Veggie Curry – with optional chicken?

10 June 2013

Written by Jennie Bayliss

cooking veggie curry

This easy-to-make Veggie Curry sometimes has added chicken. Why would I do that? Because whilst I’m not ready to become 100% vegetarian, I believe our diet has to become far more vegetable based: it is how our digestive system evolved—lots of vegetables with occasional meat. And, our beautiful planet cannot cope with ever increasing amounts of farmed animals either (but that story is for another day). So know the chicken is optional: the recipe tastes equally good as a hearty vegetarian meal, or one where there is a small amount of chicken too.
I often cook a Veggie Curry when I’m batch cooking (cooking a large amount of several dishes; portioning the cooked food into individual pots; and then freezing) which means I have convenience food in my freezer that is CLEAN and healthy.


As a Veggie Curry this will make 5–6 portions. With the chicken there’s enough for 8 servings

  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 3 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (or crushed chilli)
  • black pepper from pepper mill
  • 2 large or 3 medium red onions (roughly chopped)
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons Ghee or Coconut oil (or 2 tbsp olive oil)
  • 500 ml rice milk
  • 2 tblsp vinegar (cider or white wine)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (check no sugar added!)
  • 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • Approx 400 ml stock (ideally home made – see my stock recipe)
  • 750g—1 kilo vegetables (ish!) chopped (for the one I made shown in the photo, I used: half a butternut squash, half a head of broccoli, and the same of cauliflower, a handful of green beans and 2 large field mushrooms. I sometimes use carrots, courgettes, okra or red peppers instead of one or more of the above. If not adding chicken, make sure to use some beans, peas, lentils or chickpeas to boost the protein content. Be adventurous!)
  • If using chicken in this dish, try using the 2 drumsticks, thighs and wings after portioning a whole chicken, reserving the chicken breasts for another dish—for example when batch cooking. In the photo above I was booking this recipe with Tahk Pok Kum. As this curry has a long cooking time, the chicken bones also add flavour and the meat will be so tender it will fall off the bones during cooking. Cut the wings and the thighs in half and, by twisting the drumstick bone, pull it cleanly out of the flesh). However, if time is of the essence and/or you have chicken breasts to hand, then allow approx 500-600 gms of chicken cut into cubes.


Start with the spices. With a mortar and pestle, grind the mustard seeds until the seeds are broken up into flakes. Pour these into a small bowl and add all of the other spices adding to this spice mix a good grinding of black pepper too.
In a large wok, melt the oil. Pour in the spices and sizzle them for 30 seconds allowing the flavours to develop. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes stirring all of the time so the onion gets coated with the spices. The onion will begin to become translucent. If you are using chicken, add it to the pan, and again, stir to coat with the spices and onion, stirring well until the chicken begins to brown just very slightly. Now add the milk and vinegar. Stir well to mix in the spices, onion and chicken. Then add the stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetables. Bring to the boil and then put on a very low heat and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes. Stir from time to time.
When cooked, serve with the rice of your choice.
Eat Well—Be Well 🙂

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