Spacer Basic Curry
  | Asymmetry | Cooking | Basic Curry |



Curries are relatively forgiving. Odds are good that if you're missing a spice it'll still come out all right. For instance, I hate coconut, so I never use it when I make this. I used canned diced tomatoes for just about everything that calls for chopped tomatoes, and they seem to work okay.

1 1/2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
2 large white onions, chopped
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 green medium-hot chili peppers, such as jalepeno or anaheim, seeded and minced (optional)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 whole cloves
One 1-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
Generous pinch mustard seeds
Generous pinch fenugreek
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 large fresh or canned tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
Coarse salt
4 c cooked long grain or basmati rice

Suggested add-ins:
1 pound cut-up cauliflower and a can of rinsed chickpeas; 1 pound cubed chicken breast; 1 pound firm white fish, cubed; 1/2 pound shelled shrimp and 1/2 pound sea scallops


  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions through fenugreek.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté, stirring often, until the onions and leek are limp, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and stir to coat with the spices. Add about 3 Tbsp water to keep them from sticking.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until they begin to break into a sauce, about three minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk and lime juice, and stir to blend.
  6. Add any of the "suggested add-ins," stir to coat, cover the skillet, and cook on low heat until done (about 20 minutes for cauliflower or chicken, 7 or 8 for fish or shrimp).

Serves 4

Shaw, Diana. Almost Vegetarian Entertaining. (New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 1998), 108-109.

| Top |


Except where noted, all material on this site is © 2000 Rebecca J. Stevenson