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Easy, Authentic Curry Recipes

Updated on June 28, 2012

Curry Recipes

Spice It Up with Curry

When we think recipes for Indian food, we think spicy curries, savory vegetarian fare, fruit and peppers and vegetables melding in a bowl to create sublime flavor. I've compiled several of my more authentic curry recipes, as well as a recipe for naan - quite possibly one of the most delicious flat breads on this green earth.

  • Baingan Bharta (or, 'Eggplant Curry')
  • Mango Chicken Curry
  • Dal Makhani
  • Red Lentil Curry
  • Naan Bread

Remember that authentic curries are made to go over rice and with naan. For the heartier recipes here, serving with either rice or naan, rather than both, is perfectly acceptable. Be warned: most of these recipes are HOT, HOT, HOT! You can tone down the heat by decreasing or omitting the spicy peppers and pastes.


Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)

Curry Yield: 3 Servings

  • 1 Eggplant - large
  • 2 Tomatoes - finely chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper - chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper - seeded
  • 1 Onion - medium, diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - minced
  • 2 TBS Vegetable Oil
  • 1 TBS Ginger - minced
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds - ground will suffice in a pinch
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Red Chili - red pepper flakes will do in a pinch
  • 1 1/2 Salt - or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon - optional
  • 1 1/2 TBS Cilantro - optional

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice the eggplant into thirds and bake for 40 minutes, flipping the eggplant at 20 minutes for even cooking.

Allow eggplant to cool, remove its skin, then dice. Set aside.

Mix finely diced tomatoes with ginger and jalapeno.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. When heated, add oil and stir fry bell pepper and garlic until softened - about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.

Using the same pan, add cumin seeds. One you hear and see the cumin seeds pop, add the tomato mixture, coriander, turmeric, red chili, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add eggplant to the pan. As it cook, gently mash the eggplant pieces with a fork or spatula. Cook for 8 minutes.

Return bell pepper to the pan, and add the garam masala. If you want to use the optional cilantro and cinnamon, add them now. Mix. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Serve with rice and/or naan.

Mango Chicken Curry

Curry Yield: 4 - 6 Servings

NOTE: You may safely omit the meat.

  • 1 1/2 TBS Vegetable or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Onion - large
  • 1 Bell Pepper - chopped, red is preferable, but green will do in a pinch
  • 3 Garlic Cloves - minced
  • 2 TBS Ginger - minced
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 TBS Yellow Curry Powder or 1 1/2 TBS Curry Paste
  • 2 Mangoes - peeled, diced (in a pinch, rehydrate dried mango)
  • 2 TBS + 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 10 oz Light Coconut Milk - water will do in a pinch
  • 1 1/4 lbs Chicken - diced, breast or thigh meat
  • 2 TBS Raisins - golden is preferable, but not essential
  • Salt and Pepper - to taste
  • Cilantro - optional, for garnish

Heat a large pan over medium heat. When pan has heated, add oil and onion and cook until soft - 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until soft, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the curry, cumin, garlic, and ginger. Add another 1/2 TBS of oil, if necessary.

Add vinegar, coconut milk, and half the mango. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Puree the sauce until smooth, then return it to the pan. Add the chicken and raisins. Cover pan and simmer for 8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.

Add the rest of the mango and simmer for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with rice and/or naan.

Dal Makhani (Spicy!)

Curry Yield: 2 Servings

  • 1/2 cup whole urad dal
  • 2 TBS Red Kidney Beans - canned will do in a pinch
  • 1 Onion - medium, chopped
  • 1 Tomato - chopped, finely
  • 2 tsp Ginger - minced
  • 1 Green Chili - chopped
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream or Coconut Milk
  • 1/3 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Mango Powder - optional
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 1/2 TBS Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seed - ground cumin will do in a pinch
  • 4 Red Chilis - whole
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes - optional, for heat

Wash and soak red kidney beans and urad dal for at least 8 hours, or used canned beans.

Pressure-cook on medium heat the urad dal with 4 to 4 1/2 cups of water, the salt, turmeric, ginger, and green pepper for about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait till steam stops before opening the cooker. Mash the beans and dal, then cook for 5 minutes.

Turn the heat to low and slowly add cream or coconut milk. Keep the heat low, or the cream might curdle. Add garam masala, mango powder (if using), and onion. Cook for 10 minutes.

In a small pan, heat the butter over medium heat. When hot enough to pop or crack the cumin seeds (toss one in to test it), add the cumin seeds and red chilis. Add the pepper flakes, if using. Stir. Add a few tsp of water if necessary.

Add the butter-cumin mixture to the kidney beans and urad dal.

Serve with rice and/or naan.

Red Lentil Curry

Curry Yield: 4 Servings

  • 1 cup Red Lentils
  • 1 Onion - medium, diced
  • 2 tsp Vegetable or Coconut Oil
  • 1 TBS Curry Paste or 1 1/2 TBS Curry Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chii Powder
  • 1/2 tsp White Sugar or Honey
  • 1 tsp Ginger - minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - minced
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon - optional
  • 1 Tomato - finely diced

Wash the lentils thoroughly. Don't skip this step!

Simmer lentils in a pot of water, filled to just cover the lentils, until lentils are tender. 20 minutes or so. Start testing at 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat. Once heated, add oil and onions. Cook until onions begin to brown and carmelize.

In a small dish, combine curry paste and powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, sugar or honey, garlic, and ginger.

Once onions have cooked, add the spices. Stir constantly for 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and simmer over low heat until lentils have softened.

Drain lentils and mix with the tomato-curry sauce.

Serve with rice and/or naan.


Naan Yield: 10 - 14 Servings

  • 1 package or 2 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 cup Warm Water - slightly warmer than body temperature
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 1 Egg - large, beaten
  • 3 1/2 TBS Milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 4 1/2 Bread Flour

In a big mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. When yeast mixture becomes frothy - about 8 to 10 minutes - stir in sugar, egg, milk, and salt. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough is soft and smooth. Not super wet and sticky, but firm enough to pull away from the side of the bowl.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and set aside until the dough doubles. About 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on weather.

Punch down the dough - a great stress reliever! Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of a golf ball. Cover and set aside dough balls to rise for about 15 to 45 minutes, or until once more doubled in size.

Heat a grill, grill pan, or breadstone (in a 500ºF oven). When dough balls have risen, take one and flatten into a thin circle. Lightly oil the grill or grill pan (do NOT oil the breadstone, if using).

Now the fun part: toss the dough circle onto the cooking surface. Once puffy - it will take just a couple minutes - flip it over. Cook until other side has browned, 2 - 4 minutes. Rinse and repeat!


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    • Rachelle Williams profile image

      Rachelle Williams 

      10 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      Another watering mouth over here! I absolutely love a good, hot curry dish, and Indian food is my favorite. Great Hub!

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 

      10 years ago from The Shire

      Mmmm....curry. Must try -- thanks!

    • stestifie profile image

      Stephanie Pyper 

      10 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Oh my goodness you just made my mouth water! Great recipes and very nice directions. Voted up and thank you for these!


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