Free-for-all curry

By Julie Van Rosendaal on March 25, 2013
Curries make great fridge cleaners – they can be made using any number of ingredients, from meat to veggies to seafood. Measurements here are approximate; use what you have, sauté it in a large skillet first, then add garlic, ginger, curry powder or paste. Create a sauce using canned tomatoes and/ or coconut milk. Delicate fish or shrimp can simmer in the liquid at the end until it’s cooked through.


canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp (30 ml) grated fresh ginger
1–3 cups (250–750 ml) chopped fresh or cooked vegetables, or canned chickpeas or lentils
1/2–1 cup (125–250 ml) chopped cooked meat, such as chicken, pork, fish or shrimp (optional)
1 tbsp (15 ml) curry powder or paste
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
1/4 tsp (2 ml) salt
1 14 oz (398 ml) can of plum tomatoes, with their juices
1 14 oz (398 ml) can of coconut milk or 1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream
chopped peanuts or cilantro, for garnish (optional)


1. In a large skillet set over medium high heat, sauté onion in a drizzle of oil for 2–3 minutes, until soft.

2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. If you have any meat or vegetables to cook, add them and cook until the meat is cooked through or the vegetables soften and start to turn golden on the edges. (If they’re already cooked, they need only to be heated through.)

3. Add the curry paste, cumin and salt and cook for another minute, then add the tomatoes and coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer.

4. Cook until the sauce thickens and the vegetables are tender. If you have spinach or other fragile greens, chop them and stir them in, cooking just until they wilt.

5. Serve over rice with chopped peanuts and/or cilantro sprinkled on top.

Serves 4–6.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, April 2013.

By Julie Van Rosendaal | March 25, 2013

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