Welcome to FOOD & FELLOWSHIP: Old & New Recipes from the Green Acre Kitchen. Each week we will share three recipes, both old and new. When the day comes—and it will—that we can sit at a table and break bread together again, perhaps we will all have a few new dishes to share.
Homemade curry can sometime seem intimidating, but really they all start with a base of onions, garlic, ginger and a combination of spices. If you have an Indian market near your home, you can usually pick up all the spices you need at a reasonable price. If you don’t have a market, you can purchase everything you need on the internet.
Tikka Masala Sauce
Yields: 1 Quart
This recipe has incredible flavor and a combination of aromatic spices. It rivals any Indian restaurant. It works well with almost any cooked protein. My favorite is baked tofu chunks or chickpeas. If you prefer not to use coconut milk, you can exchange it for heavy cream or a thick homemade cashew milk.
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced or grated
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar, optional
1 (14.5) ounce can of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 (13.5) ounce can coconut milk
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes, then add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the spices and toast for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, coconut milk and brown sugar. Stir until smooth and combined, then simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce to a smooth consistency. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water to thin.
Add a cooked protein to the sauce and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Serve with basmati rice, chopped fresh cilantro and a chutney of your choice.
Apple Banana Curry Sauce
Yields: 3-4 cups
A big thanks to Frank Post, one of our Summer Kitchen Assistants, for sharing this recipe. This is a simple curry sauce that uses a minimum of spices but is still full of curry flavor. Thanks Frank!
2 cups vegetable stock, homemade if possible*
1 green apple, seeded and diced with the peel on
2 bananas, ripe
1 onion, diced
1-2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 tablespoons curry powder, good quality
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 cups yogurt
Sauté the apple, banana and onion in coconut oil until the onion is lightly golden brown. Add the turmeric, curry powder, garlic powder and tamari and continue to sauté for an additional minute.
Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. You can substitute all or some of the stock with coconut milk or a milk of your choice. Stir in the yogurt and heat until all the yogurt is blended and heated through. Start with one cup of yogurt and add more as needed. Blend well with an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add a cooked protein of your choice or for vegetable curry add any combination of cooked vegetables or potatoes. Cooked lentils and chickpeas make a wonderful vegetarian version. You can add raw fish or shellfish and cook them directly in the sauce.
*For homemade veggie stock: to a pot of filtered water add several onions, celery, carrots and simmer until very soft. Strain, discard the veggies.
Bhuna Masala |Basic Indian Curry Paste
Yields: 2+ cups
Most curries in India start with bhuna masala. It is a concentrated paste with ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes and aromatic Indian spices. Add 2 tablespoon of this sauce to a cup of coconut milk, cream, yogurt or broth and you have a readymade curry sauce that can be simmered with any protein or even just veggies. Feel free to add additional spices such as cinnamon, cardamom or star anise for variety.
1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika
For this recipe, the ginger, garlic and onions, need to be chopped very fine. I like to combine the already chopped garlic, ginger and onions into a food processor or blender and pulse about 10 times. If you have a good blender, it is not necessary to pre-chop the ginger, garlic and onions.
Preheat a saucepan on medium high. Add the oil and cumin seeds. When cumin seeds begin to splutter, add the onions, ginger and garlic mixture. Lower the heat and sauté until the onions are lightly golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add salt and spices and continue to sauté for 1 additional minute. Toasting your spices adds more flavor and aroma to the dish.
Add the tomato puree to deglaze the pan. If necessary add an additional ½ cup water. Simmer for 15-20, stirring occasionally.
To store, let the masala cool completely, transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate or freeze. This will store in the refrigerator for 5 days. A ½ cup portion is just enough for a dinner for 2, so consider freezing in small containers. Silicone muffin molds are the perfect size.