This is my bog-standard clear-out-the-fridge-before-market-day curry. It's best with root vegetables but you can add anything into it which doesn't mind a half hour cooking period. However, sweet potato is essential for the proper balance between sweet, spicy and creamy, in my opinion. I've been playing with the seasonings for a while, and for ease of use I generally go with commercial curry pastes, but I didn't buy any this month. I used an experimental blending of spices instead and it turned out perfect! Although anyone who likes a bit more bite will want to up the chilli a fair bit ;-)
This is now my definitive foundation recipe.
1 lge onion
1/2 tbsp oil
2 tsp crushed garlic (or two cloves)
1 tsp ea cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp ea ginger and turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tbsp panch phora
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 sm-med sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 lge carrot, diced
400g tin chickpeas (or 1/2 c dry weight, soaked and pre-cooked)
1c frozen peas
125mL coconut cream
1/2c ground almonds
Saute the onions til translucent, then add garlic, then spices and fry until fragrant (add a bit more oil if they're too dry). Add the root vegetables and enough water (less than a tbsp) to coat them with the spice mixture, and cook for five minutes or so. Put in about an inch of water, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are nearly tender. Remove the cover, add the chickpeas and boil briskly until the water is almost evaporated. Reduce the heat and add the peas and coconut cream. Bring to a very gentle simmer. Stir through the ground almonds and heat very gently for five or ten minutes until the sauce thickens. Serve over brown rice.
As with most curries, this is even better made ahead and allowed to rest for a couple of hours or overnight for the flavours to blend.
Makes 4-5 serves.