Vegetable curry (with chicken, if you want)

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
5 cloves garlic
1 (8cm) chunk peeled, fresh ginger
1 tbsp water, plus more as needed
60ml vegetable oil
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
6 green cardamom pods
4 whole allspice
3 whole cloves
1 (8cm) long cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 tsp Madras-style curry powder
1/2 jalapeno, or more to taste
120g whole, peeled, tinned tomatoes (with puree), roughly chopped
800g mixed 2.5cm-cut vegetables, such as cauliflower, potatoes, French beans, or eggplant
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (400g) tin unsweetened coconut milk
About 200g (2.5cm cubed) cooked chicken, preferably thigh or leg (optional)
Coriander leaves, for garnish
Serving suggestion: Basmati rice and chutney
1) In a small food processor (mini-chopper), combine the garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon water and puree to a paste.

2) Heat the oil in a stew pot over medium-high heat. Add the coriander, cumin, cardamom, allspice, cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted and fragrant and the cinnamon stick unfurls, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic-ginger paste, curry powder, and jalapeno and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute.

3) Add the tomato and cook, stirring, until the oil begins to separate and there is a distinctive crackling sound as the ingredients "re-fry" in the oil, about 6 minutes.

4) Add the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

5) Add the coconut milk and enough water to just cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

6) Using a slotted spoon transfer the vegetables to a bowl. Bring the broth to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a sauce-like consistency.

7) If using the chicken, add and reheat. Return the vegetables to the sauce and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the coriander.

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