Curry can be a little tricky for beginners because there's a lot of prep-work (slicing and dicing) and it can take a few tries to figure out exactly what combination of seasonings you like. But it's a very flexible dish so I wanted to upload a recipe anyway.
2-3 pounds of boneless chicken (either light or dark meat will work)
a couple oz. of fresh ginger-root
several cloves of garlic
2-3 medium sized onions
Curry powder or paste
about 25 oz. of coconut milk (2 cans, usually)
1.5-2 lb. of Peppers (either bell or poblano) or Sugar-peas
Unsalted Peanuts (optional)
Large, deep-sided frypan or Wok
Start with the garlic and ginger. You can usually get ginger-roots of different sizes at the store, or if you have to, break a big one in half. A good estimation if probably a piece about the as long as your hand- slightly less if you're a guy, slightly more if you're a woman.
Garlic is usually sold in BULBS, and after you peel off the papery outer layer it will be in small pieces called CLOVES- don't confuse the two.
I usually start peeling the ginger with the vegetable peeler, then move on to a paring knife to clean up any little bits leftover, plus all the nooks and crannys my peeler can't get in to.
Using fresh garlic is great, but peeling the individual cloves can be a pain, so here's a tip. Cut off the bottoms of each clove (where it attaches to the bulb), the put them in a small bowl with a lid. Shake the bowl hard for about a minute- this will either cause the papery coating to come off entirely or loosen it so it's much easier to remove.
Dice both the garlic and the ginger. For the garlic, I think the easiest thing is to just put it all in one pile and go back and forth over it with the knife several times, until the cloves are all reduced to smaller pieces. You can dice them one at time if you want to be real thorough, but that's very time-consuming.
For the ginger, I usually slice it in half lengthwise, then into thin strips, and at a 90-degree angle to make little pieces.
If you want to make things easier on your self, you can buy dried ginger and pre-peeled and even pre-diced garlic in the store. I normally prefer fresh, but if you end up cooking a whole lot, these can be time-savers, and honestly I think home-cooking is more important than not, even if some of the ingredients you use aren't 100% from scratch.
Set the garlic and ginger aside for the moment, and get the onions.
Slice the tops and bottoms off of the onions.
Peel papery outer layer off of the onions. You don't need a vegatable peeler for this step- just your hands, and maybe a paring knife to make a small slice in any of the layers if they stick together.
Pause here for a moment to prep the frypan. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat on medium. Just keep an eye on it so that the oil does burn- if it start to smoke turn the heat off until you're ready to add the ingredients.
Chop up the onions. I find the easiest way to do this is to slice them in half (any direction, it doesn't really matter). Put the flat side down and make 2-3 cuts laterally across each onion. Turn it 90 degrees and make another 2-3 cuts in the other direction.
Put the onions, the garlic, and the ginger in the frypan and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If you want the onions to cook faster, feel free to cover the pan.
This recipe uses chicken, but you can make curry with almost any meat. I believe that aside from vegetarian versions, beef and lamb are the next most common choices.
If you've got sharp eyes, you might notice I swapped knives here. I tend to switch back and forth between 2 different knives- one that is nice and super-sharp and normally only used for finely slicing meat, and the other which I use for literally everything else. A useful skill to acquire for the long-run is the ability to sharpen your own knives.
Anyway, you want to cut the chicken into pieces about 1/2 to 1 inch (cubed) in size. Don't worry if it's a little messy; pieces that are a little bigger or smaller will cook just fine.
By now your onions (and garlic and ginger) should be cooked- add the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (sorry, I didn't take good pictures during this stage)
After the chicken has been cooking for about 5 minutes, add your spices and seasonings. You can buy curry-powder (or paste) in the store in a bunch of different varieties, or if you'd prefer you can mix your own like I do.
My preferred mixture is 1 Tablespoon each of (dried, ground, & powdered) Corriander, Cumin, Turmeric, and Fenugreek, plus 1 TEASPOON of cayenne. These are about the right proportions, but you don't have to use it all at once- I'd start with about 2.5-3 tablespoons of curry powder and then decide if you want more or less.
Also, note that when working with turmeric, it will turn everything bright yellow.
After mixing in the curry powder, cook for another 5 minutes or so (so the chicken has cooked for about 10 minutes total), and then add the coconut milk.
Once you stir in the coconut milk, reduce the heat slightly (to about medium-low) and simmer (cooking slowly over low heat) for 25-30 minutes.
I like a lot of sauce with my food so I used two cans of coconut milk- if you prefer your curry drier you could start with just one can, and add a little water later if you need to thin it out.
While the curry cooks, prepare your veggies. I picked poblano peppers because I like the dark-green color, and they aren't to spicy. In general, the larger a type of pepper is the less-hot it's going to be.
Use a paring knife to cut the top (stem-side) off of the peppers. Slice them in half and clean out the insides, discarding the seeds and pith (whitish membranes).
Slice the peppers into (approximately) 1-inch pieces.
Once the chicken has cooked for about half an hour, add the peppers and cook for 10-12 more minutes.
This step is optional- I like a few peanuts in the curry as well, I think it adds a nice texture. Some people don't like them at all though, so if you are cooking for a lot of people maybe just leave them on the side and let everyone add their own if they want.
Anyhow, add in about 1 cup of unsalted peanuts when the peppers are half-cooked. Stir everything and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes.
And that's basically it- feel free to taste-test and add a little salt if you like.
I usually serve my curry over white rice, which I believe is the most traditional version. If you don't like rice, you can serve it over noodles for a more Korean/Vietnamese feel. You should also feel free to experiment with the vegetables and the exact spices involved. For example, one time when I wanted to make a sweeter curry I actually used diced pears alongside the vegetables.
Some curry recipes also include potatoes- I feel these recipes can be eaten on their own, but you can also serve them over rice if you really feel you aren't getting enough carbs in your diet.