It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Basil Chicken Curry

This is not a quick recipe, but it’s soooo good. No, I don’t spend all morning cooking. The children usually eat for lunch what my family had for dinner the night before, so I just prepare enough to feed everyone. It’s much simpler!

First, make the spice rub:
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper
1/4 teaspoon each: turmeric and chili.

(This is enough to coat 500g/1 pound of chicken. I make 3 ounces/100g of meat per person, so in my home, a pound of boneless chicken feeds my family, with a bit left over. I need more than that for the daycare, so I just coat the extra chicken a little more lightly to make the rub stretch that far. It works!)

Coat the chicken with the rub and refrigerate an hour or two. (Or overnight. Whatever works with your schedule.)

The rest:
1 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons basli leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger root, minced

1. Saute onion and pepper for three minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove from pan.
2. Brown chicken in same pan. Remove.
3. Heat coconut milk in same pan. In cup, whisk 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons coconut milk, then use to thicken the coconut milk in the pan. It’ll be the consistency of cream when you’re done.
4. Add everything else and heat till chicken is cooked through.

Very savoury. Can be served over rice or with naan. I like to serve this with a side of cucumber raita, though sometimes I just serve cucumber slices with a dollop of yogurt on top. (Close enough!)

May 14, 2012 Posted by | food | , | 1 Comment

Tofu-spinach curry

In fact, the original recipe calls for fish, not tofu. I use tofu to accommodate my vegetarian child.


400g fish (a scant pound)
or 340-gram package of extra-firm tofu

1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
3T mild curry paste (My curry paste is fierce hot; I use 1T.)
4T minced ginger
(1/2 jalapeno, minced; I skip this with the daycare.)
2 t coriander
1/2 t turmeric
700g spinach (fresh, coarsely chopped)
or 1 pkg frozen spinach (If using frozen, no need to thaw first. Just toss it in!)
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes (I usually toss in the whole can.)
2 – 4 cups of water
2T lemon juice

(In my recipes, T = tablespoon, t = teaspoon, c = cup.)


Cut fish into 2 cm (1″) cubes. If using tofu, you can prep it by cutting into cubes and frying first, or you can just crumble the whole block to the consistency of cottage cheese. I usually do the latter.

In wok or largish pot, cook onion in oil till soft, 5 – 7 minutes. Add garlic, curry paste, ginger, (jalapeno), and spices. Cook another minute, stirring.

Add spinach and cook 2 minutes till wilted.

Add tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. (How much water you add depends entirely on the consistency you like.)

Add fish/tofu. Reduce heat and simmer till fish is done (about 8 minutes), or until tofu heated through. Stir in lemon juice and serve.

If you’ve used less water, it’s nice served over rice; if you’ve added more water to make a soup, serve it in a bowl with a side of naan.

Yum! I love, love, love this stuff.

April 23, 2012 Posted by | food | , , , | 5 Comments