Green Apple Curry

Years ago I visited the Caribbean island of Trinidad and was struck not only by the music of steel drums filling the air everywhere, but also by a street food called “roti”, which is sort of like an east Indian version of a burrito. A curry pocket of sorts.

I recently reconnected with a Trini friend, Asher, who with her husband Keith, brought me some wonderful homemade curries and roti for dinner. One of Keith’s favorites is curry apple, or a simple curry made with tart green Granny Smith apples, taking the place of tart green mangos, which is one of the most common and well loved curries for roti in Trinidad.

What I love about this simple curry is just that, it is so simple, nothing fancy. Granny Smiths tend to mush up as they cook, which actually creates the thickness of this curry. I followed a fairly bare bones approach here. You could easily dress this up with chopped cilantro, chile flakes or habanero, mustard seed, or other spices.

Traditionally this curry is served with Indian roti bread for which I do not yet have a recipe. If there are any Trinis out there reading this who have a favorite recipe for either the roti “skin” (the thin, tortilla-like bread) or other roti-friendly curries to share, please let us know about them in the comments.

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Green Apple Curry Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

Just a standard yellow curry powder mix will do here. Use your favorite.

Yum

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 4 tart green Granny Smith apples, cored and roughly chopped (peel ON)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp, packed, brown sugar

Method

1 Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and let cook until the garlic starts to get browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic from the oil. Discard (or eat as a snack) the garlic.

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2 Add the chopped onions to the pan and let cook until translucent (about 4 minutes).

3 While the onions are cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the curry powder and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir with a spoon until you have a smooth, thin paste. Once the onions are translucent, stir in the curry paste. Let bubble and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the butter.

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4 Add the chopped apples and salt to the pan. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, or enough water to just almost cover the apples. Stir in the brown sugar.

5 Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook, uncovered, on a low simmer for 30 minutes, until thickened and cooked through. Add more water if needed if the mixture starts to stick to the pan.

Traditionally served with soft roti bread. In place of roti you can serve it with a warmed flour tortilla, pita bread, or over rice.

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Showing 4 of 34 Comments

  • Becki's Whole Life

    My grandmother made a curried fruit dish at Christmas last year and it was so delicious. I loved the warm spices in the dish paired with the sweet fruit flavors – oh yes and some butter too. This sounds like a great way to shake things up with apples.

  • rohini

    I grew up eating roti everyday as a part of our Gujarati dinner. It consists of wheat flour, a pinch of salt and enough water to make it a slightly-sticky dough. You then add a bit of oil to make it nice and smooth (and shiny). Break off a bit, roll it into a ball between your hands, roll it in white flour (to get rid of some of the stickyness). Using a rolling pin of sorts, flatten the ball and enlarge it into a thin round roti. You may have to dust it with more flour to prevent it from sticking to your rolling pin. The trick to cooking it properly is having the right thin-ness (and not too thick) because it has to “poof” ontop of your gas stove. First cook both sides of the roti on a pan on the stove and then put the roti over an open flame and watch it “poof.” Don’t leave it on for too much longer because then it will pop and start burning.

    Thats about as good of an explanation as I can give in words.

    I found a decent youtube video showing the whole process (though she doesn’t do the open flame step, but poofing is still involved): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD4o_Lmy6bU

  • Ingrid

    I’m Trini and it’s actully called roti skin NOT roti bread. have a recipe in a Trini cook book, but not at home to post right now.

    Okay, thanks Ingrid! I’ll make the adjustment. ~Elise

  • The Starving Student

    Wow, I would describe it as a warm, curried applesauce…very interesting! It would definitely be great with any cut of pork to spice up the pork/apple combination we all know and love.

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