My husband is from Singapore, a Southeast Asian country predominantly populated by Chinese, Malays and Indians. These three groups of people have lived in close proximity for many years — first as a British colony, then as an independent nation — Singaporean food is a unique combination of cuisines and culinary traditions. Whenever we travel to Singapore to visit family, we must have our fill of roti prata, an Indian dish with a local twist. Roti prata is essentially a fried, flaky flatbread that you dip in chicken, fish or lamb curry. (Thankfully, we don’t live in Singapore so we aren’t tempted daily by this amazing dish!)
When at home, I adapt this curry to my own kitchen so it’s more of my invention than a traditional Indian curry. The base is always onions, garlic, ginger, tomato paste and curry powder. I add whatever vegetables that I might happen to have in my refrigerator for convenience’s sake (rather than make a trip to the specialty market to buy traditional Indian vegetables). I also like to puree a portion of the chickpeas to add thickness to the broth. Finish with coconut milk and you are done!
Traditionally, curry is cooked by bringing it to boil and then letting it simmer for many hours. Using a slow-cooker gives similar results without having to constantly watch the pot — the goal is to give flavors as much time as possible to mingle together. This way, I can pick the kids up from school, bring them to swim class or soccer practice, and still have dinner ready to go shortly after walking in the door.
This version is not spicy and mild in flavor, so my children are able to eat it. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways for me to get vegetables into them. Cook up a big pot and save the leftover curry; you’ll find that the flavors get even better the next day!
Slow Cooker Indian Curry
- 2 onions, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil (olive or canola)
- 5 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
- 1 package of firm tofu or chicken cut into half-inch cubes and browned
- 2-3 cans of chickpeas
- Salt and pepper
- 1 can light coconut milk (full fat coconut milk also works)
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup cilantro, minced (optional)
- Take half the chickpeas and either mash them or puree them in a food processor. These will give body to your curry.
- Microwave onions, garlic, 1 tablespoon ginger, curry powder, tomato paste, and oil in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft (about 5 min.) Add to slow cooker. Stir in broth, chicken, and chickpeas, both pureed and whole. Cook for 4 hours on high.
- Microwave any additional vegetables you plan to add to the curry to heat them up. Add them to the slow cooker on the “keep warm” setting.
- Microwave the coconut milk until warm but not boiling, about 2 min. Stir into curry with peas, remaining ginger until everything is heated through.
- Stir in the cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with rice, with bread, or simply as a soup. Voila!
Tag me at #sweatyclothesdirtydishs if you make it. I’d love to see how it comes out for you.