Swing by Wecare or Yamazaki on the way home and buy some good crusty bread.
Put on some good blues music.
Chop a couple of small potatoes into lumps and drop them into boiling water. I leave the skins on.
Open a bottle of champage, pour yourself a glass, and put the bottle in a bucket of iced water. Refill glass as necessary. (If drinking cheap bubbly try adding a small dash of cranberry juice to make it more palatable.)
Cut up some peppers (capsicum). I use a combination of red and green, but you can use either or, and the yellow ones are not bad either. One pepper in total is fine, but you can get by with less or add more if you like. Generally I keep the pieces quite large, like 1cm square.
Chop one large onion quite finely.
If you’re feeling spicey also cut up some chilis. They come in a variety of sizes and strengths, and it’s not always easy to guage the effect they’ll have on the end product. An easier way is to use dried chili flakes, or even the little packets you get from Pizza Hut.
Some people also add mushroom. It’s rare for me.
Lately I’ve taken to adding a tomato, so chop that up at this time as well.
This process needs to take about fifteen minutes, ie until the potatoes are cooked thouroughly. Have a drink while you’re waiting, or (if you’re me) stomp back into the lounge demanding loudly to know who the hell put Dionne Warwick into your mp3 collection.
This is also a good moment to throw some poppadoms into the radar range. (I know the daughter of the inventor of the microwave oven, btw.)
Now the fun bit.
Pour away the water and dump the tatties onto a plate. Rinse the pot.
Start by quickly frying the peppers in lots of oil. Cook 'em up, let the juice flow out into the oil, and then put them to one side. Takes a minute or two only.
If you’re going to add meat now might be a good time to fry it. I usually use prawns, and add them later because they cook very quickly.
Either way, the objective is to fry the onion, chili, and meat together in the juice from the peppers, and have everything cooked at the same time.
** important: don’t add all the onion. Keep 10-20% of it back for later. **
Now stir in a big dollop of curry paste. You can get Sharwoods or Pataks at one or two supermarkets, but I use the ‘Meat Masala’ from mad Jobi at Trinity Superstores.
Mix it around, and then pour in some water - just enough to cover everything without turning your dinner into soup. Put the tomato and shrooms in if required.
You should be munching on poppadoms by this time, and you’re probably due another drink. Also, remember to pay attention to your significant other. The timing is quite flexible, so no need to worry about getting everything ‘just so’.
Turn your attention to the potato. You could just drop the pieces straight into the curry, and some people do. I prefer to mash them up using a fork. Turn 'em into sludge, then fork it into the curry and stir.
The potatos sludge makes a nice thick sauce that is a lot more satisfying than cornflour. And, contrary to popular belief, potato does not make you fat - not if mixed with alcohol anyway. Have another drink to be on the safe side.
Now cook this mess for as long as you think is necessary. It’s basically ready to eat, but if you leave it for a while the tomato and potato break down more. It all depends on what you like.
This is also a good time to add some citrus or other fruit flavour. A squirt of lime makes a huge difference. My favourite is a spoonful of orange marmalade. Apple is also feasible. The great thing about curry is experimenting with new stuff to put in.
A few minutes before you eat you should add the remaining onion and the fried pepper. The onion makes it a bit zingier, the peppers have been held back because they lose their colour, flavour, and texture if you cook them for too long.
That’s it. Go sit on the balcony with a cold drink and a bowl of curry, eat it with fresh bread. put the leftovers in the fridge and the flavour gets even better overnight.