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Easy recipes for life - part one: the best curry recipe

by Emma Marsden
Thai red chicken curry with rice recipe - chicken breast recipes and curry recipes - food and UK recipes -

The principle

Make a quick paste, fry it in a little oil, add coconut milk and water or stock then add meat, fish or tofu and vegetables of your choice.

Basic curry recipe

Whiz 1 large handful of coriander (leaves and roots) in a hand blender or food processor with the juice and zest of 1 lime, 2 roughly chopped onions, 1-2 chopped green chillies, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 roughly chopped lemongrass stalk, a thumb size piece of peeled and chopped ginger and ½ tsp ground coriander to make your basic curry paste. Season well. Fry in a splash of oil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce cooks down. Pour in your coconut milk and bring to a simmer, along with 200ml water or stock. Add chopped meat, fish, or tofu. About 10 minutes before the end, stir in chopped veg (pak choi, carrot, sugarsnaps or baby corn – around a handful per person) and simmer until tender, but still with a bite.  

Curry cooking times

  • Chicken (breast or thigh) – 15-20 mins
  • Fish curry – around 10 mins
  • Prawn curry – around 10 mins until the prawns turn from grey to pink
  • Beef curry (use strips of minute steak) – 5 mins
  • Tofu curry – around 10 mins

Finishing touches

Top with a handful of coriander leaves or toasted coconut flakes for a cheffy flourish. Serve with white rice or go to town with a Thai rice that's full of even more wonderful flavours! 

Curry technique tip

Make your own coconut milk by dissolving 100g creamed coconut in a jug with 300ml hot water or stock. Cheaper than a tin of coconut milk and the block keeps for up to a month in the fridge. Also, make double the paste and freeze in a sealable container for up to 3 months; then simply defrost and bring to the boil ready to simmer the rest of your curry ingredients in.


The 10 basic recipes you need for a lifetime of inspired cooking: master the basics, then learn how to adapt them to create your own variations. Another great food idea from

Easy recipes for life - part one: the best curry recipe

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Easy recipes for life - part three: the best stir fry recipe

Easy recipes for life - part four: the best basic cake recipe

Easy recipes for life - part five: cooking salmon

Easy recipes for life - part six: succulent chicken breast

Easy recipes for life - part seven: stew

Easy recipes for life - part eight: roast chicken

Easy recipes for life - part nine: pasta sauce

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