Curry night: Three of the best to cook at home

Slow cooked mild lamb curry

This is a superb, easy curry that will appeal to those in the family who don’t or can’t eat hot, spicy food (like my children). You can cook it on the stovetop, or in an oven or slow cooker.

Recipe by Ashia Ismail-Singer

Serves 4-6

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Ingredients

2-3 tbsp oil (your preference)

2-3 small/medium onions, finely sliced

700g boneless lamb shoulder (fat removed), roughly diced into bite-sized chunks

1½ tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1⁄2-1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

150ml-200ml chicken or beef stock (depending on how much gravy you want)

200ml cream

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish (optional)

Method

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or large frying pan (with a lid, if using the stove-top to cook curry). Add the onions and cook until pale and just starting to colour.

Add the diced lamb and cook until browned. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli (if using), garlic and ginger, and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the stock and cream (except if using a slow cooker – see below), and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then turn to a simmer, cover and cook for an hour or until the meat is tender.

Alternatively, transfer to a lidded casserole dish and bake in the oven at 150C for an hour or until the meat is tender.

If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 5-6 hours, adding the cream 20-30 minutes before the end of cooking.

Serve with basmati rice and naan or roti. Garnish with coriander and add a refreshing cucumber raita on the side, if desired.

Malaysian chicken and prawn laksa.

MANJA WACHSMUTH/Stuff

Malaysian chicken and prawn laksa.

Malaysian laksa with chicken and prawns

There are many variations of laksa in Malaysia. The most common is assam laksa, which is a sour clear soup with mackerel, and coconut curry laksa, which is this recipe.

The list of ingredients is long, but once you have made the (easy) paste, the rest is simple.

Recipe by Sachie Nomura

serves 2

Laksa paste

1½ red chillies, deseeded and chopped

2 tsp shrimp paste

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium shallot, chopped

1⁄2 stalk of lemongrass (white part only), chopped

2-3 slices galangal or ginger root, chopped

2 tbsp cooking oil

1⁄2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)

1⁄2 tsp ground star anise

Pinch of ground cloves

For the soup

2 tbsp cooking oil

425ml tin coconut milk

200ml of water

200g-300g white fish, cut into big bite-size pieces

8 prawn cutlets

Tofu puffs (optional, available from the chiller in Asian food outlets)

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

Pinch of salt

30g dry rice vermicelli (or 80g cooked vermicelli)

85g dry egg noodles (or 300g cooked egg noodles)

Garnishes

Mung bean sprouts, coriander leaves, crispy shallots (from Asian food suppliers)

1 hard boiled egg

Method

To prepare the laksa paste, pound all the paste ingredients in a mortar and pestle (or use a food processor to blend) until smooth.

To make the soup, place a wok or a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the laksa paste. Cook for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat until it changes color to dark red.

Add the coconut milk and water, and bring to the boil.

Add the fish, prawns and tofu puffs. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the fish is fully cooked, then season with fish sauce, brown sugar and salt.

In the meantime, cook the vermicelli and egg noodles following packet instructions.

Divide the vermicelli and noodles between 2 serving bowls. Pour the soup on top and garnish with mung beans, coriander, boiled egg and shallots.

Make the most of drumsticks with this flavour-packed baked chicken curry.

JULIE LE CLERC

Make the most of drumsticks with this flavour-packed baked chicken curry.

Baked chicken curry

Try this modern, baked version for an easy midweek meal.

Recipe by Julie Le Clerk

serves 6

Ingredients

12 chicken drumsticks

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

5cm piece ginger, chopped

2 long red chillies, deseeded and chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

⅓ cup tomato paste

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 cup liquid chicken stock

2 lemons, halved

3⁄4 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt

Sprigs of coriander leaves, to garnish

Indian flatbreads or rice, to serve

Chopped vegetable salad

1 small cucumber, diced

3 medium tomatoes, diced

1 small red onion, diced

Handful coriander leaves, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Method

Heat the oven to 190C. Make 2 deep slashes into each chicken drumstick, season with salt, and place in a large oven pan.

Make a curry paste by placing the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, oil, tomato paste, lemon juice and dry spices in a blender. Process to form a smooth paste, then add stock and pulse to combine.

Tip the curry paste over the chicken, and toss well to coat. Top with lemon halves.

Bake for 45 minutes, basting once during cooking, and adding a little extra stock or water if the sauce becomes too dry, until chicken is golden and cooked through.

Stir through the yoghurt and serve scattered with coriander leaves.

To make the salad, place all of the ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss well to combine.

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