This simple Coconut Curry Sauce recipe is the beginning of so many delicious Indian dishes. You can dress it up or down, add meat and veggies, or keep it simple and just spoon it over rice for a quick meal. This sauce is so flavorful, you might even be tempted to sneak a few spoonfuls of it all by itself!
There was a time in my life, those seemingly long ago days before I had kids, that a carton of Indian takeout would have been a weeknight standby. These days, I am more inclined to head into the kitchen than out to eat. Back then, I thought picking up dinner on the way home was the easiest, if not best, option.
What my younger self didn’t realize is that making a delicious curry sauce, one that can hold its own even shoulder to shoulder with my favorite Indian food joint, is fulfilling in its own right. And most nights, when leaving the house to pick up food would mean packing four hungry kids in and out of the car multiple times, takeout is far from the easiest or best option.
These days, when the urge for Indian food and its telltale spices hits, I happily head straight for the kitchen. While my eight year old tends to a pot of rice and my six year old takes on the job of chopping fresh cilantro and cashews, I pull together my own Coconut Curry Sauce for dinner.
The beauty of a sauce like this is that it can be the end product or just the beginning. Pour it over some rice and you have a meal. Done. Then again, if you feel so inclined, add some chicken and dinner just got a bit heartier. Stir in some sauteed veggies, maybe broccoli, maybe spinach, and you’ve got something with a bit more flair. Throw in some warm whole grain flat bread and a scoop of fresh, plain yogurt and you’ve got a meal that will keep people talking about it for a few days at least.
Coconut Curry Sauce Recipe
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (14 oz) can unsweetened full fat coconut milk
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, juices reserved
- 1/2 tablespoon corn starch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- Salt and Pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and saute for an additional minute.
While continuously stirring, add the curry paste and tomato paste. Cook, while stirring to break it up a bit, for about 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, tomatoes, and tomato juices.
Bring to a boil, then add the sugar, dissolved corn starch, and mustard seeds. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly. Serve with fresh cilantro over rice, meat, or vegetables.