Create a rich stew with a blend of familiar flavors

Like many people, I grew up believing that aromatic, amber-ocher-colored curry powder was a single spice. And the curry dish I first knew contained meat (usually leftovers) swimming in a white sauce (translation: butter, flour, milk) made exotically golden by a shot of the powder. Rice was the support vehicle. Onto this curry-blanketed rice, my brother, sister, and I daringly scattered toasted coconut, raisins, chopped peanuts, and Major Grey chutney. This simple combination still works lightning-quick wonders on yesterday’s cooked chicken or roast.

The fact is, though, curry powder isn’t a single spice, but a blend ― and there are many. My vision of curry expanded immensely when I visited Thailand. There, coconut isn’t the topping; it’s usually the milk of the sauce. Potatoes often cook in the sauce, supplanting the rice. And curry comes in many colors, depending on the seasoning blend used.

More Videos From Sunset

Another revelation: You can easily make your own blend, as in this one-bowl main-dish stew. Begin the meal with a salad, feast on the stew, then finish with simple mango sorbet or lime sherbet.

Keep Reading: