Tag Archives: Curry

Beef and Spinach Curry

When you hear the word curry, you immediately think of HOT.  And if truth be told, that is a real injustice to curry recipes all over the world.  My Dad never eats curry, (a bad experience in school I believe).  Because of that we never ate curry at home.  It really only when I went to Ballymaloe that the repertoire of curry opened it’s doors to my tastebuds.  Don’t get me wrong- I’m not a lover of HOT flavours, but I LOVE the fragrance and aromas that the perfect mix of spices conjure up.

The trick for me is to taste the chillis first before using.  A general rule of thumb is

The Smaller the Chilli- the hotter the flavour

The hottest chilli in the world is reported to be the Carolina Reaper.  I wouldn’t even like to chop it…

Beef & Spinach Curry
On that note, be always super vigilant when slicing and dicing chillies, whatever their temperature, no rubbing of the nose or eyes or the like……..

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My Easy Vegetable Korma Recipe- Try it!

Cooking a vegetarian meal for a party can be a little bit more challenging if certain staples are off the menu. I have a real dislike for chickpeas in anything other than hummus. I think, to be honest, its the texture. I’m not a fan of baked beans- and they are texturally speaking in the same family.

Korma is a dish originally made in India, and consisted of meat, fish or vegetables braised with yogurt/ cream/ coconut milk and spices.  In this case I made a Korma with vegetables.  But the method works the same for a meat version, with maybe extra cooking time depending on what meat/ fish you are using in the korma. Continue reading

My Favourite Fish Curry

One of my “aims” for 2017 is to cook more fish.  And eat more fish! I call them aims as I don’t like the word resolution.  Monkfish is one of my favourite fishes to eat and prepare, and is perfect in this gorgeous fish curry by Rick Stein. I’ve tweeked it slightly, but it’s a nice recipe to use as it’s quick to prepare with readily available ingredients.

Rory preparing the monkfish in demo during my time in Ballymaloe.

Monkfish is one of the ugliest fishes in the seas. And has an enormous extendable stomach that enables the fish to eat prey almost to it’s own size.  It also has what looks for all the world like a fishing rod with a teeny fish on the end of it.  It dangles this over it’s mouth and simply uses it to fish for fish.  Of course as luck would have it- there was NO monkfish to be found ANYWHERE in Waterford.  So I substituted it with some lovely fresh cod.  I tend not to use cod as it’s been fished to death, excuse the pun.  But any port in a storm.  Same quantities apply.

A little extra note on Kaffir Lime- The leaves of this citrus plant are widely used in Thai cooking for the perfume that they give the dish.  But a zest of lime is an adequate replacement.

Monkfish Curry


3 tablespoons of sunflower oil

75g green curry paste

400ml can of coconut milk

175ml water

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

2 teaspoons of muscovado sugar

4 kaffir lime leaves or 1 pared strip of lime zest, cut into very fine shreds

1 lime, juice only

100g new potatoes, cut in half if large

50g aubergines, quartered

12 raw, unshelled, headless prawns

350g monkfish fillet, cut across into slices 1cm thick

2 tablespoons fresh basil, shredded finely
Fish Curry

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the green curry paste and fry for 5-6 minutes, until the ingredients begin to separate from the oil and it starts to smell aromatic.

Fish Curry

Looks awful- smells great


Add the coconut milk, water, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves or zest, lime juice, potatoes and the aubergines, if using. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes and aubergines are tender.

Fish Curry

Meanwhile, shell the prawns and de-vein them if fresh. Cutting each one in half lengthways.Mind you if they are frozen, like mine were, then simply toss them in on top and let the diner beware. I would advise the first option for a non family dining event!

Fish Curry

Add the prawns to the pan with the monkfish. Simmer for another 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded basil and serve with some rice of your choice. Divine.

Fish Curry



Beef Rendang- get it while it’s HOT

I had a guest over for dinner the other night (my nephew!) and asked him what he would like to eat, I said I would cook him anything! He went with Beef Rendang. Secretly delighted I rooted out my recipe, loosely based on Rory O’Connells one, which, is divine, but just too hot for me. Mind you -this was lip numbingly hot too.

Although the ingredients are mostly store cupboard, the quality of the meat is important here.  And as the cooking time is quite long I suggest cutting the beef into larger pieces so they don’t simply disintegrate. I’m not a fan of the mint either, so I leave that out too. Rendang is traditionally a Malaysian spicy meat dish, that is served at important social occasions.  It’s cooked down slowly until a sticky sauce is left around the meat, and is dryer than most curries, but I prefer a little more sauce.

My Beef Rendang


1.5kg of good quality stewing beef

5 red chillies

2 red onions

3 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 bay leaf

3 tins of coconut milk

Natural yogurt, if required

Rice, to serve


Cut up the beef into pieces approximately 4cm square.  Add to a large heavy based saucepan with the turmeric and the bay leaf.

In a food processor chop the de-stalked chillies (keep the seeds in), peeled and quartered onions, and peeled cloves, until well diced.

Add this to the pan with tins of coconut milk.  I like to use organic coconut milk, but if unavailable use the best quality you can afford.

Stir to combine, at this stage it looks really nasty!

Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 2 hours.  Towards the end it will look like the sauce has split.  Stir quite frequently at this stage to avoid it burning on the hob.

Taste the sauce, if it is too hot I add a good couple of spoons of natural yogurt.  Completely un authentic I know, but sure look it!

Serve on a bed of rice- with lots of water available.