The house curry
1/2 tbsp each oil & butter
1 onion (or leek, or a few spring onions)
1 tsp each black mustard seed, coriander seed, cumin seed
1 tsp each ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric
chilli (fresh, dried or powder) to taste
any combination of veg, meat or fish that are to hand & take your fancy (tonight I'm using courgette, chickpeas & a handful of swiss chard), prepared & cut into bite-size chunks
a little water
1 cup passata or canned tomatoes
2 oz creamed coconut
plain yoghurt or creme fraiche, to taste
Sweat onions in the oil & butter mix, & when softened add the whole spices. Once whole spices are toasted, add ground spices then meat/ veg (though leave any leafy stuff until later) and a splash of water, and give the whole lot a good stir to ensure the spice mix coats everything evenly.
Mix in the passata and crumble over the creamed coconut, add a little more water if necessary to give a reasonably fluid sauce, cover the pan & leave to simmer gently.
A couple of minutes before you're ready to dish up, stir in any leafy veg you're using, then the yoghurt*
Serve with any combination of rice, naan, chapatis, poppadoms...
* A top tip I read in one of Nigel Slater's wonderful Observer columns is to whisk in a teaspoon or so of gram (chickpea) flour per 1/2 cup of yoghurt or low-fat creme fraiche before using it in a hot dish - this helps to prevent curdling.