Liven up a Frozen Curry

Liven up a curryI love a good curry, and usually end up making a big pot and freezing some for days when I am too busy to cook.  The only problem with vegetable curries is that they go a bit ‘pap’ when they defrost.  Life is too short to eat ugly food, so if I am going to eat a frozen curry, it has to be ‘crunched up’.

Fresh herbs are the quickest way to add a bit of crunch to any meal. Simply chop them up and sprinkle them on top of the curry, or you could add them to finely chopped onion, tomato, cucumber or carrot.  A raita is simply natural yogurt with a vegetable or herb added, so that is another option.

Something else I usually do is add a quick cooking fresh veg, like spinach, broccoli, beans or peppers.  Add them to the curry as it heats up, and let it boil for a couple of  minutes so they cook.

Here are a few ideas to give your ‘pap’ meal  a bit of oomph – even if it is a freshly made curry, these are great extras to add.

Chop up some fresh herbs and sprinkle on top. Here are some suggestions of good partners for different curries

Coriander – All types of curry

Mint – Fish or lamb, green vegetables.  There are loads of varieties of mint, so experiment with them

Fennel – Fish, chicken, potato, cauliflower

Parsley – Beef, fish and any vegetable curry

Basil – Thai curries – Thai basil is exceptionally good

Dandelion leaves – Paneer, tofu

Fenugreek – leaves or sprouted seeds – All curries, and good in raita

Lovage – Lamb or beef, root vegetables, tofu, paneer

Mustard greens or sprouted seeds – Beef, chicken, beans, root vegetables

Nasturtium leaves – Chicken, beef, lamb, Thai vegetable curries

Nasturtium flowers – Vegetable, tofu, paneer or fish

Sesame seeds – Thai curries

Chickpeas or peanuts – roasted and added to any vegetarian or fish curry

Sprouted seeds – Any curry



Tomato and onion – Finely chop up one tomato and half an onion, add a little fresh chilli to taste

Banana and coconut – slice a banana and toss in lemon juice and then into desiccated coconut.

Mango and mint – finely chop fresh mint and sprinkle on thin slices of mango (slightly under ripe is best for this)

Cucumber raita – grate fresh cucumber and add an equal quantity of plain yogurt

Beetroot raita – make in the same way as cucumber raita

Chutney – Mrs Ball’s is still the best!

Green mango chutney – the best ones are available from good Indian restaurants and shops, or make your own

Poppadums – You can buy packets of uncooked poppadums at most supermarkets.  Cooking them is very simple and they look so impressive on the table.  Just make sure that the oil is very hot, put the poppadum in the oil, it will puff up immediately if your oil is hot enough.  They take about 30 seconds each to cook.  Drain them on kitchen towel before putting onto a plate or in a basket.  They are fine even if they are cold, just don’t cover them or they will go soggy.

If you have a microwave, they take about 20 seconds on full power

Naan bread – Make your own or buy.  Many supermarkets stock them now

Chili – For those that like it hot! Mix a tablespoon of fresh chili with a tablespoon of oil.  There are hundreds of varieties and they grow easily in the ground or in pots.  If you use a lot of chili, plant a selection rather than all the same type.

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