Fast Meat Curry (turkey/pork/chicken) 30mins end to end. #cookalongfriday

I’m a father of 5, so cooking has to be something that can either be safely ignored for a while without worrying about something burning, something that can involve 1 or more of the smalls, or something that takes hardly any time and can be done while the kids are distracted by the big, rectangular, babysitter in the lounge.  Today’s recipe is one of the latter.  It’s the fastest damn curry I know how to make, and the trick’s in the preparation.

This curry works well with any lean meat – your turkey, chicken or pork are the ones I’ve tried and they’re all lovely.

So, here goes.  The shopping list.  Check your cupboards first, there’s probably a lot on here that you’ve already got

Step 0 – The Shopping List

Curry Paste:

  • A dozen cardamon pods
  • 6cm ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 onion
  • 1tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander and garam masala

The rest:

  • 3tbs oil
  • 1kg meat (pork fillet/turkey breast, thigh or leg/chicken leg/thigh/breast, etc.)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 125ml chicken stock
  • 125ml coconut milk

Step 1 – 10 minutes work whilst the kids are distracted.

Get the seeds from the cardamon pods, roughly chop the ginger, peel the garlic and onion.  Roughly chop the onion (I normally hack it into quarters).  Then get all the ingredients for the curry paste, whack them in the food processor/blender (oh, yes – “Dad?  Why is a word processor called a word processor?”  “Well, son, you know what a food processor does to food?”) and blitz it until it’s fairly smooth.  Put it into a pot, stick that pot in the fridge, go and play with the kids some more.  If you’re really keen, multiply up the recipe and freeze it in suitable portions for use later, though it’s almost faster to make from scratch than it is to defrost.

Step 2 – Later that day…

Finely slice the meat – 5mm (1/4″) strips so it cooks quickly and evenly.  Chop the tomatoes.Get a nice, wide-bottomed pan on the gas, add 3/4 of the oil and fry off your meat in batches.  You’re not trying to cook it completely here, just seal it and start off the job.  Once it’s browned, set it to one side.  Once you’ve cooked off the meat, put in the rest of the oil and the curry paste and fry for about 5 minutes on a medium-high heat.  It should smell superb.

Put in the stock, tomatoes, coconut milk, reduce the heat and simmer with a lid on for about 15 minutes.  If any oil floats up, skim it off.  That assumes you’re paying attention throughout the 15 minutes and haven’t just stuck the oven timer on in the hope that you’ll hear the beep over the kids.  Always worth getting a timer you can carry around and put somewhere that’s both nearby and out of the kids’ reach.Finally, remove the lid, add the meat you first thought of and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the meat is cooked.  Season to taste.  Serve.  Or switch off the heat, put the lid back on and leave it until you need to heat it back up.

Most of the naan/paratha/etc. breads work really well with this.  If you’re going for stuffed parathas, go for a vegetable filling as you don’t want the different meats fighting.  Poppadoms also work well and you can have a lot of fun showing kids how they cook either in the fryer or the microwave.  We tried prawn crackers in the microwave once.  Not an experiment I’ll be repeating!

And there you go.  There’s no heat in this recipe so it’s good for the whole family.  It’s extremely tasty, takes half an hour or so from end to end and that includes time to play and keep the kids amused.  Or time to check Twitter, Facebook and the new releases on Esdevium Games.  Up to you.

Enjoy this one, let me know how you got on and I’ll see you in seven for another cook-along Friday.

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