Have I happened to mention how much I adore curry?
I was quite aged before I discovered my passion for spicy food. The primary problem for me was that for many years I couldn’t bring myself to eat rice. I assume it was a textural issue because I can’t imagine there being anything about the taste of rice that I could dislike. To this day, one of the very few foods that I am unable to go near is rice pudding (I’m actually shuddering just thinking about it), but thankfully, I now have no such problems with the savoury stuff.
My tolerance to chillies has grown as well, to the point where I have even dared to cook a vindaloo at home (and very nice it was too). So, the world of Indian cuisine has become my own personal oyster.
We are (un)lucky enough to have a fantastic Indian takeaway a 30 second jog away. If you’re ever in York (and not dieting) can I recommend the Gate of India? Situated in the back room of a pub, it is not the most prepossessing of locations, but the food is absolutely delicious – and I always try to leave some on my plate to eat cold the next morning.
But curries are incredibly easy to make at home as long as you have a reasonably well stocked spice cupboard. This one, by Madhur Jaffrey on the BBC website, is incredibly quick and has the added bonus of not using a pre-bought curry paste, so you can justifiably feel smug and domestic goddessey about producing it. The addition of cherry tomatoes at the end is our own and probably completely unauthentic - so feel free to leave them out – although I like the little pops of sweetness throughout the curry. I have a feeling some spinach stirred through just at the end, wilted in the residual heat, would also be rather good.
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp paprika
½ tsp ground turmeric
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed to a pulp
2.5cm/1in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated to a pulp
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
397g/14oz can reduced fat coconut milk, well shaken (or stirred)
¾tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp tamarind paste
450g/1lb peeled and deveined, meduim sized uncooked prawns (shrimps)
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
Serves 4, 6 pro points per portion
In a bowl, combine 300ml/10fl oz/1¼ cups water with the cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, garlic and ginger. Mix well. Grind the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a clean and add to mixture.
Put the spice mixture into a pan and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce should reduce and thicken. Add the coconut milk, salt, tamarind paste and bring to a simmer. Add the prawns (shrimp) and simmer, stirring now and then, until they turn opaque and are just cooked through. Just before serving, stir through the cherry tomatoes.