Friday Night Curry Recipes

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So, I’ve been wondering what to write all day. What do More Than a Mum readers want to read on a Friday? Then, as I was cooking dinner, it came to me… Friday Night Curry.

If you’re on a budget, the Friday night take away can be the first thing to go and if you want to eat a family meal without having to cook separate things for everyone then the vindaloo is probably out. But if you make your own you can save money and adjust the spicing to family tastes. So here for your delectation are not one, not two, but three of our family favourites all of which have past the husband and/or munchkin taste tests! (My apologies that I did not think of this earlier and make the dishes and take photos; perhaps that can be my snap slappers post next week – pimped curry photos!)

1) Child-Friendly Chickpea and butternut squash curry

This is one that I’ve been making for munchkin from a very early age. We all love it and it goes down very well with popadoms and chutney. It also freezes brilliantly so is a good stand-by. I discovered it by mistake when I over cooked butternut squash while trying to make a curry for us pre-child!

Half a butternut squash, peeled and cubed
Half an onion chopped
One tin of chickpeas
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 small (160ml) tin coconut cream
1 tablespoon oil

Fry onion in oil until clear. Add garam masala and fry for a minute. Add Butternut squash and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add enough water to cover the squash, cover and cook until squash is very soft (top up water if necessary, to stop it boiling dry). Once soft, mash with the back of a spoon (or whizz with a blender if you have more time and like a smoother sauce) and add the coconut cream and chickpeas. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve with rice, chutney and popadoms.

2) Saag Paneer with adjustable chilli

This is a reasonably new one to my cooking repertoire, but something I always order if we have take-out. The creamy nature of the sauce means that spinach is wolfed down by munchkin despite her usual squirming at the sight of green veg.

500g frozen spinach, thawed (or about 750g fresh spinach wilted and left to cool, if you have more time)
3 tablespoons oil
1 onion chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
2 green chillies – whole (optional)
250g paneer chopped into cubes (By ready-made from the supermarket. You could also use chicken in this dish)
4 tablespoons double cream
Salt and lemon juice to taste

Blend spinach into a smooth paste. In large pan heat oil and fry onion until clear. Add spices and fry for a minute. Add ginger and garlic and fry for another minute. Add the paneer and fry for about two minutes, turning the paneer to ensure all sides are evenly cooked. Add the chillies (if you are using them) and cook for a further minute. Add the spinach and enough water to make a loose sauce. (Not too much or it will be watery) Simmer for a few minutes then add the cream. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. (If you want a spicier flavour, burst the chillies and leave the curry to sit for up to 24 hours – you could always scoop out the kids portions first) Serve with naan or chapattis.

3) Chicken or Veg biryani

This is a lovely all in one dish and by substituting veg for chicken, it can be a dish that is suitable for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. This was a recipe given to me by my friend’s mother, who grew up in the Punjab, so it’s even authentic!

2 tablespoons oil
Pinch cumin
4 onions finely chopped
2 green chillies (optional)
3 cloves garlic
1 tin tomatoes
1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 garam masala
Salt to taste
1 large pot natural yoghurt
300 grams rice
4 chicken breasts cubed (Or about 400 grams veg)

Blend tomatoes, garlic, ginger and chillies (if using) in a food processor. Put oil in a pan, fry cumin for about a minute, until aroma is released. Add onions, fry until clear. Add blended ingredients. Add turmeric and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add Garam Masala, simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add yoghurt. Add the chicken (or veg) and simmer until cooked through. Whilst simmering sauce, cook the rice. Into an oven proof dish, layer half the rice, cover with half the chicken/veg sauce and cover this with yoghurt. Cover this with a final layer of rice, then the final layer of chicken/veg sauce and finally cover with yoghurt. Cook in the oven (uncovered) for about 20 minutes.

So, there you are a choice of curries of varying complexity for your very own Friday Curry Night. I hope you enjoy!