Five comforting curry recipes to try this week

  • Start by preparing your curry paste. In the ingredient list, I have given amounts for ground and whole spices. Ground spices are a bit more convenient, but freshly roasted and ground spices always give the best flavor, so if you have dried red chilies, whole cilantro and cumin seeds and some black peppercorns on hand , swap them out for the ground versions.

  • Roast one tablespoon of coriander seeds, one teaspoon of black peppercorns and cumin seeds, and four dried red chili peppers in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about three minutes will suffice.

  • Grind them into a powder in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Put all the spices, along with the coconut milk, shredded coconut, lemon juice, sugar and lime juice in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside for now.

  • Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and grate the garlic and ginger. Grate the tomatoes into a bowl using the coarse side of a box grater, discarding any skins you will have left when you get to the end of each tomato. If you prefer, you can finely chop the tomatoes, but I find they’re quicker and easier to grate and also fit into the sauce more easily.

  • Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over high heat. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can substitute canola or olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion for about three minutes until soft and translucent.

  • Add the grated garlic and ginger and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another two minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic and ginger. Lower the heat a little if necessary. Then add the grated tomatoes. Stir to combine well and bring to a boil before reducing the heat to low and covering the pan. Simmer for five minutes.

  • Add the curry paste and salt and bring the sauce back to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat again to simmer, cover with a lid and cook for twelve to fifteen minutes. At the end of this time, the sauce will have reduced just a little and taken on a darker color.

  • Then add the raw shrimp to the pan. Stir to coat the shrimp in the sauce and cook for three to four minutes depending on the size of the shrimp. They only take a few minutes to cook perfectly, so be careful not to overcook them or they’ll get tough and lose their lovely sweet, juicy flavor.

  • Finally, coarsely chop the basil and mix it with the curry. Taste and add more season if needed. Serve with boiled rice and poppadom for a little crunch or with naan breads.

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