The versatility of the humble curry makes it an easy go to if you’re seeking a delicious ‘use-it-up’ dish to reclaim fridge space and avoid letting good food go to waste.
Some believe curries taste even better the next day, making loving your leftovers even easier. What makes this dish a real love food hate waste winner is keeping the ingredients on hand to create a basic curry is made easier by the fact that canned coconut milk, store-bought curry paste and spices a are all long-lasting ingredients that you can store in your pantry for a rainy day.
So next time you’re looking for a spicy meal with naan of the waste, none of the waste – get it? We have you sorted with our ‘Almost Anything’ curry to for inspiration.
The ‘Almost Anything’ curry
For the pan:
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
- 1 brown onion
- 3 cloves garlic.
The DIY paste option
- 1 large chunk (at least 2 inches / 5 cm) fresh ginger root
- 2 tsp ground turmeric or fresh, grated
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cans (800 ml) coconut milk (or halve this with water for a lighter curry)
- 1/2 lime, juice.
The ready-to-go jar option
- a jar of your favourite curry paste
- mix together the remnant of more than one curry jar taking up space in your fridge
- appropriate level of coconut milk or canned tomato as per jar ingredients.
Ideas for ‘use-it-up’ ingredients (quantity to taste)
- pumpkin (tip: avoid cooking until mush)
- sweet potato
- tofu or tempeh
- a handful of spinach or kale
- Greek yoghurt
- firm cheeses (e.g. haloumi)
- kidney beans or chickpeas
- your choice of rice or quinoa (remember one cup uncooked rice will equal three cups cooked rice)
- add a handful of roasted nuts (optional)
- fresh coriander (optional)
- naan or other flat bread (optional).
Before you start, identify what ‘use-it-up’ ingredients you have. The ideas list we have provided is non-exhaustive – you can use almost anything in a curry provided you are happy with the firmness and texture it will contribute to the meal. For the best way to cut and prepare veggies (e.g. cubed potatoes or carrots in julienne style), simply look up any other curry recipe online which features this ingredient. Ensure any meat ingredients are cut and adequately cooked prior.
1. Add coconut oil to a large sauce pan on medium heat. Peel and finely chop onion, garlic and ginger and add to the pan.
For DIY curry paste option: Add in turmeric and cumin with the onion. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft.
For Ready-to-go jar option: Refer to jar instructions, adding in contents and then the appropriate level of coconut milk.
2. After your curry has had a few minutes to cook, begin to add in your ‘use-it-up’ ingredients to the pan – keep in mind the general rule that the firmest vegetables should go in first (e.g. carrots, eggplants, potatoes, etc.) followed by broccoli, cauliflower and beans and finishing with your softest ingredients such as mango or tomato. If uncertain, refer to existing curry recipes to get an idea of how much cooking an ingredient requires.
3. Remove from heat, add in spinach or other leafy greens and a squeeze of lime and stir around. Taste and add more salt, spices, sugar, stevia or pepper until your happy with the taste.
4. Serve in bowls with rice or quinoa, a side of cashew nuts, nigella seeds and some fresh coriander.