Curry paste – the homemade version

In 1989, just after we got married, I bought a book on Curries by Pat Chapman from Sainsbury’s.  Despite now owning several other curry recipe books, it’s still our ‘go to’ book for all things spicy!  We’ve been blending the spices into curry powder and cooking it out in to a curry paste ever since then.  It’s been tried and tested by many a guest to our house over the years, and as I used almost the last of my current batch making my chicken curry for dinner last night, I had to make some more today.  The benefit of making it today in the warm, dry weather, meant that I could cook it outdoors on my Cadac barbeque in the paella pan; sharing the amazing aroma with my neighbours and leaving my house smelling fragrant and not spicy for the next few days!

It’s incredibly simple to do, so here it is in it’s entirety.  All teaspoon measurements are ROUNDED.
 
12tsp Ground Coriander
6tsp Ground Cumin
5tsp Gram flour
5tsp Garlic powder
4tsp Fenugreek seeds
4tsp Paprika*
4tsp Turmeric
4tsp Garam Masala
1tsp Asafoetida
1tsp Ground Ginger
1tsp Chilli powder*
1tsp Mustard powder*
1tsp White ground Pepper
250ml Cider vinegar
250ml Vegetable oil

1. Measure all your ingredients into a large bowl.

2. Pour in your cider vinegar and enough cold water to make a paste that ‘dollops’ off the spoon without being too runny.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok (I used my paella pan on my Cadac).
 
4. Add the curry paste (be careful as it’ll spit initially due to the water content).
 
5. Cook for about 15 minutes until the water has evaporated.  You’ll know it’s cooked as when you leave it for a short while, the oil will rise to the surface of the paste.
6. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then decant into sterilised jars.
 
7. Heat a little more oil and pour over the top of the curry paste to prevent air getting to it.
 
8. Seal the jars and store in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks before using.
The recipe above is for a mild curry paste, however if you increase the quantities of Paprika, Chiili and Mustard you can increase the heat to your own preference. Similarly, if you don’t have all the ingredients listed above, it’s fine to leave one or two of the smaller quantities out.
This goes perfectly in my Chicken Curry Recipe.
 
The curry paste recipe is NOT originally my own, but it’s one we’ve been using for 25 years now. Thanks to Pat Chapman and to Sainsbury’s for a fabulous book – you should re-publish this!
 

Jerk Chicken with a Pineapple Salsa

Make this as hot or as mild as you like by adjusting the seasoning.  Enjoy with the hot pineapple salsa and a fresh, crisp salad.  Also great with some proper, crispy chips (sprinkled with sea salt) for an extra special treat!

For the Salsa
175g Fresh Pineapple (tinned and drained if you can’t get fresh)
4 Spring Onions, chopped
50g Red Pepper, chopped
5mm piece root Ginger, grated
15ml Cider vinegar
15ml Soft brown sugar
60ml Barbeque sauce
Jerk Chicken
4 Chicken breasts, boned and skinned
60ml Rapeseed oil
30ml Lemon juice
15ml Jamaican Jerk / Cajun seasoning (adjust to taste)

1. Preheat your grill to a medium/hot setting.
2. To make your salsa, into a saucepan place all of your ingredients and warm through over a gentle heat.
3. Make 2/3 incisions into the chicken breasts with a sharp knife and rub all over with 30ml of the oil.
4. Sprinkle over the Jamaican Jerk/Cajun seasoning.
5. Mix the remaining 30ml oil with the lemon juice to use as a baste for the chicken breasts.
6. Grill the chicken breasts, seasoning side up for 4-5 minutes.
7. Baste occasionally with the oil and lemon juice mixture.
8. Turn over the chicken and grill for 3-4 minutes on the other side.
9. Turn over the chicken breasts back over to the seasoning side up, baste with the remaining baste and turn up the grill to the highest setting.
10. Grill for 5 minutes until crisp and dark in colour.
11. Serve with some of the warm pineapple salsa.

For the chicken breasts, if you prefer, you can either
a) Fry strips of the seasoned chicken for 8-10 minutes, or
b) Baste, season and cook the whole chicken breasts for 15 minutes at 190°C

Colmans Season and Steam Sachets with Crispy Sage & Onion Stuffing

Using some more of the ingredients from the kit I was sent by the Unilever kitchen, I created a whole tasty meal, which I’ll share with you here:
CHICKEN
4 chicken breasts, cubed
15ml Rapeseed oil
50g Paxo Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix
50g Flora buttery
4 Cloves garlic
1. Cube the chicken into bite sized pieces.
2. Place into an oven roasting dish.
3. Drizzle with oil.
4. Sprinkle with the stuffing mix and dot over with the flora buttery.
5. Throw in the whole cloves of garlic.
6. Roast at 180C for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile…
POTATOES
500g Potatoes
100ml Water
1 Sachet of Colmans Season and Steam Garden Herb & Potatoes mix
30ml Rapeseed oil
1. Cube the potatoes into even sized pieces.
2. Place the potatoes into the steam bag and sprinkle with the Season Mixture in accordance with the instructions on the back of the sachet.
3. Add the water and use the to tie the top of the steam bag. Shake well to coat the potatoes with the Garden Herb mix.
4. Cook in the microwave on high power for 9 1/2 Minutes, according to the timings provided for your microwave.
5. Remove from the microwave and allow to stand for 1minute, then drain.
6. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the potatoes until nicely browned all over.
VEGETABLES:
150g Courgettes, sliced 1cm thick
1 Medium red onion, diced
120g Red pepper, cubed
130g Vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
Colmans Season and Steam Mediterranean Vegetables mix
1. Prepare the vegetables as above and place into the steam bag.
2. Sprinkle the season mixture over the vegetables and use the tie to seal the bag, in accordance with   packet instructions.
3. Shake the bag to coat evenly.
4. Microwave on high for 5 1/2 minutes according to the timings provided for your microwave.
5. Remove from the microwave and allow to stand for 1 minute.
 Serve