I love curry, but I'm always freaked out by the recipes for it - about 16 ingredients, all things that I haven't got and that if I bought I'd invariably use once and then have to throw away ten years later when I moved house.
I was also always so fazed by coconut milk - you could only ever buy huge cans of it and although I like curry, I'd never eat enough of it to use a WHOLE can and would have to throw away most of it and then feel guilty.
So I never really make curries. But staring at a massive bunch of coriander the other day, I was reminded of a recipe I made a few years ago that I found in a newspaper, that called itself a 'Keralan curry'. I also discovered that coconut milk now comes in little 160ml cans, which are perfect for making a curry for one or two peopl.
I'd lost the recipe, but vaguely remembered that there was also chilli, garlic and ginger in it. That sounded pretty nice, so I whizzed up the vaguely scraggy coriander, some garlic, an ancient piece of ginger and the last bits of a chilli, much the worse for hanging around in the kitchen for about 3 weeks, and it turned itself into the most delicious, fresh curry paste-thing. It works with anything - chicken, lamb, fish - and its freshness yet spicyness is brilliant for when you get that feeling that you MUST HAVE a curry, but don't want to be tasting it for days afterwards.
Large bunch of coriander
1 clove garlic (or 2 if you like garlic)
2 de-seeded red chilli (or leave some seeds in it if you want it hotter)
About 2cm cubed of ginger
Lime juice out of a bottle (if you've got it)
About half a cup of stock - just made with a cube or whatever
Half a teaspoon of cumin powder - if you've got
A few glugs of cream or one of those 160ml mini cans of coconut milk
Chop the onions and cook for 15 mins over a low heat. Whizz up the coriander, garlic, chilli, ginger and lime juice (optional) in a food processor.
In a separate pan cook the meat until it's browned.
Once the onions are done, sprinkle over the cumin and shake around in the pan for a bit. Then add the coriander mixture, then the meat, including any juices or bits at the bottom of the pan.
Add the cream or coconut milk and stir. Turn the heat right down and pour in enough stock for the curry to be well-hydrated but not actually soup-like, a couple of tablespoons.
Put a lid on the curry and simmer for about 15 mins.