Garlic Curry

I love growing garlic! It’s a crop that doesn’t need lots of attention and effort, stores well, and tastes WOW! I’m talking big fat juicy bulbs of garlic that have real flavour. And as a bonus it’s great if you pick it young and use it when it’s “green” much more subtle in flavour.

This year’s crop has been mixed, what with an exceptionally dry spring and discovering part of my plot has White Rot on it. So I lost the equivalent of a row of garlic. I could have openly wept! But I’ve put my head down, tried to do some research on this disease, manage the crop that I have by checking it regularly. And things seem ok now. In fact I’m planning on ordering in my garlic for next years crop. I like to plant it in winter.

Back to the food!

Part of managing the stored crop means that I check the bulbs regularly to see if they need using up. So every now and then I’ll pull a couple of bulbs out that look like they need using up – they don’t have any signs of the disease and are perfectly ok to use.

Our friend M came for dinner the other night, we were planning Indian food and I was in a dither about what exactly to cook, when BINGO! there was the garlic crop winking at me.

I’ve eaten this dish many times in restaurants, but until this week had never made it myself. You’d think garlic curry would be completely overpowering, the opposite is true. The tamarind gives it a gentle sourness and the garlic sweetens and softens up.

It went beautifully with some greens of chard and spinach quickly fried up and a simple pilau rice (plain basmati rice with some bay leaves, cloves, cardamom pods and black peppercorns).

Garlic Curry over powering? Not as much as you’d think! The cooking process softens and tenderises the garlic. Go on be BRAVE, give it a try!

Garlic Curry

Ingredients ~

  • 200g peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tbls vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli – chopped
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 green chillies – chopped (deseeded if you prefer)
  • 10-12 Curry leaves
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Tamarind paste
  • 2 – 4 tbls water

Method ~

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok.
  • Add the fenugreek seeds and dried red chilli and fry for a minute.
  • Add the sliced onions, green chillies and curry leaves and fry gently until the onions are cooked.
  • Add the tomatoes and turmeric and continue to cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add the garlic cloves, tamarind paste and the water. Stir well.
  • Put a lid on the pan and gently cook for at least 20 minutes, the garlic needs to be soft and tender and the sauce should be nice and thick.

What to do with a garlic crop that doesn’t look like it will store well for the winter, make Garlic Curry and invite your friends!

Gardening Notes ~ I grew Early Purple, Provence, Iberian, Picardy and Albignesian and I bought the bulbs from these guys,


  • I have not heard of garlic curry before but it sounds delicious. The Spanish make a garlic soup that I love…it’s like you said the garlic is not overpowering. I look forward to trying the curry.

  • Garlic curry sounds amazing! I am loathe to admit I often purchase garlic, with cloves already peeled at the grocery store; with the full understanding that it is not as fresh as it could be. You have humbled me with your bountiful harvest and lovely recipe. I suspect I will mend my ways and buy fresh garlic locally.

    • Thanks, you know I sometimes think food in jars etc can be better than fresh. I only used to be able to buy really dry old garlic, which is what prompted me into growing my own. Besides it’s a sticky stinky job peeling that much garlic!

    • Thanks, I think it’s a curry to be shared with your loved ones, and only your loved ones … well at least the 1st time !
      Drool away in private by all means 🙂

    • Hi and thanks. You are definitely in the right place for great garlic. I’m just about to plant out the garlic for next seasons crop – boy does time fly!
      Let me know if you tweek the recipe and how it turns out

  • that sounds awesome, I love garlic and can’t wait to try it. I grew garlic for the first time, but it didn’t go very well. Although I have one plant left that I grew from a bulb that came from the shop and it is looking very healthy. I have a burmese pork curry recipe on my blog that uses 20 cloves of garlic and 1 cup of ginger, its the same as this recipe it’s not strong at all just a brilliantly delicious taste. I think it’s when you don’t fry the garlic you get a much softer richer sweeter taste.

  • Thanks! Shame about your home grown garlic, I had a dissapointment with mine too. I’m hoping next year will be better. Homegrown garlic tastes so amazing – juicy, fresh and zingy. Simply delicious
    The Burmese pork curry sounds amazing, and the ginger will no doubt give it some heat! I like the idea of slow cooking garlic it release the flavours in a different way

  • Checking through your site for something for dinner I found this.What I find interesting about it is that it doesn’t have anything bulky in it, in contrast to what I realise I expect from a curry. I’ll try it when I get back to my own pantry which has all these ingredients. Yum!

    • Thank you, it’s a beautiful curry, but then I know I’m biaised as I love garlic. And it goes perfectly with some lemon rice too!

  • I must have missed this one first time round but my mum sent me an e-mail (yes, she’s finally learning, am so proud of her!) and she said she was lookign for your garlic curry recipe. Have sent it to her and think I may have to make this too 🙂 Hope all is well…

  • Hello! I’d like to try and plant garlic this year. Where do you get the bulbs for planting? I’ve heard it is not wise to use bulbs you buy in the regular grocery store. Thanks! P.S. This recipe sounds fantastic!

    • Hi there, I know lots of people who do plant the shop bought ones and say they work, I’ve never done so as the majority of garlic on sale is generally poor quality and or from china and wouldn’t be great.
      I’m not sure where you are from, but here in the UK I order online and buy the garlic from a few different places, like the Garlic Farm on the Isle of Whight, Unwins, Marshalls etc – basically any online gardening supplier (seeds and plants) usually sticks garlic for planting in the garden. and when you’ve grown some, you will find out how fantastic home grown garlic really is!

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