Camp Stove Cooking: Curry in a Hurry

4 easy recipes that will warm your whole body.
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4 easy recipes that will warm your whole body.

Fiery curries can add more than exotic tastes to your next meal. That's because turmeric, a common mustardlike spice, reduces inflammation to ease post-hike aches. Eat well and feel better with these simple recipes.

Masman Curry

Lemongrass and peanuts accent this creamy Thai dish.

1 tablespoon Masman curry paste (contains lemongrass, garlic, cumin)

1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots

1/2 medium onion, peeled

1 1.75-oz. pouch powdered coconut cream (or 1 cup canned coconut milk)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/3 cup crushed peanuts

1 7-oz. pouch pre-cooked chicken breast; vegetarian option: 1 14-oz. can chickpeas

1 4-oz. pouch instant mashed potatoes

Note: Find powdered coconut cream at Asian or Indian groceries.

At Home

Combine brown sugar and crushed peanuts in a zip-top bag. Transfer chickpeas in separate zip-top bag.

In Camp

Prepare potatoes according to the package directions; then set aside. Thinly slice onion. In a separate pot, combine curry, coconut powder, and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add carrots and onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add sugar, nuts, and chicken (or chickpeas), and cook until sugar is dissolved and everything is hot. Spread over potatoes. Serves 2.

Indian Red Curry

Chili peppers give this meal a pungent kick.

2 tablespoons tomato paste (from tube)

2 tablespoons mild curry paste (try Patak's)

1 8-oz. container plain yogurt

1 7-oz. pouch pre-cooked chicken breast; vegetarian option: 1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas

1/4 cup slivered almonds or cashews

2 oz. ginger

1 1/2 cups instant rice

In Camp

Boil 1 1/2 cups water, stir in rice, cover, and set aside. Finely grate ginger and set aside. In separate pot, combine tomato paste, curry, and yogurt, and bring to a boil. Add chicken (or chickpeas) and cook, while stirring, till heated through. Serve over instant rice and top with nuts. Serves 2.

Note: An unopened container of yogurt stays fresh for 1 to 2 days on the trail in temps below 70°F.

Caribbean Pineapple Curry

Give your camp dinner a tropical flair

1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup red bell pepper, julienned

1/2 onion, peeled

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon generic curry powder

1 7-oz. pouch pre-cooked chicken breast (optional)

1 mini bottle of rum

1 snack container (4 oz.) pineapple chunks

1 1/2 cups instant rice

At Home

Combine jalapeno and garlic in a zip-top bag.

In Camp

Add rum to chicken pouch and set aside to marinate. Slice garlic and onion. Boil 1 1/2 cups water, stir in rice, then cover. In a pot, heat oil and fry jalapeno and garlic for 30 seconds. Add onion, pepper, and curry. Stir for 3 minutes or until veggies soften. Add pineapple, rum, and chicken (if using) and cook till heated through. Pour over rice. Serves 2.

Thai Green Curry

This sweet-tasting dish is more fragrant than hot.

2 teaspoons green curry paste

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots

1/2 small onion, peeled

1 1.75-oz. pouch powdered coconut cream (or 1 cup canned coconut milk)

2 3.5-oz. pouches pre-cooked shrimp; vegetarian option: 1 12-oz. package firm tofu

1/2 lime (optional)

1/4 cup cilantro (optional)

6 oz. rice noodles or linguine

In Camp

Cook noodles according to directions, drain, and set aside. Thinly slice onion, and chop tofu (if using) into 1-inch cubes. In a separate pot, combine curry, sugar, coconut powder, and 1 cup water (or canned milk) and bring to boil. Add carrots and onion, and cook (while stirring) for 3 minutes. Stir in shrimp (or tofu) and cook till heated through; serve over noodles and add lime or cilantro if desired. Serves 2.