Hooray! Another cooking video! This time I’m looking at a really quick and easy takeaway (takeout) alternative – the healthy curry. I am OBSESSED with homemade curries – I have every spice in the book and I probably make a curry at least once or twice a week. I’m not talking “tikka masala” here or whatever crud-in-an-oily-plastic-tub gets delivered from your local Indian (some are good but let’s face it: most are not), I’m talking fresh ingredients cooked briskly into a healthy and nutritious supper. Or lunch – whichever you prefer.
You’ll see that I add a huge spoonful of full fat yoghurt to my plate at the end – this just makes the dish, I swear! I love a dollop of plain yoghurt with spicy food, but you don’t have to make this spicy – I have added just one chilli for the sake of demonstration, but you could add a half or a quarter, or, if you’re a spice-addict like me, you can add three or four! Whoo.
Swap the prawns for chicken if you like – allow 125g-ish per person, or more if you’re hungry or want a higher-protein dish. If you haven’t got any fresh tomatoes, you can use tinned, but you won’t get the light, fresh taste of this recipe. You can use frozen spinach, too, if you like – if you use frozen spinach and prawns and then tinned tomatoes this becomes a recipe that you can make almost entirely from store-cupboard ingredients.
Recipe for the Light and Fresh Prawn and Spinach Curry
Remember that you can increase or decrease the amount of rice that you use, the amount of chilli and the number of prawns. If you increase the rice, you’re bulking up the calories, but prawns are very lean and the chilli won’t make any difference in terms of “healthiness”.
200-250g of Large Prawns – cooked or raw, tails on or off as you prefer. You can also swap for chicken.
100-125g of Easy-Cook Basmati Rice
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Large Red Chilli (or more or less as you prefer!)
1 large handful of fresh coriander (optional)
1 bag of young spinach OR normal spinach OR frozen spinach. Can’t have too much spinach!
1 heaped teaspoon of each: Garam Masala, Turmeric, Cumin and Ground Coriander
3 large tomatoes OR half a tin of chopped tomatoes if you have to!
1-2 tbsp cooking oil (I used Rapeseed)
Pinch of salt (optional)
1) Chop your chilli and garlic very finely OR pop them into a mini-chopper (mine is Kenwood) and blitz until they are tiny. Then finely chop the onion or add it to the mini chopper and “pulse”. DO NOT overprocess the onion – it will go weird and liquidy!
2) Add your oil to the pan on a medium heat then fry off your spices. Don’t let them burn! You can take the pan immediately from the heat and the residual heat will be enough. Add your onion and chilli and garlic and fry for a few minutes until the onion is cooked. Keep stirring all of the time so that nothing sticks to the pan!
3) Add your chopped tomatoes. Fresh is so much better for this particular curry – it’s kind of the point of it, really! But if you don’t have them then of course use tinned. Stir them about and the juices will start to come out and form a gravy. You will need to add some water – I added a small glassful in total – probably less than 100ml. Just add it gradually when the whole thing looks too dry!
4) Put your rice on. My basmati takes 9 minutes – I boil a kettle-ful of water and makes sure that it’s back to the boil in the pan before adding the rice, Then I set the timer and reduce the water to a simmer, after 9 mins it’s perfect! I use lots more water than I need, which isn’t strictly the proper way to do rice, but if you want that “fluffy” effect then after you’ve drained it, pop it back in the pan (no heat) with the lid on for a minute or two and it steams it up nicely!)
5) Add your spinach leaves to the curry. They cook down quickly but you have to keep “folding” them in so that they get juice on them and cook down! If you prefer you can chop your spinach, but I like to keep the baby leaves whole. Older spinach will need chopping up and also need longer to cook down – if using older spinach or frozen, put that in before you put the rice on.
6) 4-5 mins before the rice is done, you can add your chopped fresh coriander and then about 3 mins before the rice is done, add your prawns. If the prawns are raw, they need to be pink ALL OVER before they are cooked. And all the way through – cut the largest one open and check before you serve. Pre-cooked prawns need to be piping hot all the way through. You don’t want to overcook the prawns, though – they go as hard as bullets!
7) Serve rice onto each plate once it’s done and then the curry beside/over the top. Add a dollop of full-fat yoghurt if you like, I ALWAYS have yoghurt with my curries! I also have my curry really, really spicy so the yoghurt is a necessity for me!