What is a coulis?
A coulis is simply a vegetable (or fruit) purée. It can be used as a condiment, as a base for a soup, or as a dip (as with these delicious ricotta-stuffed fried zucchini flowers).
Curried coulis: not your boring old marinara sauce!
Today, we’re going to do something special and make a curried coulis, with a whole mélange of exotic spices and flavorings. This is not your boring old marinara! But have no fear – even though the sauce tastes exotic, the ingredients are commonly found at your neighborhood grocery store. In fact, you probably already have most of them on hand.
So enjoy this marvelous variant of my classic tomato coulis (or make that one, if you’d like to try the basic recipe). Serve it any way you like: as a condiment for grilled vegetables, fish or meats; or as a dipping sauce for grilled cheese sandwiches and fritters.
Curried tomato coulis
makes 1 1/2 cups
active time: 30 min (20 min if using canned tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large shallots – skinned, quartered and thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
- 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (use a microplane grater)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) very ripe plum or beefsteak tomatoes – peeled, seeded (seeds strained and juices reserved) and puréed with the reserved juices in a food processor or 1 – 15 oz (425 g) can whole, peeled plum tomatoes plus 2 tablespoons spring water – puréed in a food processor
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Heat a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and shallots and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, turmeric, coriander, cumin and cayenne. Stir well and continue to sauté for 1 minute until the spices are fragrant. Add the tomatoes (or the puréed canned tomatoes) and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium/medium-low and slow-simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the sauce has thickened, but is not dry. Add the salt, stir well and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly. Once cooled, remove the bay leaf and place the sauce in the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth. Transfer to a container. Use the sauce right away, refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
- Cook’s note: If making a double batch of the recipe, use only 3 tablespoons of olive oil. All other ingredients can be exactly doubled. Your cooking time might double too, but this will depend on how fast you’re simmering the sauce.