madras beef or lamb curry

This is one curry that may surprise you at how easy it is to prepare the spice mix for such a tasty meal with so few simple pantry ingredients. Roast and grind your own spices if you have the time and equipment to do so, but I mostly use ground spices at home for ease. The added bonus of a curry is that it will improve in flavour as it sits so prepare it on the weekend for a busy weeknight meal. For these reasons this curry, with some rice and steamed greens, has been on the menu most weeks during winter. I make it extra hot so I serve the kids something I have pre prepared, frozen and defrosted and reheated.

2 brown onions
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 kilo stewing steak or lamb
400 grams crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
200 ml beef stock

dice the meat into about a 1.5 cm dice. Brown the meat on all sides in batches in a hot pan on the stove top.  In a heavy based oven proof sauce pan saute the diced onion and crushed garlic in the butter for a few minutes  until soft add the spices and cook for a few minutes add all the other ingredients and braise covered in a low 160 C oven for 1-2 hrs until tender.

Or put all ingredients in the slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours.

Or in the Thermomix chop the garlic and onion add everything else cook 100 C for 1.5 – 2 hours on reverse


Thai green chicken (or roast duck) curry

I make this paste and split the paste into 3 batches freeze the extra 2 serves for other meals. When I was making it for a Restaurant I would use shrimp paste instead of the fish sauce, but I don’t really want a packet of shrimp paste hanging around in the fridge all year at home so I use a dash of fish sauce from the bottle that I use regularly in cooking. And I use ground spices at home rather than roasting the seeds to same time.


4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ginger root
2 sticks lemon grass
1 bunch coriander
½ bunch basil
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
teaspoon ground white pepper
2 large green chillies
4 kaffir lime leaves
tablespoon fish sauce
1 red onion
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander

extra chilli (optional)

600-800 grams chicken thigh or breast (bone out a chicken for the meat and then you will have a carcass for stock)
*or one roast duck
1 onion
500 ml veg or chicken stock
400 ml coconut milk
300 grams cooked rice noodles
4 cups vegetables – carrot, capsicum, bokchoy, greens, peas, corn, mushrooms, broccoli cauliflower

to make the paste blend all ingredients together this should make enough paste for 3 meals freeze to prions for later use.

To cook the curry, slice the onion and cut the chicken into about 1.5 cm pieces. Heat a wok over a medium heat until hot add a dash of oil and the onion and chicken and sauté for a few minutes until the onion is soft and the chicken is brown add other hard finely sliced vegetables (carrot, broccoli etc that take a little longer to cook)  and the stock and simmer until chicken and veg is almost cooked (4-6 minutes) add coconut cream soft veg  (spinach leaves etc that really just need to heat) and noodles and serve when it is all cooked and hot.

*If you want to replace the chicken with roast duck, lay at the bottom on a slow cooker with some chopped up onion, celery and carrot (if you save your peelings from these in a bag in the freezer like i do grab a few handfuls of this instead) put the duck on top great side up, season well with salt and pepper and leave to cook my SLOW slow cooker on high would take 8 hours, you need to get to know your own slow cooker as they differ a LOT!!

thai green duck