Butternut Coconut Curry

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butter 20/11/2018

I made this curry when my brother, who is vegan, cycled 200 miles to visit me. It can be easily made from store-cupboard ingredients and you can add whatever vegetables and spices you prefer (broccoli works well). The creamy coconut milk is soothing against the spices and the passata makes the sauce velvety and rich. I recommend roasting and grinding whole spices if you have time but for convenience sake, ground spice is lovely too.

Serves 4 (or 1 hungry cyclist)

Ingredients:

  • 600g-1KG butternut squash, peeled and cut into equal size cubes
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1½ tsp each garam masala, ground coriander, ground cumin
  • 1 tsp each turmeric, cinnamon
  • 1 tin full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 carton passata
  • about 1¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • lime wedges, to serve
  • handful of cashews, lightly toasted (to serve)
  • a handful of coriander leaves for serving

buttern

Method:

  1. I prefer my pumpkin caramelised so instead of cooking it in the curry sauce, I roasted it in the oven. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkled with some salt and bake on a baking tray in a 200° C oven for about 30 mins.
  2. Heat up oil on a medium heat, in a heavy bottom pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and wait until they start popping, stirring from time to time. Wait another minute before adding onion.
  3. Add chopped onion, sweat it gently, stirring from time to time until it gets almost soft.
  4. Add garlic, ginger and fresh chilli. Cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently so that ginger does not stick to the pan.
  5. Now add all the ground spices and 1 tsp of salt. Reduce the heat to low and coat everything in the pot in spices. Stir frequently, cook for 1-2 minutes until all spices are fragrant.
  6. Add passata and 60 ml of water. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add coconut milk and the roasted butternut squash. Let everything come to a gentle boil and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and chopped cashews. Serve with basmati rice or a roti.
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Thai Style Peanut Pork & Broccoli

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Capture 17/02/2018

This simple Thai-inspired peanut pork melts in the mouth! Made with peanut butter, spices and coconut milk, it’s easy and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 kg diced pork shoulder
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 300 ml chicken/veg stock
  • 400 ml can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 200 g tenderstem broccoli chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 100 g beansprouts

To Serve:

  • Thai jasmine rice
  • Fresh coriander
  • Chilli flakes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  2. Heat the oil in a large casserole pan on a high heat until hot. Add the pork, and brown on all sides – takes about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Turn down to a medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, moving around the pan regularly, until the onions soften.
  4. Add the coriander, cumin, ginger and garlic and stir.
  5. Add the stock, coconut milk and peanut butter. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer then place a lid on the pan and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours.
  6. Stir in the lime juice then add the broccoli and beansprouts. Stir and place back in the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and stir. Serve over rice, garnished with fresh coriander. Add some chopped fresh chillies and/or dried chilli flakes if you like a bit of heat.

Gujarati Stuffed Aubergines (Bharela Ringan)

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aubs 21/09/2017

I made this as part of a vegan Indian feast for my brother who has an insatiable appetite and a shit recipe repertoire. This results in some gigantic mounds of instant mash  flavoured with various dehydrated soup sachets or if you’re lucky, gravy granules. The fact that he was sat tucking into something I’d rather grout tiles with didn’t sit right with me so I took over his kitchen one day to show him how easy and delicious actual cooking can be. This recipe was by far both of our favourites and if you try it, I’m sure it will be yours too.

Baby aubergines are stuffed with a coconut and peanut spice mix and simmered slowly in a velvety sauce in a pan until meltingly soft. It is worth making the effort to seek out baby aubergines from an Indian grocers as they take less time to cook and you get a good ratio of filling to aubergine.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 baby aubergines
  • 60g desiccated or freshly grated coconut
  • 120g roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 40g fresh coriander
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and ground
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ – 1 carton passata

aub

Instructions:

  1. Cut each aubergine in half lengthways, but don’t cut through the stem. Roll each one over and cut lengthways again, still keeping the stem intact.
  2. Put a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, toast the coconut and peanuts for 2-3 minutes, until the coconut is starting to brown. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool. Put the coriander, garlic, green chilli, tomato puree, coriander, turmeric and salt into a food processor, along with the cooled peanuts and coconut. Pulse until coarsely ground to a grainy paste. Add a little peanut butter to help it bind if you need but not too much.
  3. Open each aubergine out like a flower and fill with the coconut mixture, using your hands. Roll the aubergine over, open and stuff again then press closed. Save any leftover stuffing to add it to the pan later when you cook the aubergines.
  4. Next, put the oil into the frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion and fry until golden and soft. Add the remaining filling and ½ a carton of passata. Stir to combine and allow the sauce to bubble for a few minutes. Add the aubergines and a splash of water, turn the heat up high and cook for a couple of minutes, then put the lid on and turn the heat down. Cook for 10 minutes, then gently turn the aubergines and add a splash of water if they’re looking dry. Cook for a further 20 minutes, or until nice and tender. Serve with cucumber and mint raita, or with a salad, some yogurt and chapattis.

Balinese Fish & Potato Curry (Kari Ikan)

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Capture 04/09/2017

Vibrant and flavourful and full of healthy ingredients, this dish will take you to a warm and sunny place. Once you have the ingredients in order, it’s surprisingly quick. The flavours that set this dish apart are kefir lime leaves and fresh turmeric root, blended right into the curry paste. I really recommend tracking down these ingredients from an Asian supermarket as the flavours are so fresh and full. Once you have the flavourful base made, you can use whatever fish you like. The Balinese commonly use swordfish but I used cod loin with fantastic results.

Ingredients:

For the paste:

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced ginger (skin on)
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric – thinly sliced – skin on ( or sub 2 teaspoons ground)
  • 2 x 5 inch sticks lemongrass, thinly sliced into disks
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 green chilli (this will be mild)
  • 5 kefir lime leaves

For the curry:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 8-10 ounces baby potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 lime- juice
  • sambal oelek, or chili paste or chili flakes for additional heat
  • 10 -12 ounces white fish – (I used cod loin. You could use tilapia, halibut, sword fish)
  • 1 cup peas, sugarsnap peas, green beans, pak choy ( veggies that can cook in 1-2 minutes)
  • Garnish with lime wedge,  crispy shallots, fresh mint, basil, spring onions and/or fresh coriander
  • Serve over Thai jasmine rice (it’s nice to toss a couple of kefir lime leaves in with the cooking rice for a beautiful aroma)

Method:

  1. Set the rice to cook.
  2. Place the thinly sliced ginger, lemongrass, shallot and turmeric in the food processor. Add the jalapeño, garlic, and lime leaves. Pulse until it becomes a paste, scraping down sides if necessary.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat. When hot, add fragrant paste and stir constantly until it browns lightly, about 3-4 minutes. Add 2 cups water, give a stir, bring to a boil. Add potatoes, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Remove the lid, and reduce the liquid just a little, letting it simmer uncovered for a few minutes. Add coconut milk, salt, fish sauce and the juice from one small lime. Taste. Remember this will go over the rice, so the flavours will mellow. Add chili paste or flakes for more heat.
  5. Place the fish into the coconut sauce and simmer gently for 5 more minutes. Toss in the spring peas, snap peas or green beans and cook for just a minute or two, keeping them vibrant and snappy.
    Serve over rice with a lime wedge, crispy shallots, fresh mint, basil, coriander and/or spring onions.

Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca

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Brazilian-Fish-Stew_680px_4 (2) 23/04/2017

A traditional Brazilian dish of fish and bell peppers (capsicum) in a delicately flavoured coconut base broth, this stew really is quite unique.

I made this after being inspired by a visit to a Brazilian restaurant where they carved copious amounts of tender meat onto your plate quicker than you could eat it. I was in heaven. While the selection of meat was absolutely beautiful, what stood out for me most was the ‘salad bar’ that was on offer. There was a variety of Brazilian delicacies ranging from lentil salads, herb and garlic roast potatoes, black bean stew, rices, pastas, salsas, olives, garlic mushrooms, fresh fruits and vegetables, and many other things including moqueca. The spices were subtle but flavourful and the fish was welcome change from the heavy going grilled meats. I cooked up a batch for the family the day after and it was a total success.

This is actually quite refreshing rather than rich and heavy. In addition to coconut milk, the broth has in it canned tomatoes, lime juice, paprika and cumin powder. The paprika and cumin flavour is subtle, and to me, the standout is the lime flavour which cuts through the richness of the coconut milk.

The broth is quite refreshing and not too rich, unlike many strong flavoured, rich coconut based curries. I made this just using fish but it is also made as a seafood stew with prawns and calamari.

Ingredients:

Fish:

  • 3-4 salmon fillets, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Broth:

  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, halved and sliced
  • 1 tsp each of cumin and coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml fish or chicken broth

Finishes:

  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander

Method:

  1. For the fish: Combine the fish, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. For the broth: Heat a large pan over a medium high and add 1½ tbsp olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 1½ minutes or until the onion is starting to become translucent.
  3. Add the bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining broth ingredients. Bring to simmer then turn down to medium.
  5. Add the salmon chunks, stir to coat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the salmon is tender. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir through lime juice.
  7. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

Raspberry & Coconut Loaf Cake

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Screenshot_2017-04-15-22-50-27-1 15/04/2017

An absolutely delicious bake with a hidden layer of jam and a beautiful coconut flavour throughout, what’s not to like?

Ingredients:

  • 150g Butter
  • 150g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs
  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 100g Desiccated Coconut
  • 4 tbsp. Milk
  • 6 tbsp. Raspberry Jam

For the icing:

  • 80g Icing Sugar
  • 2 tsp Raspberry Jam
  • 2 tsp Water
  • 2 tbsp. Desiccated Coconut

Screenshot_2017-04-15-22-51-37-1

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a 1kg loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract, before adding in the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.
  3. Fold in the desiccated coconut, and then add the flour and milk a bit at a time.
  4. Spoon a third of the batter into the loaf tin, before spreading the raspberry jam in a layer on top of the batter. Cover the jam with the remaining cake batter.
  5. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, then cover with tin foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes until cooked.
  6. Leave the cake to cook on a wire rack, and meanwhile you can prepare the icing.
  7. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add water until it reaches the right consistency. Then add the raspberry jam until you get the desired shade of pink.
  8. Once the cake is cool, spread the icing over the top, and then cover with some more coconut.

Leftover Turkey Curry

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turkey2 27/12/2016

Yes, it’s that time of year again! Everyone has eaten way too much and there is still more turkey than you know what to do with but have no fear. If in doubt, chuck it in a curry! Not just any old boring curry though, a vibrant Sri Lankan curry with creamy coconut, tangy lime and tomato and freshly ground spices for a flavour punch.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps groundnut oil
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 10 green cardamom pods, cracked open
  • 10 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g peeled root ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp medium Sri Lankan curry powder (see recipe below)
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 x 230g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 3 green chillies, seeds removed, sliced
  • 2-3 Tbsps coconut yoghurt
  • 500g cooked turkey or chicken, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • fresh coriander, to finish

 

Sri Lankan Curry Powder

One of the characteristics of Sri Lankan cuisine is their preference for freshly prepared curry powders rather than pastes. The roasted curry powder is predominantly used in meat and fish dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp uncooked white rice
  • 50g coriander seeds
  • 25g cumin seeds
  • 25g fennel seeds
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds (from about 10 green pods)
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 dried red Kashmiri chillies

Method:

Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the rice ad shake the grains around for about 3 minutes until medium brown in colour. Tip the rice into a bowl and leave to cool while you do the same to the spices and then to the dried chillies. Mix the rice, spice and chillies together and grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Store in a screw top jar and use within 3 months.

turkey

For the Curry:

Method:

  1. Heat a large, deep heavy-based frying pan. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves and leave them to become fragrant for a few seconds. Remove them and grind in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
  2. Add the oil then the onions and bay leaves to the pan and fry them gently for 5 minutes until soft and golden. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute, then add the curry powder, chilli powder and turmeric and fry gently for another minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes (crushing the plum tomatoes with your hand as you add them), coconut milk, green chillies and a little salt. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Uncover, add the coconut yoghurt and the cooked turkey, recover and simmer for 5 minutes until piping hot. Stir in the lime juice and serve sprinkled with coriander.