QC (Quickie Curry) Sauce
When I first became unemployed (an orchestrated layoff, with me bargaining for, and winning, my richly deserved severance) I wanted to take a few minutes and sort out my next move. While I was doing that, I decided to learn more about Indian Cooking. I watched a cooking series on regional Indian cuisine and then bought a few cookbooks. I don’t want to oversimplify, but to me it was all about the spices.
I went to Indian markets to hand pick spices, and I ordered a lot online. I bought whole spices, seeds and ground powders. My kitchen was full of ginger root and cardamom. Sometimes though, I just want to whip up a fast curry and I might not have all those beautiful elements at my disposal. With the deepest respect to the art of Indian cooking, here is my quickie sauce that I serve with chicken, or veggies or seafood. The sauce is the thing and if you have these items, you’ll fall under the spell of curry, as I did.
Quick Curry Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Canola oil
- 1 large chopped onion
- 2 inches chopped ginger (if you buy the chopped ginger prepared, use two tablespoons)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped (if you buy the chopped garlic prepared, use one tablespoon)
- 3 tablespoons Ground curry powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fresh nutmeg (this is a spice worth grating at the moment you need it)
- Salt to taste, but not less than 1 tablespoon (unless you have sodium concerns)
- OPTIONAL HEAT: ¼ teaspoon of ground cayenne or one dried red chili pepper
- One can of “Lite” Coconut Milk (reduced calorie)
- One box of broth, your choice of Veggie or Chicken
- Get out your cutting board and chop your ginger, garlic and onion.
- Have your spices and opened containers of coconut milk and broth ready to go. This goes pretty fast.
- Heat your pan with 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil. Drop in your onion and cook until softened and lightly colored.
- Add your ginger and garlic, stirring until softened, about three minutes.
- Spoon the curry powder, cinnamon and fresh nutmeg over the contents of the pan. Stir into the vegetables. Add salt and use the cayenne or dried chili pepper, now.
- When it is heated through, pour in the coconut milk. Stir until combined. The color! The smell! You’re going to be pleased by now.
- When everything in the pan is uniform in color, and completely blended, keep stirring and add in the broth. It’ll be a bit loose but keep it on a medium heat for five minutes until it reduces in volume.
- You have a choice to thicken this sauce. After reducing the pan to low, you can add a half cup of plain yogurt or you can add a Slurry of cold water and corn starch (two tablespoons of corn starch over one cup of cold water, mix until smooth). You add a lot less calories with the slurry and it’s very fast.
- Keep stirring the slurry into the curry until it has thickened. This takes all of a minute. Add your pan roasted butternut squash, bell peppers, cauliflower and/or potato. Stir in a half package of frozen chopped spinach, or use fresh baby spinach and it will wilt into your sauce.
- You can add cooked chicken (poach a breast, then dice or shred or use some rotisserie chicken), or raw shrimp, which will cook in three minutes in the sauce over medium heat.
- Once you add the roasted veggies to the sauce, and/or the cooked meat or fish, you can keep it on low for about 15 minutes. It’s enough time to allow the sauce to marry the other ingredients, but it’s done.
How you dress it up is up to you. Think of it like chili, where you add chopped scallions or chives, sour cream or yogurt, diced onion etc. over your dish. I eat it as is, but others in my home eat it with rice. The one I made this week was all veggie but I served it with lemon grilled chicken on the side, no rice at all.
It is great the next day, and freezes perfectly. If you set this up at a buffet, you can keep it in a slow cooker.