Recently my curry-mayo sauce has become a favourite at BBQs. I love making my own mayonnaise, and I love using it as base for other sauces. This is how I started making my curry-mayo sauce. I wanted something mayo-based, but lighter (less fat) and with a kick. So I thought about combining Greek yoghurt to my mayo (low fat Greek yoghurt will also do, and will be even less fat) and adding some spices. The thing about powdered spices, including curry, in sauces is that they taste better the following day. What I mean is: you either cook the spices with your food, so that the moisture from it will hydrate them and release their full flavour, or if you use them in a cold sauce you have to leave them for a while in order to really get their true taste. Don’t get me wrong: you can add curry to your mayo, stir it in and serve and it will taste like curry mayo and it will be fine. But if you add the spice, stir it in and let sit overnight, the next day it will taste better.
In order to achieve this better taste, I usually add the curry powder and a pinch of salt to Greek yoghurt, stir it all well, and leave in the fridge overnight. Sometimes I also add some extra turmeric, just to make it look even more yellow. On the following day, I combine the curry yoghurt with the mayo, gently folding it preferably with a rubber spatula – and the sauce is ready. The amount of spices and salt really only depends on taste, and that goes also for the mayonnaise: some like it with more or less salt, others like to taste more lemon in it. Personally, I like to spice up my mayo with half a teaspoon of mustard, but when I make curry mayo I don’t usually add it. But it all depends on how inspired I am feeling. Anyway, I usually do half curry yoghurt and half mayo. Adding too much yoghurt will make it thinner, and I don’t like sauces that are too runny. Used on grilled meat, or spread on the bun of your hamburgher it will taste delicious.
It’s summer, so it’s BBQ season, and I’ve recently had more than one occasion to make my curry-mayo sauce. Left with some of it in my fridge, I had to eat it on the day after my latest grill party because mayo is made with fresh eggs, and that thing doesn’t have a really long shelf life. So I decided to turn it into a salad dressing and – surprise surprise – as salad dressing it’s even more amazing! What pairs very well with this curry sauce is chicken and rocket salad. The former, because it’s tender and neutral and overall goes just perfectly with curry, the latter because it’s a leaf salad with personality – it has a nice strong flavour that will not be overtaken by the curry – and a solid texture – heavy dressings require firm leaf salads that can still keep their shape and look yummy even if drowned in sauce, and rocket for this is just perfect.
One thing I love about rocket is that I often find it produced in Italy, and I am happy when I get to buy fruits and vegetables abroad that were grown in my home country. As for chicken, I usually marinate it in soy sauce, then just pan sear it with a drop of olive oil. Optionally, I add a pinch of extra curry powder to it, just so that even the chicken itself takes up that flavour.
Then it’s just a matter of combining all the ingredients. I usually add the chicken to the salad straight from the pan, when it’s still hot, then pour over the dressing and mix it all together.
Voilà. Little effort, little time, this is how to get rid of sauce leftovers in a smart way. It’s best when served immediately, so that the chicken still retains a little bit of a warmer temperature than the other ingredients.