Authentic Curry Virgin!

Can you believe I was an authentic curry virgin?

Sizzling Curry
Sizzling Curry

My friends, the curry addicts, could not understand how I’d managed to reach the ripe old age of xx and had never eaten at an authentic Indian restaurant. In fact, they thought I was joking when I informed them the number of curries I’d eaten in my entire life, cooked at home, parties or otherwise, could be counted on one hand!

Anyone else not tried an authentic Indian curry?

To be honest, I’d never understood the almost cult-like fascination attached to curries until I’d eaten a “proper” curry – I’m now well and truly hooked! After years of Portuguese cuisine a curry can only be described as a food orgasm as the spices explode with flavor on your lips and tongue. However, I hasten to add, there is nothing wrong with authentic Portuguese cuisine; it’s just different a bit like comparing apples to pears.

A tray of Indian pickles
A tray of Indian pickles

The starter was amazing – a tray of various Indian pickles and spicy dips accompanied by poppadoms. I’m not sure which curry I ate except it was no. 32, yellowish in colour, included chicken, the sauce was made with coconut milk and tasted amazing. Not very helpful I know when it comes to identification, but I let my friend, the “Curry Queen” order for us. Mr. Piglet’s curry arrived still sizzling in a cast iron dish!

In hindsight, perhaps my aversion to curry stems from the fact that when I left school and worked in an office the windows overlooked the kitchen and yard of an Indian restaurant. The older women in the office were always making jokes that they served up stray cats and dogs in the curry. I was at an impressionable age and I actually took them seriously!

How gullible I was…

I now want to try cooking my own curry using authentic spices instead of curry paste. Do you have an easy recipe to share please?

So a shout out for the
Saffron Indian Restaurant in Praia da Luz
Near the Church
W. Algarve
Tel 282 768 825


40 thoughts on “Authentic Curry Virgin!

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  1. What I liked about this restaurant whaterver you ordered you had the choice of mild, medium or hot. I’ve never been to an Indian restaurant of any kind before. Would give it 4 stars atleast


  2. I can post you some of my curry recepies as I say”portuguese way Goa style”.I have a very old friend of mine that is from GOA(use to a portuguese colony)and is from her that I have my knowlege of indian food.She is a fabulous cook!
    About Lisbon,when ou decide to come I will give you some itineraries,apart from Alfama,as a tram that goes up to the castle SÃO JORGE,Mouraria that is the oldest quater of Lisbon(where the mourish comunity settled in )Graça where you find the most amazing views of the city and a old style live.


  3. Here in Lisbon you have excelent Indian restaurants from different parts of India,since they have a large variety in gastronomy according the region.Also in Lisbon there are food supermarkets with only produts of India,and is were the indian community goes.A I live around Lisbon(Estoril coast)when I go to Lisbon I enquire if they mail you an order.I am mad about curry and I found here in Portugal in some supermarkets curry paste(already made you just add meat,prans,vege)wich is very good.It is a british brand and comes in mild flavour-PATAKIS-can be found in CONTINENTE nearby the maionese,tomato sauce shelves.
    I hope that this will help you


    1. Hi Madalena and welcome!
      I’ve seen curry paste but I was a little dubious if you say it is good I will certainly give it a try! a huge English supermarket called “Iceland” has just opened in Guia in the Algarve. A bit of a trek but we went yesterday and I saw some curry paste there. The good thing being all the instructions are in English!

      I also just discovered a little indian supermarket and had a great time buying a range of spices which I now use to “spice up” veg such as brocolli and cauliflower! The great thing was they were so cheap compared to those sold in the supermarkets. Luckily I’d saved loads of jam jars so as I open the spices they can be stored in airtight containers.

      You are lucky living so close to Lisbon with it’s amazing choice of restaurants. We usually stay in Estoril and catch the coast train to Lisbon.
      I’m not a city girl at heart but Lisbon is so varied but I enjoy wandering around the Afama? district best 🙂


  4. Oh, your curry is magnificent. From a jar last night I made ‘Butter Chicken’ . My son wishes I would try making more different stuff ! 😦 It’s a bit difficult, working full time. But he did like the butter chicken. I THOROUGHLY admire someone who can do a curry from scratch though.


    1. Hi and welcome!
      I never cooked this curry I wish I did! I can appreciate it is difficult working full time and they have not, as yet, invented the 28 hour day for working Mums. Do you have a slow cooker (crockpot)? You can cook a variety of recipes in tese and they cook slowly while you are at work!
      Bon apetite!


    1. Hi Lindsay and welcome! Great to have someone from the Dominican Republic!

      Thanks so much for the Links. I love trying new recipes and thought I would try making “proper” curry rather than from a jar… 🙂


    1. Hi CD,
      just today I went to an Indian supermarket and bought some tumeric and garam masala so I can try making my own curry. I am trying to tighten my belt at the moment by uses spices and herbs to flavour foods and cut out processed and fattening foods. So far so good!


  5. Hi Pip, didn’t even know they had Indian restaurants in Portugal. I love curries although not very hot, mild is good enough for me!
    My favourite would be prawn curry. My mouth waters already….


    1. Hi sami,

      I think it’s because we live in a touristy area there is a wide variety of restaurants. On the down side though the Portuguese restaurants we’ve been to are really poor. I know there are some great Portuguese recipes but they rarely appear on the menu in the places we have tried here in the Algarve.


  6. I’ve never eaten curry. I admire your wide range of tastes for so many different types of foods. Your photo is great, I’d like a tray like that to try the cuisine. It looks like it would be really good. 🙂


  7. Mmmmm the photos made my mouth water! I don’t eat lots of curry so when I do have one it’s a real treat. Can you say virgin and orgasm in the same blog?! Made me smile. Either way, I bet your taste buds are saying ‘Thank God’ for the new experience. Don’t have a vindaloo just yet, break yourself in gently….


  8. Hi Pip, It’s never too late to try something new. It sounds like you had a Korma. I do love curries but as I am not the best cook in the world I usually use the jars of ready made curry sauce. Now I am in Portugal I hope to try making them from scratch. I have seen Jamie Oliver’s curry recipes on the web but not attempted any of them yet. I am still trying to figure out the Portugese names for the spices. I actually bought a tin of Madras Curry powder, Coconut milk and ginger from the supermarket in Lagos today and will be having a go tomorrow. I’ll let you know if it is edible. If it is not I may just have to try the Saffron in Luz.
    Mini C


    1. Hi MC,
      I am also having problems with the Portuguese names for spices I will have to ask sami when she returns from Lisbon. There is a little Indian supermarket in Lagos which sells spices. I bought some mustard seeds there, so had a good look round. There used to be a stall selling spices at either espiche or Sao brao flea market.

      Interesting to know how your curry turns out! 🙂


  9. I love Indian food and have made a few simple curry dishes myself. Honestly, there are a ton of recipes online and it all depends on your taste. The key is to have an excellent curry mix as the quality of the spices make a huge difference. Bon appetito! 🙂


    1. Hi Eliz I think that is the secret with the restaurant we went to. I am going to try some of the recipes from the site anphy shared above.
      do you have a simple chicken or vegetable curry recipe you can share?


  10. I use Madras Curry Powder because I don’t want to have 14-20 different spices to measure. It contains: Coriander seeds, Turmeric, Chillies, Salt, Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds, Black Pepper, Garlic, Ginger, Fenugreek, Cinnamon, Cloves, Anise, and Mustard.

    When I make curry, I saute up onion, celery, carrots, red pepper . . . and add whatever else I want (potatoes, broccoli, green beans, apples, raisins, peanuts, etc.). I stir in a couple tablespoons of curry powder and serve over rice with chutney.


  11. Me too PIP! I have used curry powder in recipes but have never experienced a true authentic curry restaurant, so I have no idea if what I created was anything like it wasn’t to be. Isn’t that funny!


    1. Hi fee,
      What I liked about this restaurant whaterver you ordered you had the choice of mild, medium or hot. I’ve never been to an Indian restaurant of any kind before so this was quite an experience for us.
      I could a Delea recipe once but it did not taste like that!


  12. Dear Piglet, Sounds wonderful. I am a huge curry fan, and love to make my own, as I can’t take the really hot ones. So I use a little less of the hot peppers and lots of the spices. I love mango chicken curry and butter chicken, both mild and flavourful. Madhur Jaffey is the cookbook author you might want to look for. Amazing recipes, easy to understand, easy to cook and highly entertaining. Cheers.


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