By popular (?) request I'll post a few of my favourites here for all you curry fans to try. The secret with curries is to use the subtle blends of spices - it's not all about super hot chilli that overpowers the flavour of the food (and your tastebuds).
You don't need any 'special' ingredients, but you will need some basic spices. To begin with I'd suggest you get these which are widely available in most supermarkets. Keep them in an airtight container and buy in small quantities as they do get a bit stale after a while.
Ground Garam Masala (a ready made spice blend)
Black Mustard Seeds
Whole Cumin Seeds
Dried Red Chilli Flakes or Powder
Peanut or Vegetable Oil (NB olive oil does NOT work in curries!)
I've already posted a Butter Chicken and Lamb & Macadamia curry recipes. Now for some veggies and the vital accompanyment to any curry, dhal (spiced lentils). Don't go "ew" - it's delicious! Like a thick, hearty soup.
Remember, the spices are entirely adjustable to your preference and taste. I will give the minimum quantities but you can add/subtract. It's all about experimentation - that's half the fun with curries.
Split Red Lentil Dhal
2 cups split red lentils (actually they are bright orange but you know what I mean)
1 onion chopped
1-2 tsp black mustard seeds
1-2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
Half can chopped tomatoes
Half to 1 tsp dried chilli flakes/powder
Generous pinch of salt
1. Rinse the lentils in fresh cold water a couple of times.
2. Put lentils in a saucepan and add enough water to cover by about an inch.
3. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, and simmer for a few minutes, stirring from time to time until the lentils begin to break down and go a bit mushy and soft. If they absorb all the water, add a little more but not too much. The lentils should be the consistency of porridge (oatmeal).
4. Put 2tbsps of oil (or ghee, Indian clarified butter) in a small frypan and fry the chopped onion until golden brown.
5. Add the whole mustard seeds and whole cumin to the onion and stir for a few seconds to release the flavour and aroma.
6. Add the remaining spices (turmeric, garam masala, chilli) and the chopped tomatoes and mix quickly into a sizzling spicy paste.
NB With any curry it's vitally important to fry your spices first to release their full flavour and aroma.
7. Mix the spicey paste/onions with the lentils and simmer for a few more minutes, stirring if required and adding more water if necessary. EASY on the water - you don't want this to be a watery sloppy mess.
Taste for salt (it usually needs more) and enjoy!