During our decade-long romance curry has played an enormous role in keeping us together. I wish it was something more traditionally romantic, like strawberries and cream or a love of oysters, but, no, it’s the curry obsession. It’s even fed into our competitive natures, with each of us trying to outdo the other’s tolerance for spice. Since I surpassed him some years ago he’s been trying to claim that I’ve damaged my tastebuds permanently with my devotion to chillies, but I know these are the words of a pussy.
Disclaimer: These curry recipes are not claiming to be in any way authentic, they are just the dinners that we find ourselves returning to week after week because they are delicious and they don’t require monumental effort or expertise.
--2 large onions, peeled and quartered
-- sunflower oil, for cooking
--½ garlic bulb, drizzled with oil
--1 red chilli, sliced (discard the seeds
if you don’t want too much heat)
--5cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
--12 kaffir lime leaves
--400ml coconut milk
--2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
--2 skinless chicken breasts, sliced
--1 aubergine, chopped
--1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
-- handful of fresh coriander, chopped
-- salt and freshly ground black pepper
-- steamed rice and a handful of
peanuts, crushed, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Place the onions in a roasting tin, season with salt and pepper and toss with a few tablespoons of oil. Wrap the garlic in foil, place in the tin and roast in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the chilli, ginger and 8 lime leaves. Stir for 1–2 minutes to release the flavours, then add the roasted onions.
Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and add them to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat (do not remove the lime leaves), blend with a handheld blender, then stir in the fish sauce.
Heat some oil in a frying pan, add the chicken and the remaining lime leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fry until the chicken is cooked through. Add the aubergine and red pepper towards the end of cooking and cook until tender.
Remove the whole lime leaves, then add the chicken mixture to the blended sauce, along with the coriander, and simmer until heated through. Serve with steamed rice, sprinkled with the crushed peanuts.