Category Archives: Curries

Discover the world of curries.

Easy Beef Korma

Fork tender beef korma

Verdict: this is the easiest and most approachable curry recipe. The ingredients are readily available, the steps are easy to follow and the curry produces the most tender beef.

This recipe comes from friend’s mom, Mary, mother of four and exceptional cook. Since she lives in England, I’ve yet to meet her in person but over the last two years,  I’ve got gotten to know her through emails and by cooking her wonderful family recipes.

korma ingredients The humble beginnings of the rich and delicious curry.

I always assumed that korma was dull and served as a mild introduction to Indian cuisine. Whenever I went for Indian food in a large group, the unadventurous diners always chose the korma. This perspective shifted when my friend prepared her mom’s recipe: I was surprised about how much flavour and spice was packed this dish.

Classically, a korma is defined as a dish where meat or vegetables are braised with water, stock, and yoghurt or cream. The korma style is similar to all other braising techniques in that the meat is first seared using a high heat and then subjected to long, slow cooking using moist heat and a minimum of added liquid.

onion plus ginger garlic chili paste Garlic-ginger-chili fried with large chunks of onion.

If you’ve never made at curry at home before, this is the recipe for you. The end product is a creamy curry with very tender beef. The cheap cut of stewing beef is unidentifiable because it’s replaced with beef that falls apart with a fork.

To increase the healthiness of the meal, I added peas to the leftovers which were packed for lunch the next day. It was delicious but I kind of prefer the rich, thick curry with chunks of beef and a stray piece of coriander over the healthy peas.

Searing beef in korma Stewing beef browned in all the spices.

As a general rule, curries taste better the next day so you have a week’s worth of leftovers! This curry also freezes beautifully. The beef is coated in the rich yogurt and tends to resist freezer burn. I store the leftovers in glass mason jars, making sure there’s at least two fingers width of space at the top of the jar to leave room for expansion during the freezing process. Once defrosted and heated up, no one can detect that it’s been in the freezer for months.

Adding cilantro into korma Adding the coriander leaves at the very end.

I can’t imagine a better low maintenance meal. You’re only in front of the stove for 30 minutes yet create enough food to feed a hungry crowd or several frozen meals that save you from cooking on the weeknight or weekends.

You can find coriander powder in your spice aisle but try the international aisle as well; the spices come in packages ten times the size but at the same price. This is true if you shop at Superstore, where I get most of my Indian spices.

Easy Beef korma Super easy beef korma.

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Japanese Curry

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Verdict: This dish brings the complexity of a curry to the comfort of a stew. A perfect addition to your winter cooking rotation.

Curries are a mainstay in our house because they are healthy, easy to make, and complex in flavours. Although there are a few recipes that don’t include vegetables, curry recipes tend to fit the bill in healthiness and striking deliciousness. Curries are also very easy to make but can require more time to cook (with the exception of Thai curry). The extra wait is worth it though – over time, the spices and broth break down and dramatically change the cheapest cuts of meat into the most tender and flavourful morsels.

Caramelized onions

A new curry recipe can mean a new world of unfathomable flavour combinations. Each country and region has a unique take on curry, and so, preparing a curry from Japan one night, and one from India the next feels like an entirely new cooking experience. Often with curry recipes, the first time I try a curry recipe is the first time I eat that kind of recipe, for example, this Japanese curry.

Carrot and chicken thighs

I was intrigued by the use of garam masala which is usually associated with Indian cooking. A typical Indian version of garam masala includes peppercorns, cloves, cumin, cardamon, star anise and coriander seeds. I find garam masala softer and more wholesome than regular curry powders; it’s the cloves that warm up the recipe. The lack of chili powder also makes it milder and more approachable to eat. If the spice and heat experience in eating curry is like riding a bike, garam masala based curries are the bikes with training wheels while vindaloos are the down hilll mountain variety – best saved for the veterans or the adventurous. You won’t have to stray too far from your grocery routine for this recipe. You can find the garam masala in the international Foods aisle of your super market; you can make homemade garam masala as well. Use whole spices and grind them up in the mortar and pestle or food processor.

Crumbly roux Japanese curry roux with broth - voluptuous

During the cooking process, the carrots sweeten slightly, complimenting the garam masala’s clove and cardomon notes. The tender pieces of chicken are also a delight. The caramelized onions, hearty potato, and carrot result in a dish that looks like a stew with the surprising taste of a softly seasoned curry. We served this with brown rice and it was perfect for the minus 40 winter day, like curling up on the couch with a warm blanket and great book.

Hearty Japanese curry

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Green Thai Curry – Chicken with Broccoli

Thai green curry.

Verdict: This is the only recipe you will ever need for Thai curry. Once you are comfortable with how to prepare the dish, there are unlimited combinations of curry, meat and veggie to try.

Hey everyone! For my first post, I wanted to share a recipe we turn to often. We used it a lot when I first moved to Calgary from Vancouver in March 2010. It encompasses the elements that I love about home cooking: simple, hearty and healthy. Under time pressure I’ve been able to make this, from start to finish, in 20 minutes flat.

Growing up, I learned to associate food with spending quality time with loved ones. Regardless of how busy things got, our family always tried to have dinner together. When I first moved to Calgary (marking my first time living away), I tried to recreate that tradition with Sunday “family dinners” with my new roommates.  I’ll admit, I was also trying to woo them into thinking I was a worthy roommate. I would later need their adoration to get away with listening to music too loudly – at all hours.

Among the meals we cooked on Sunday nights, I remember the Thai curries the most vividly. The sweet and spicy curry paste, the fragrance of simmering coconut milk, the fresh cooked rice.  My roommates, who weren’t crazy about cooking, asked for lessons on how to make this dish and soon after, not a month went by without one of us making Thai curry. At first, we went crazy with the ingredients. Being health conscious, we used to overload the curry with as many different vegetables as we could. Over time, I’ve learned that the curry really shines when you have one meat item and a maximum of four vegetables.

Thai green curry ingredients.

We’ve made many different Thai curries over the years and I find the green curry with chicken and broccoli the easiest and most approachable. You’ll only need to stray from your regular grocery shopping routine for the Thai curry pastes, coconut milk and fish sauce which can be found in the International (Asian/Indian) aisle in most grocery stores. I’ve yet to find kaffir lime leaves in Calgary though. To get started, I recommend buying the red and green curry pastes first. They last over a year in the fridge and make for a quick weeknight dinner.

Note that the following recipe is a basic guide for making Thai curries. In the future, you’ll see many more permutations of this recipe as we always have a few jars of Thai curry pastes in the fridge. If you make this only once, you’ll be surprised how quick and delicious it is to make home made curries. If you’re like us, you may love making homemade Thai curries so much, you lose interest in restaurant varieties completely.

Pot full of curry.

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