I go through phases with my cravings, as I’m sure we all do, and a couple weeks back just before leaving for London the weather was chilly and I was all about making curry. (It’s one of my favorite cozy, and comforting dishes.) But I took the curry-overindulgence to a new level. To the point where my husband finally had to tell me that’s enough with all of the crazy spices for a while. See I have yet to find an Indian restaurant that I love here in Sacramento (any suggestions?!), so I took it upon myself to try to create the perfect curry sauce on my own… experimenting with various recipes and sauces along the way. It wasn’t until I casually mentioned my current obsession to my social media assistant, Suruchi (who writes the amazing food blog: This Brown Kitchen), when she told me her mom’s recipe was her favorite. If only I had asked her first!
It actually took us a couple of batches of curry making to get the the exact measurements right as her mom hadn’t ever written them down but we finally have, and it’s delicious. Healthy and authentic… and best of all, it’s pretty easy. Suruchi’s mom makes the onion paste (see recipe below) as part of her Sunday food prep to always have on hand for the week. You can add any additional veggies, tofu, or meat you would want. I like to keep mine veggie-filled and served over brown rice. If you try it be sure to let both myself and Suruchi know!
(What the paste should look like)
Easy Weeknight Curry
1/2 jalapeno, seeded
1/2 cup of diced yellow onion
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch of ginger, chopped
1 tbsp of melted ghee
1 tbsp of shahi paneer masala
a pinch of red chili powder (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1/4 tbsp tomato paste
5 oz of tomato sauce (about a 1/3 of a can)
1 potato, cubed
2 carrots, chopped
2/3 cup of frozen peas
optional :: an additional 1/2 cup of veggies or lentils – I’ve added cauliflower rice, black beans, and even sweet potatoes
about 3 cups of veggie broth
cilantro and lime for garnish
1. in a food processor, add the jalapeno, onion, garlic, and ginger and combine into a thick paste. it’s okay if there are still pieces of the onions still in tact.
2. in a stove top pot, add the ghee and bring up to a medium heat. add the onion paste, shahi paneer masala, red chili powder, turmeric, and salt and pepper. combine and toast the spices in the onion mixture for about 2 minutes until the spices become fragrant.
3. add the tomato paste and tomato sauce and combine.
4. add the vegetables and combine until everything is coated in the pot.
5. pour over the veggie broth – it should just about cover all of the vegetables. if you prefer a thicker sauce, only add about 2 1/2 cups of broth, if you prefer a more watery sauce, add an additional 1/4 cup.
6. bring up to a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
7. uncover, stir the curry, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes uncovered.
8. remove from heat and let the curry cool slightly – this will let the sauce thicken slightly. taste and adjust salt as needed.
9. serve over rice or with flatbread – garnish with lots of cilantro and lime.