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Chicken, Kidney Bean, Saag Aloo, Mixed Vegetable
Lentils (Red)
Lamb, Mincemeat

The important thing to realise about making a proper curry is that it is simple! Once you get the hang of making the curry base, it really is straightforward to make any kind of curry! So go on, give it a go. And let us know what you think!

The basic ingredients - which you will always need - are as follows (nb. these quantities are for 2-3 people): Tablespoon salt, oil, 4-6 garlic cloves finely chopped, 2 finely chopped medium sized onions, 2 chopped small tomatoes, one finely chopped green chilli, one tablespoon garam masala (available in shops), 1 tablespoon chilli (not curry!) powder (though if you like it hot add more!), and either a few stems fresh or a teaspoon ground coriander.

For Chicken, Kidney Bean, Mixed Vegetable and Saag Aloo curries:

What to do next: Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions, salt and garlic and allow to simmer on a low-medium heat. Wait until the onions are mushy and turning brown (not burnt!) then add the green chilli and tomatoes. Add a dash of water and the chilli powder. The base should now be a glorious red and all mushy - if the onions are still looking crunchy, use a masher to make sure the base really is mushy!  You have now made the perfect curry base!

Chicken: at this stage, add your chicken (eg 3 medium chicken breasts, chopped) and the garam masala. Mix up with the base. Turn the heat up a little bit and make sure the chicken is getting cooked (ie turning white!). Sprinkle the coriander on top and then put on a low-medium heat and cover the pan. When the oil rises to the top, the curry is ready! Serve with rice or pitta bread.  Variations: when the oil rises to the top, add half a cup of water and allow to boil again - this creates a slightly more runny curry.

Kidney Bean: follow as per chicken, except add a drained can of kidney beans!

Saag Aloo: follow as per chicken, but instead add a drained can of spinach (or washed spinach) and a couple of chopped potatoes.

For Red Lentils: Actually you need even fewer ingredients for this one! Boil 3-4 cups of water (you can boil more and the curry becomes more like a soup - a great starter!) and add some salt and a tablespoon of chilli powder. Once this has boiled add a cup of red lentils, cover, and simmer on a low-medium heat. Meanwhile, fry some chopped garlic in some butter (this is where your diet comes in!) and add to the lentils once the lentils have become all mushy. Stir in well and for taste you can add some garam masala and coriander. All done!

For Cauliflower curries: Add the basic ingredients listed above into a saucepan along with the chopped cauliflower. Cover and leave on a low heat for 20 mins. Voila!

For a Lamb or Mincemeat curry: The basic ingredients are still the same but you need to change the order a bit. Add all the basic ingredients EXCEPT the oil into a saucepan along with the lamb or mincemeat. Add half a cup of water and allow all the ingredients to simmer on a low-medium heat until the meat is tender. Now add the oil (about a 1/3 of a cup) and turn the heat up for a few minutes. Then allow to simmer for another 10 mins after adding the coriander for taste. Variations: when you add the oil to the mincemeat, add some peas and chopped potatoes.


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