WEEKNIGHT CURRY + Homemade: Curry Paste

April 23, 2019


The simple weeknight curry I share today uses a homemade curry paste base. The curry paste is versatile and can be used with fish, leftover roasted chicken, homemade paneer (recipe in my Homegrown Kitchen cookbook) or vegetable curry with a selection of seasonal vegetables and chickpeas.

The curry paste can be made ahead or make a large batch by increasing the quantities and freeze into portions. Simply remove a portion in the morning to thaw then saute for dinner. Having this on hand makes for a quick weeknight meal. The curry itself is on the mild side because my two rambunctious youth don’t particularly like hot spice. The parents in the house are partial to some heat but I keep the curry sauce mellow and make a fiery fresh chutney to accompany it of grated carrot, coconut, mint and chilli. If everyone in your house likes it hot then add chilli to taste to the curry paste.

WEEKNIGHT CURRY + Homemade: Curry Paste

Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • chilli to taste (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons ghee, clarified butter or oil
  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes - I used a jar of home-preserved slow-roasted tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • 500 g white-fleshed fish, cooked chicken, combination of vegetables and chickpeas/tofu
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve


  • Make the curry paste (increase the quantities to freeze extra into portions). Place the onion, garlic, ginger, spices and salt in a food processor and blend into a rough paste – add a splash of oil if needed to loosen the mixture.
  • Heat the ghee or oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat. Add the curry paste and cook for 8-10 minutes until golden and fragrant. Turn the heat down if the paste catches on the base of the pan. Add the chopped tomatoes and water and cook until the tomatoes are pulpy and the sauce has thickened. About 10 minutes.
  • Add the fish and coconut cream and continue to cook over moderate heat for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Stir through the lemon juice and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately with cardamom rice, fiery carrot & mint chutney and lemon wedges.


Cardamom Rice
While sauteeing the curry paste prepare the rice. Wash 1 cup white basmati or jasmine rice in a sieve then tip into a saucepan. Add 1½ cups water plus 3 cardamom pods, cover with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil. As soon as the rice boils turn down the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, leaving the lid on to steam for a further 10 minutes. Add a knob of butter and fluff with a spoon.

Fiery Carrot & Coconut Chutney

I love adding a fresh chutney to a curry meal to bring extra piquancy.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

  • ⅓ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
  • A handful of mint or coriander, finely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lime or lemon
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

Make the chutney while the curry cooks. Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Check flavour adding more chilli if desired and salt to taste.

Join the Conversation

  1. This was really lovely and easy curry. Thanks a lot for the recipe! I changed the quantities of the ingredients a bit and it turned out great. Also I was very hesitant about the chutney from just looking at the ingredients but it complemented the curry so nicely:)

    1. Thanks for letting me know, it is a really versatile recipe. Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  2. Sheree Gray says:

    Beautiful curry! Kids loved it and the eldest even loved the chutney. Cooked a roast chicken and then poured the curry sauce over that and rice. Great flavour and easy to make. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sheree, that is great to hear. It is such a verstile curry, great to using leftover chicken or roasted vegetables.
      Thanks for your letting me know 🙂

  3. Vicki Grant says:

    I made all three recipes with Snapper
    Was delicious!! It’s not in your book so I will print off and add to the collection…
    Thanks …love your food and style
    Ciao Vicki 🌹

    1. Hi Vicki, great to hear, this is a popular dinner recipe.
      I created this one after Homegrown Kitchen was published, but you can print and add favourite recipes from my website to the book. I know quite a few people do this 😉
      Happy cooking

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