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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

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Bethany Stone

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