The No-Recipe Curry — Green Kitchen Stories (2024)

Like most families, we have a few favourite dinner recipes that run on repeat like old records in our home. Our spinach crepes are rotating at least a couple of times each month. So are variations of thisbeetroot salad, thesequinoa patties and thiscarrot and red lentil soup. They are simple comforting recipes that everyone in our family loves and most importantly; recipes that we almost always have the ingredients for at home. I guess we could call them our family’s recipe staples. Another dish that has made it into our recipe staple list during the last year is this no-recipe curry. Not only have we been cooking it in our own kitchen, but also in kitchens in Melbourne, Sydney and on the tiny stow top kitchen in our campervan on New Zealand. A rather well-travelled dish and for a good reason.It is very simple to adapt to whatever you have at hand and therefore easily prepared, always tasty and comforting like a big, warm hug.

We start out with a base of onion, garlic, ginger (heaps!) and turmeric, then add whatever vegetables we have within reach, fill up with coconut milk and add some tofu. And right when it’s done cooking, we always add fresh spinach that we quickly let wilt down without loosing its sturdiness. The result is a sweet and creamy dish with lots of vegetables and a punch of ginger and garlic. It’s a very likeable dish and easy to adapt to whatever flavors you prefer. Chili would be a good addition if you like it spicy and are not cooking for kids.We always make huge batches of this so we have lunch or dinner sorted for another day. It keeps well in the fridge and the flavours will develop even further.

We call it no-recipe curry because we improvise it slightly every time we make it. We are however giving you a specific recipe for it today. Our hope is that you will try it, tweak it and make it into your own recipe staple.We would also love to hear about which recipes you always return to? Any favourites that you want us to try?

Sweet Potato, Ginger, Spinach & Tofu Curry
Serves 6

As I have mentioned above, there are plenty of ways to tweak this recipe. Feel free to add mustard seeds, ground coriander, curry leaves or chili with the other spices if you have it on hand. Replace any of the vegetables with whatever is in season – pumpkin, zucchini, tomatoes or aubergine will all fit right in. A splash of yogurt is also nice on top if you are not vegan.

2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1 yellow onion

3 cloves garlic
1 large chunk (at least 2 inches / 5 cm) fresh ginger root
2 tsp ground turmeric or fresh, grated
1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1 tsp salt

1 large sweet potato (approx 500 g / 1 pound)
1 broccoli
1 cauliflower
2 cans (800 ml) coconut milk (or half water if you want it lighter)
7 oz / 200 g tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch / 2,5 cm cubes
2 large handfuls fresh spinach
1/2 lime, juice

Serve with
a large handful cashew nuts, pan roasted
2 cups cooked quinoa or rice
a sprinkle of nigella seeds (optional)
fresh coriander/cilantro(optional)

Add coconut oil to a large sauce pan on medium heat.Peel and finely chop onion, garlic and ginger and add to the pan together with turmeric and cumin. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Meanwhile, peel and cut the sweet potato in 1 inch / 2,5 cm cubes. Add the sweet potato to the pan and let sauté for a few minutes. Stir around every now and then to make sure nothing is burnt. You can add a splash of water or more oil if the spices stick to the bottom of the pan. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets and add to the pan together with the coconut milk and tofu. Cook until the sweet potato cubes are soft and tender (about 15 minutes). Remove from the heat, add spinach and a squeeze of lime and stir around. Taste and add more salt and spices if needed.

Serve in bowls with cooked quinoa, cashew nuts, nigella seeds and some fresh coriander.

The No-Recipe Curry — Green Kitchen Stories (2024)


Does coconut milk cool down a curry? ›

Whether you're making a Thai curry or any other coconut-based curry, the addition of coconut milk or cream can make a significant difference in reducing the spice level. It provides a cooling effect to the palate, making the curry more enjoyable for those who prefer milder flavors.

What can I add to my curry to make it taste better? ›

The easiest way to fix a bland and tasteless curry is by adding spices like red chili powder, cumin, coriander, garam masala, curry leaves and turmeric. Just make a quick tempering and pour over the curry to give it a nice punch of spices and herbs.

What kind of yoghurt to use in curry? ›

The type of yoghurt that is typically used in Indian cooking is called dahi. Dahi is a type of yoghurt that is made from curdled milk. It is thicker and more sour than yoghurt, making it the perfect addition to curries and other savoury dishes.

What gives curry sweetness? ›

Adjust the levels of sweet, sour, and salty:

Adding sugar or honey can increase the sweetness of curry while adding vinegar or lime juice can increase the sourness.

Will Greek yogurt cool a curry? ›

On Indian-style curries and chillies, a spoonful of yoghurt or soured cream works wonderfully, but if you've gone crazy with the heat, you can also add milk to the curry or chilli base. Once you've added the base, gently simmer it, but don't boil it, or it will split.

Will coconut milk thicken a curry? ›

For a rich and creamy curry, coconut milk or cream can be a fantastic thickening agent. They not only add creaminess but also a delightful tropical flavour. Simply pour in some coconut milk or cream and let it simmer until your sauce reaches the desired consistency.

How do restaurants make curry so creamy? ›

The actual sweetness and creaminess of such curries meanwhile, usually comes from fried onions and either cashews and/or dairy products. Instead of (or in addition to) onion, ground coconut may be used. White poppy seeds and/or watermelon seeds are also used in some creamy sauces.

What is the secret ingredient in curry? ›

Whether you may be familiar with the differences between curries from various countries, such as Indian versus Japanese curry, and perhaps even know how to make them at home, there's a special flavor enhancer that you may not have thought to add: honey.

How to make curry taste like restaurant? ›

Simple suggestions for restaurant good quality curries:
  1. Fry your onions till they are golden brown.
  2. Fry your spices but don't burn them. ...
  3. Use good quality spices. ...
  4. Seasoning. ...
  5. Use fatty yoghurt (greek style works) in curries to make them richer. ...
  6. Patience. ...
  7. Use a neutral vegetable oil. ...
  8. Experiment.
Jun 24, 2018

Why do Indians use so much yogurt? ›

It's common practice in India to add yogurt to Indian cooking. People add it to curry to balance the spices and lighten the dish. It can also make thick curry, a thin. Hence, it can really elevate the flavors of the dish.

Does Greek yogurt thicken curry? ›

Yogurt is ideal for Indian curries and can be used as a cream substitute (which also thickens sauces). This is another common thickening agent used in Indian cuisine. Greek yogurt is recommended to regular yogurt due to its superior consistency and its inability to curdle in the pan.

Can I use sour cream instead of yogurt in curry? ›

Yes, sour cream can be used as a substitute for yogurt in some Indian recipes, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind: Consistency: Sour cream has a thicker and creamier texture compared to yogurt.

What does coconut milk do to curry? ›

Coconut milk or water both give the dish different tastes and consistency. Coconut milk as a curry sauce base makes the dish creamy, sweet and give it a thicker consistency. The sweetness of the milk reduces the sharpness of spices and heat making the dish a little mild.

How do you cool down a curry that's too spicy? ›

How To Cool Down A Spicy Curry
  1. Add dairy. Dairy such as yoghurt and cream can help balance spiciness and impart a cooling effect on a curry. ...
  2. Add coconut milk. ...
  3. Add acidity. ...
  4. Add sugar. ...
  5. Add vegetables. ...
  6. Serve with cooling condiments.
Sep 15, 2017

Does coconut milk reduce heat? ›

Conversely, coconut has demonstrated anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties in health and medicinal applications. From the findings of this study, coconut water and milk display beneficial potentials against the untoward heat stress effect on gastrointestinal health.

Does adding coconut milk reduce spiciness? ›

This will help to spread out the spices and reduce their concentration. Cream or coconut milk can help neutralize the heat of spices while adding richness to the curry. Stir in some cream or coconut milk to mellow out the spiciness.

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