Spice up your Life; Curry Recipes to make at home

Friday 05th Feb 2021 |

It’s winter, it’s cold outside, we are in the middle of a national lockdown, let’s spice things up with a taste of sunnier climes.

Asian dishes are full of colour and spice which liven up any mealtime, raid the spice rack and get your cook on with these curry recipes!

 Curry RecipesLentil Curry from Merchant Gourmet working together with Gaz Oakley

Serves 4. Cooking time: 40 minutes


  • 1 Onion, peeled 
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, peeled 
  • 1 tbs Fresh Ginger 
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt  
  • 1 tbs Vegetable Oil, for frying  
  • 1 Pack Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils 
  • 1 tbs Curry Powder 
  • 1 tsp Mild Chilli Powder 
  • ½ tsp Turmeric  
  • ½ tsp Ground Coriander  
  • ½ tsp Ground Cumin  
  • ½ tsp Ground Fenugreek  
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon  
  • 2 tbs Tomato Puree 
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled & cubed 
  • 2 cups / 480ml Vegetable Stock  
  • 1 cup / 240 ml Vegan Cream, or Coconut Milk 
  • 1 tbs Brown Sugar 

Serve with 

Fresh Coriander & Chilli Garnish and Rice 


  1. Add the onion, garlic, ginger & salt to your food processor with a splash of water & blitz to form a paste.  
  2. Place a medium sized, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices. Pan roast them for a minute or two before adding the paste & the oil.  
  3. Sauté the mixture for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato puree followed by the potato & lentils  
  4. Keep cooking the mixture & stirring until everything is coated, then deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock & vegan cream  
  5. Add the brown sugar, then pop a lid on the pan and let the curry bubble away for 15-20 minutes. Turn the heat down low & don’t forget to stir it every 3-4 minutes, as the potato has a tendency to stick.  
  6. After 20 minutes of cooking, the liquid should have thickened considerably & it should smell beautiful.  
  7. Serve the curry with rice or sides of your choice & garnish with coriander and chilli.  

Curry Recipes – Roasted South African Plum, Pumpkin and Lentil Korma

In this delicious curry, South African plums are roasted with pumpkin or butternut squash, then combined with korma curry paste, coconut cream and canned lentils. Great news – it’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians too!

 Preparation: 15 minutes. Cooking: 40 minutes. Serves: 4

  • 500g pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 large red onion, chopped 
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 South African plums, pitted and sliced
  • 2 x 400g cans green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4tsp vegetable stock powder or 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 4tbsp Korma curry paste
  • 200g coconut cream
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4tbsp natural yogurt (dairy-free for vegans)
  • Fresh coriander, to garnish
  • Naan bread, to serve

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C, Fan Oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6. Put the chunks of pumpkin or butternut squash and red onion into a roasting tin and add the olive oil, tossing to coat. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until just tender.

2 Add the cumin seeds and South African plums to the roasting tin and roast for 5 more minutes.

3 Meanwhile, tip the lentils into a large saucepan and stir in the stock powder or crumble in the cube. Add the curry paste, coconut cream and chopped coriander. Heat, stirring occasionally until simmering.

4 Tip the roasted vegetable mixture into the saucepan and stir gently to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes. Serve, garnished with natural yogurt and coriander sprigs, accompanied by warm naan bread.

Cook’s tips: If you want to keep the curry vegan, be sure to use a dairy-free yogurt for the garnish. If you need an alternative to pumpkin or butternut squash, try sweet potatoes instead.

Curry Recipes – King Prawn and Spicy Maple Coconut Curry


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g shelled king prawns
  • 1 bunch spring onion, finely chopped
  • 30g fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 red chillies, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 1 1⁄2 tins of 400ml coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp pure maple syrup (preferably amber syrup for its rich taste)
  • 700ml water
  • 360g basmati rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped coriander for garnish
  • 1 lime, squeezed


  1. In a pan heat olive oil and flash-fry king prawns for 2 – 3 minutes until opaque. Remove from pan and set aside
  2. Heat more oil and add spring onions, ginger and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes then add half of the red chillies and Madras paste
  3. Keep stirring together and slowly pour in coconut milk and maple syrup
  4. Bring to the boil, add water then turn down to a simmer. Reduce liquid by 1⁄4
  5. Prepare rice according to packet instructions
  6. Five minutes before serving, add part-cooked prawns to the Madras curry sauce, stir through to fully heat and finish off cooking
  7. Serve curry with rice. Garnish with chillies, fresh chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime juice

Curry Recipes – Roasted Peanut Tofu Curry Recipe

Curries love tofu, especially when the tofu is soft and springy – it can take on new flavours more quickly and easily, adding a creamy subtle sweetness to the dish. This toasted peanut recipe is really quick to pull together and a great base for adding other vegetables and proteins too.

  • 150g peanuts
  • 25g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 150ml vegetable or sunflower oil, plus 1 tbsp
  • 2 handfuls of coriander (cilantro), finely chopped, plus extra, to serve 500 g soft tofu, drained for 20 minutes
  • 200ml water
  • Rice or naan bread, to serve


  1. Toast the peanuts in a pan for 3–4 minutes, then blend into a fine powder. Tip into a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the sugar, spices, tomato, onion and garlic, then pour over the oil, stirring to make a curry sauce. Finally, mix in the chopped coriander.
  3. Chop the tofu into chunks. Heat the 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and fry the tofu, turning, until golden brown on all sides.
  4. Slowly heat the curry sauce in a saucepan, adding the measured water.
  5. Add the tofu to the curry sauce and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve with a final scattering of coriander and a generous helping of rice or naan bread.

Curry Recipes – Thai Massaman Pumpkin Curry

Serves 4


  • 10 -12 Thai shallots
  • 2 tins (800ml) Mai Siam Thai Coconut Milk
  • 1kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 3tbsp Mai Siam Massaman Paste
  • 3tbsp unsalted peanuts (optional)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1tsp sugar or palm sugar (to taste)
  • 1 lime
  • 1tsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Jasmine rice, to serve


1. Peel the shallots, keeping the root in-tact. Heat a wok over a high heat and singe in the shallots in the dry wok.  Remove and keep aside for later.

2. Heat 1 tin of coconut milk in the wok over a low heat, until the coconut oil starts to separate from the milk.

3. Add 3 heaped tablespoons of paste (more for a stronger flavour) and mix the paste into the coconut milk. Add half a tin of water to help loosen the mixture.

4. Turn up the heat of the wok to a medium-high heat and add the pumpkin. Stir fry rapidly to seal. 

5. When the pumpkin is sealed, add the peanuts and other tin of coconut milk plus half a tin of water, and bring to the boil.

6. Lower heat and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, adding a little more water if it starts to dry out.

7. When the pumpkin is nearly cooked, add the potatoes and shallots. At this stage you may want to add a bit more water to make up the consistency of a thick gravy.

8. Add sugar (to taste) and simmer until the potatoes are cooked and the onions are soft.

9. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, to taste with a sprinkle of the fresh coriander, and serve with jasmine rice.


2.5hrs, plus overnight marinade to prepare. Serves 4 

This recipe uses the LMC (or leg of mutton cut), which is a flavoursome cut of beef that needs a slow cook to elicit the full flavour and tenderise the meat. It works beautifully in a curry: warm, enticing spices and served with something sharp to cut through the richness. We’ve offset it here with quick-pickled, forced rhubarb which also adds an injection of colour to this mid-winter dish. If you happen to have leftovers it gets better over a couple of days, piled high with fresh herbs, seeds, yoghurts and pickles. Another good alternative to the LMC is blade steak, or for something less lean, you could always make it with chuck. 


For the marinade 

  • 750g leg of mutton cut 
  • 4 tbsps yoghurt 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 6 crushed green cardamom pods 
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic 
  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger 

For the curry 

  • 1 chopped onion 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 2 red chillis 
  • 200 – 300ml of good meat stock 
  • 4 tomatoes, diced 
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 2 tbsps dessicated coconut 

For the pickle 

  • 400g rhubarb 
  • 200ml white wine vinegar 
  • 100g caster sugar 
  • A few slices of ginger 
  • 2 tsps yellow mustard seeds 
  • 2 bay leaves 


  • Marinade meat overnight with all marinade ingredients – this helps to tenderise the meat 
  • Saute onion and bay leaf until golden 
  • Add chilli and cook for a couple of minutes 
  • Add meat and saute uncovered until it has taken an even colour 
  • Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes 
  • Add stock and garam masala, cover and cook for 1.15 hr on a low simmer 
  • Uncover and add coconut, continue to cook with the lid off on low simmer until reduced to the desired thicker consistency 
  • While the curry is cooking, slice your rhubarb finely to fit and add to any sterilised jar 
  • Heat all other ingredients together until they begin to simmer 
  • Allow to cool before pouring over the top of the rhubarb and securely fastening lid 
  • Serve when ready – it gets better with time! 

Curry Recipes – Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Round wooden plate with herbs and salt on dark wooden background top view

Probably one of the favourite Indian inspired dishes, chicken tikka masala has a lovely blend of tomatoes with creamy coconut milk. Ballymaloe Original Relish adds an extra layer to the dish, with our blend of tomatoes and spices. It’s a great introduction to fusion food for children too.

Curry Recipes – Thai green chicken curry

Serves 6 Cooking Time: 25 minutes Serves: 4

  • 500g Boneless and skinless chicken (cut into bite-sized chunks)
  • 50g Butter
  • 250g Onions (sliced)
  • 3 Cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 Teaspoon ginger (grated)
  • 1 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 1 400g of Italian chopped tomatoes
  • 2-3 Teaspoons curry powder (we recommend a Tandoori blend)
  • 3 Tablespoons Ballymaloe Original Relish
  • Juice from 1⁄2 a lime
  • Salt and pepper
  • Boiled rice (to serve)
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and ginger, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring regularly until the onions have softened.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Add the tomatoes and curry powder and cook for 5 minutes, before adding the coconut milk.
  6. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes with the lid off; then add the Ballymaloe Original Relish and enough lime juice to taste.
  7. Season to taste and serve with boiled rice.

For the paste

  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 3 shallots 
  • 30g fresh ginger or galangal
  • 2 lemongrass stalks (white part only)
  • 4 green bird’s eye chillies
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar, grated
  • ½ tsp shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander

For the curry

  • 800g skinless chicken thighs 
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 300g shiitake mushrooms 
  • 800ml tinned coconut milk, shaken well before opening
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed,
    thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 200g mangetout 
  • Handful of fresh Thai basil leaves
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 limes

For the paste

Peel and chop the garlic, shallots and ginger or galangal then place them into a food processor. Trim the ends off the lemongrass, remove the tough outer leaves, then chop the white part and add it to the processor. Trim and add the chillies along with the kaffir lime leaves, coriander, palm sugar, shrimp paste, coconut oil and ground cumin and coriander. Blitz the mixture really well; you will need to stop and push the paste from the sides down into the machine and go again until it’s blended well. 

For the curry

Slice the chicken into 2cm pieces and heat one tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the chicken and fry until golden brown and mostly cooked. Set aside. 

In the same pan, heat another spoonful of coconut oil and fry the mushrooms for 5 minutes until cooked. If they start to stick just add a little more oil and keep them moving round the pan. Add to the same plate as your chicken.

In a large separate saucepan over a medium heat, add a tablespoon of coconut oil, then add two tablespoons of your Thai green curry paste and cook for just a minute. Pour in the coconut milk, stir well and simmer for 5 minutes. At this stage, taste the sauce. If you would like it to have more of a kick, add a touch more paste, if it’s too spicy for you, add more coconut milk. Freeze your remaining paste in a sealable bag.

Add the chicken, mushrooms and sliced kaffir lime leaves to the saucepan, then reduce the heat to low and cook for a further
5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the fish sauce, mangetout and Thai basil in the final minute as you want the mangetout to only just cook so it’s still crunchy. The basil leaves will enhance the dish with the hint of aniseed they carry. 

Serve your curry with chopped fresh coriander, extra Thai basil, lime wedges and plain or coconut rice (p.197). Enjoy.

Curry Recipes – – KALE & SQUASH CURRY

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (150g)
  • 650g butternut squash, diced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 420g jar Tikka Masala cooking sauce
  • ½ x 500g pack Kale
  • To serve, toasted flaked almonds

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion and squash for 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cooking sauce.  Rinse the jar with 200ml water and add to the pan.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the kale and cook for a further 5 minutes until the squash is tender.

Serve scattered with toasted flaked almonds with cooked basmati rice.

Cooks tip – Try using different curry cooking sauces or replace half the squash with diced chicken for a meat option.


Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 15 minutes. Serves 4

  • 100g kale
  • 450g pack Spinach
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced (180g)
  • 1 aubergine, diced (300g)
  • 75g tikka curry paste
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • Brown basmati rice and natural yogurt to serve

Cook the kale in boiling water for 3 minutes, add the spinach and cook until just wilted.  Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and aubergine for 3 minutes, stir in the tikka paste and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the tomatoes and chick peas and 100ml water. 

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes before adding in the kale and spinach, cook for 1 minute to heat through.

Serve with cooked brown basmati rice and a spoonful of natural yogurt.

Cooks tip – Try serving with naan breads instead of rice.


Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 20 minutes. Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 500g chicken breast, sliced
  • 50g Thai green curry paste
  • 300g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 400ml can reduced fat coconut milk
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 260g bag Spinach
  • Juice 1 lime
  • Chopped coriander and cooked brown basmati rice to serve

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken for 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and peas, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 7-8 minutes.  

Stir in the spinach until just wilted and add the lime juice.  Season to taste and sprinkle with coriander.  Serve with cooked brown basmati rice.

Cooks tip – Try using Thai red curry paste instead of green and replace the peas with green beans

British asparagus and salmon Thai coconut curry

This Asian dish has been given a British twist by adding salmon and British asparagus in this fragrant curry. If you want to be more economical or are a vegetarian then add plenty of summer vegetables with your asparagus.

Serves: 4. Preparation time: 10-15 minutes. Cooking time: 15-20 minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp red Thai curry paste
  • 4 salmon fillets, chopped into chunks
  • 1 x 400ml can coconut milk
  • 250ml fish stock / vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 bundles (approx. 500g) British asparagus
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves 
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • coriander leaves, to garnish

To serve – Thai jasmine rice

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