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How to make a basic curry

How to Make a Basic Curry

This has been my go-to curry recipe for as long as I've been cooking, which is about ~20 years ago now! 

I didn't grow up with a penchant for cooking...I was very lucky that my Mum cooked everything from scratch, but any time we were left to fend for ourselves when our parents went out, I'd always say I was too busy to cook, and my brothers would jump-in instead! 

Then, in '01, when I started studying nutrition, my boyfriend (now husband) said if you're going to be a good nutritionist you'd better learn how to cook because your prescriptions will be menus...I realized he was right, especially as at that point I literally couldn't scramble an egg (no joke!).  So, I duly dove straight into culinary school at Bauman college in Berkeley, and haven't looked back since!

I only bring this up because people often think curry takes forever to prepare (and I'm sure there are some that do), but this is a super quick and easy recipe to follow...


  • 2 oz fresh ginger, microplaned or finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger powder)

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, FYI - I leave this out especially when making a 'curry' for kids/anyone who isn't a big fan of too much heat!)

  • 15 oz can of full fat coconut milk (in BPA free can)

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely diced/minced (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger powder)

  • 2 T ghee / clarified butter (or regular butter if you're not sensitive to casein...the allergenic protein in dairy)

  • 1 - 2 Serano chilis (optional, again, I tend to leave these out)

  • 1 large bunch of cilantro, finely chopped

  • You can make this recipe a chicken/fish/vegetarian curry - by simply adding whatever you choose towards the end of cooking...see more specifics below.


  • Chop the onion, and lightly saute over medium heat in the ghee/clarified butter.

  • While the onion is cooking, make a paste with the microplaned ginger and all the spices with a little of the coconut milk (FYI - this is officially referred to as a wet masala)

  • Once the onion is translucent, add the chopped garlic and cook for ~1 minute until fragrant

  • Then add your ginger & spice paste/wet masala, and cook for ~3-4 minutes until it all starts to smell delicious!

  • At this point, you add the rest of the coconut milk, and then you add your chicken/fish/vegetarian preference is to add previously cooked roast chicken, but it's equally easy to add some fish/chickpeas or something like that.

  • If you add roast chicken/previously cooked chickpeas there's no more cooking required, all you need to do is add the previously chopped cilantro and you're ready to serve with brown rice/whatever you choose

  • Enjoy!