bread, pilau rice, chana masala, poppadoms, onion bhajis and all the trimmings.

I will change this misconception – no longer does a curry have to be worth a month in the gym (not even the naan bread). This anti-oxidising combination of okra, aubergine, mushrooms and spinach will fill you with goodness as well as filling you up. Aubergine, aside from containing many minerals and vitamins, has a meaty texture that is sure to satisfy any hunger pangs. Okra is very high in vitamin C as well as dietary fibres, and mushrooms, which are not usually thought to be very nutritionally worthy, are actually very high in B vitamins and low in calories, too.

It is worth noting that the modern meaning of the word curry is simply a kind of gravy. The word curry itself is thought to have origins in the Tamil word ‘kari’, meaning spiced sauce… a spiced gravy sounds like my kind of curry, almost like bhuna.

This curry is more Thai than Indian in inspiration, with a distinct likeness to the traditional Thai green curry, or even a massaman. I hope you’ll enjoy my take on this British national dish.

Salmon and Coconut Green Curry

Serves 1

Prep: 15 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

1 fillet of salmon (skin on or off, your preference)
5 okra (roughly chopped)
50g aubergine (roughly chopped)
3 chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
½ a white onion
1 garlic clove (chopped)
1 handful of spinach
1 tsp creamed coconut
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
1 cardamom pod (crushed)
1 tsp medium curry powder
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
Water to cover
1 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp hazelnut oil

  • Heat oil a medium-sized saucepan, fry the onion until browned and add the garlic.
  • Mix together for a couple of moments and then add in (a small amount at a time) the okra, aubergine and mushroom.
  • Fry all the vegetables together on a medium heat until lightly caramelised.
  • Next, add the spices, plus a little more oil if needed. Mix the spices through and make a space for the salmon fillet in the middle of the pan.
  • Add the salmon to the pan, skin side down. Leave to crisp for a few minutes and then add just enough water to cover the veg and most of the salmon.
  • Leave the salmon to simmer with the vegetables and spices for approximately 5-10 minutes, or until the salmon cooked to your liking. I like mine to be quite rare so I leave it to simmer for around 5 minutes at the most.
  • When the salmon is cooked, add the creamed coconut to the curry liquid, stir until dissolved, then add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  • Now it’s time to thicken it up! Turn up the heat until the liquid is bubbling slightly.
  • Add the cornflour and stir until thick. To avoid lumps in your sauce, pre-mix the cornflour into a paste with a little water before adding it to the curry sauce.
  • When the gravy has been made, your curry is ready to go! Season to taste.

Peshwari Naan 

This is the easiest naan you will ever make – a baked flat bread with loads of flavour.

Serves 1-2

Cooking: 10-15 minutes

20g self-raising flour
20g polenta
10g desiccated coconut
A handful of raisins
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp greek yoghurt
A splash of water
A splash of hazelnut oil
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper

  • Preheat the fan oven to 220°C and grease a small baking tray.
  • Combine all the ingredients and mix into a soft dough.
  • Lightly knead and place onto the baking tray.
  • Roll to desired thickness and shape, and brush lightly with oil to get it golden and crispy on top. Bake for around 10 minutes, or until browned.
  • Serve this bread with your curry and a nice cucumber raita or even mango chutney.
  • Shut your eyes and imagine the sun beating down on your face somewhere nearer to the equator. Bliss!

Bethany Stone

More about the author

Bethany Stone

Share this story

  • Pin It
  • Share on Google+
  • Reddit
  • Stumble
  • LinkedIn

Latest related

Slow Club – Complete Surrender | Album review
Slow Club – Complete Surrender

Sheffield duo Slow Club have enjoyed a steadily growing appreciation for their emotive, compassionate music since their [read more]

6: A New Musical at London Theatre Workshop | Theatre review
6: A New Musical at London Theatre Workshop

Written by Zack Zadek and brought together by TwentySomething Productions with director Matt Harrison, 6: A New Musical [read more]

Cockleshells – A Book of People Poetry by Tricia Sturgeon | Book review
Cockleshells – A Book of People Poetry by Tricia Sturgeon

Tricia Sturgeon’s latest book of poetry, Cockleshells, is inspiring; it provokes readers into delving into their [read more]

The German Doctor (Wakolda) | Movie review
The German Doctor (Wakolda)

Based on the book by director Luica Puenzo, The German Doctor (Wakolda) is the true story of the family who [read more]

“What country, friends, is this?” at Greenside Community Centre | Theatre review
“What country, friends, is this?” at Greenside Community Centre

“We are implicated. So are you” is written in striking, bold font on the banner held up by some of the performers [read more]