No single dish can qualify as India’s national dish as the cuisine differs from region to region. So what may be widely eaten in the northern parts may be unheard of in the southern parts and vice versa. Vegetarianism is widespread and true Indian cuisine is characterised by the use of various spices, herbs, vegetables, and sometimes fruits that are grown in India.
The word curry comes from the Tamil word “kari” meaning gravy or sauce and it is usually considered a side-dish, to be eaten with a main dish of rice or bread.
This dish is best made a day a head or earlier in the day and reheated as this allows the flavours to blend.
- 7 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 -2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped / pressed
- 1 5cm piece (size of a large thumb) of ginger, finely chopped
- 2-3 fresh chillies (red or green), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper to taste
- 2 pieces Natco Dalchini ( Cassia Bark )- 50g (You can use a cinnamon stick instead of cassia bark if need be)
- 1 pack of washed spinach
- 150ml water
- Handful of Coriander
- 1200g of the following vegetables, diced:
• Okra (Lady’s finger)
• Butternut Squash
• Green beans or frozen peas
• 3 Peppers
- Prepare all the vegetables first
- Heat the oil in a very large pan and fry the onion gently until soft
- Add the garlic, ginger, chillies and dry spices and cook for a further few minutes
- Add all the vegetables to the pan including the spinach and cook for a few minutes whilst stirring.
- Add about half of the water and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes, stir, then add the rest of the water and cook for a further 20 minutes with the lid on.
- Serve with basmati rice and / or naan
DrinkMost of India is traditionally alcohol free so try Lassi (a traditional Punjabi yogurt-based drink of India and Pakistan). There are some good Indian beers though, like Cobra, that go very well with a curry!
Make a night of itAdd some some cheesy Bollywood or funky Bangra music and get the girls round and have a go at traditional Henna tattoos! Go to town and theme a celebration around one of the many Indian festivities.
Have a night in with the girls
Try some traditional Henna Mehndi designs (and a spot of flower arranging, singing and dancing!). Henna is typically applied during special occasions like weddings and festivals.
Indian star lanterns
We have found these lovely Indian star lanterns used in India at festivals and celebrations (especially Diwali) that give a gorgeous focal point to any room at any time of the year. Traditionally reds and yellows, there are also many other colours to choose from too.