Kitchen 3: Maid’s Mild Curry for the Fainthearted

Home cooked curry is one of those dishes that can be a real disappointment. To much chilli and not enough spice. It can certainly frighten off those curry novices who find they have a mouth on fire and wondering why they bothered.

This is totally phoney and no Indian in their right mind would give it houseroom, but as an introduction to the flavours and as a good dinner it takes some beating.

I large onion, peeled and sliced

2 cloves of garlic sliced

I small tub of greek style yoghurt ( the thick set stuff)

I can of coconut milk

Curry paste

Water or stock.

First fry the onion in some oil or oil and butter combination, once it begins to colour add the garlic. Don’t do it before or the garlic will burn and taste nasty.

When all that is nice and soft add as much curry paste as you think you will like. My lot like it hot, so I often add as much as half a jar, but novices might like to start with a couple of tablespoons.

Fry the curry paste, this is very important, you must cook the spices well to bring out the flavour.

Now the unsual bit, turn the heat down and start adding the yoghurt spoon by spoon. It shouldn’t curdle if you are careful, but don’t worry if it does, its not the end of the world.

Once all the yoghurt is in, dilute the mix with about half a pint of water or stock and add all the coconut milk.

This is your basic sauce, allow it to cook for a while to develop.

Now comes the fun!

You can cook lots of things in this sauce and have many variations.

For carnivores you can add chicken and allow it to cook in the mix and this will give you a lovely Chicken Korma style curry, mine like that best.

But for vegetarians, you can cook carrots and little florets of cauliflower for a good veggie curry. Potato and peas is another good combination.

You need to keep an eye on either version as it can catch at the bottom and burn. The liquid goes down very fast and there is nothing more off putting than black flecks in it.

I would avoid red meat cooked this way, for some reason it doesn’t really work.

What ever you decide, serve the result with plenty of rice and mango chutney if you’ve got it.