Why are people so afraid to cook curries? If you keep a selection of herbs and spices in your store cupboard, the fact is, it’s one of the easier cuisines to prepare. Curry cooking is actually just a case of trial and error. Like things a bit spicier? Throw another chilli in the mix. Prefer sour notes? Well, lime juice is your friend.
You don’t need to be afraid of any curry recipe and you also don’t need hours to knock one up. Here Amy Cowley shares her recipe for a super quick and healthy curry broth, perfect for a Monday night pick-me-up, Saturday afternoon hangover cure, or any other time you like.
Coconut Turmeric Broth with Prawns & Veggies (serves 4-6)
500g raw prawns (top tip – keep a bag of prawns in your freezer. You can defrost in minutes in warm water.)
A good mix of veggies of your choice (I used spinach, green beans and frozen peas)
1 tsp turmeric
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
A few curry leaves
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp finely chopped root ginger
1 green chilli, finely chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded (if you don’t have this, don’t worry, just use lime zest or the juice)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
200ml vegetable stock
1 can tinned tomato
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp chilli powder
400ml coconut milk
Big handful chopped coriander leaves
Mix the prawns with 1 tsp of the turmeric and half the lime juice and leave to marinate while you crack on with everything else.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once they begin to pop (won’t take long!), add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger, chilli, lime leaves and shallot.
Reduce the heat slightly and cook until the shallot becomes translucent.
Now add the rest of the turmeric and fry for a few seconds, then add the stock, bring to the boil and cook for three to four minutes, until it has reduced.
Add the tinned tomatoes, chilli powder and sugar. Then add the coconut milk and coriander, taste, adjust the seasoning and simmer for about five minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat and blitz. I do mine with a handheld blitzer, but you can use a processor – or just sieve it. Either way, once smooth, return it to the pan.
Bring to a simmer over a gentle heat, then add the prawns and vegetables. Cook on a low heat for five to seven minutes, until the prawns turn pink and are just cooked.
Finish off with the remaining lime juice and sprinkle with coriander to serve.
Top tip – If you have leftovers, just freeze them (nothing like a homemade frozen meal after a hard day at work). Once the broth cools, it will get thicker. When you’re ready to reheat, make it looser again by adding more stock or even just some extra milk.