5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
3 fresh green chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 handful curry leaves
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
3 onions, peeled and chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
6 tomatoes, chopped
1x400ml/14fl oz tin coconut milk
For the fish version:
4x225g/8oz fresh haddock fillets, skinned and pin-boned
1 knob tamarind paste or 1 tsp tamarind syrup
1 large handful baby spinach (optional)
1 good handful fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
For the chicken version:
4 chicken breasts, sliced into 1cm/ ½ in strips
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
For the vegetarian version:
800g/1¾lb mixed vegetables, chopped (potatoes, courgettes, peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, spinach, chard, cauliflower, lentils, beans – use your imagination)
1. Heat the oil in a pan, and when hot add the mustard seeds. Wait for them to pop, then add the fenugreek seeds, fresh green chillies, curry leaves and ginger, Stir and fry for a few minutes.
2. Using a food processor, chop the onions and add to the same pan. Continue to cook for five minutes until the onion is light brown and soft, then add the chilli powder and turmeric.
3. Using the same food processor, pulse the tomatoes and add these to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes then add one or two wine glasses of water and the coconut milk. Simmer for about five minutes until it has the consistency of double cream, then season carefully with salt.
4. Take this sauce as a base. To make the fish curry, add the fish and tamarind to the sauce and simmer for six minutes. Feel free to add some baby spinach and chopped coriander at the end of the cooking time.
5. For the chicken version, stir-fry the chicken strips and coriander seeds until lightly coloured, then add to your sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. For the vegetarian version, simply add all your veg to the sauce at the beginning when you add your onions. Continue to cook as normal and simmer until tender.