Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Curry

 

As a devoted carnivore I was a little skeptical when first asked to cook a vegetable curry. I had to resist my innate response to hurl a cookbook across the room! It is not that I don’t appreciate and enjoy vegetarian food when it is thrust in front of me, rather I do not enjoy cooking it (this dish being the exception to the rule)!

For those that like their curries mild and aromatic – this is the one. Beautifully subtle with a noticeable kick of chilli. It is light yet rich and incredibly versatile – you are free to go wild on the choice of vegetables. Despite the terrifying number of ingredients it is surprisingly simple.

(It would work wonderfully with seafood and chicken too!)

Vegetable Curry

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the spice blend: 10 Cardamom Pods, 4 tsp Ground Coriander, 2 tsp Cumin Seeds, 1 inch Cinnamon Stick, 20 Black Peppercorns, 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds, 5 Cloves

For the curry base: 2 tbsp Veg Oil, Large Piece Ginger (Finely Chopped), 2 Garlic Cloves (Finely Chopped), 2 Medium Red Chillies (Seeds Removed and Chopped), 2 Medium Onions (Chopped), 2 Bay Leaves, Sea Salt

To Finish: 2 Courgettes (Diced), 2 Medium Aubergines (Diced), 1/2 Large Cauliflower (Cut into Florets), 100g Button Mushrooms (Halved), 150g Cherry Tomatoes (Halved), 2 Tins Coconut Milk, 1 Cup Hot Water, Juice 1 Lime, Handful Coriander Leaves (Chopped), Sea Salt

Method:

1) Make the spice blend by toasting all of the spices in a dry pan on low for 5 minutes. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder.

2) Begin the curry by sweating the spice mix with the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in the veg oil for 5 minutes.

3) Add the coconut milk and hot water and allow to come to a simmer. Add all of the prepared vegetables except the tomatoes and cover. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Remember to stir occasionally.

4) Stir through the tomatoes, lime juice and coriander and season to taste before serving.

Best served with basmati rice and chapatis. Enjoy!

Butter Chicken Curry

 

Like leftover turkey at Christmas, my favorite way to use up leftover chicken is to make a punchy and comforting curry.

Although I am a great fan of hot and fiery curries, It was about time I cooked something milder. Cold weather calls for creamy, hearty food. Butter chicken fits the bill perfectly. Beautifully rich (laden with butter and double cream) with sufficient heat to entice. Perhaps my version is a little creamier than traditional butter chicken, but you can play around with the balance of butter and cream to tomato.

Butter Chicken Curry
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Marinade: Approx 500g Leftover Chicken, 1 Garlic Clove Grated, 2cm Ginger Grated, 1/2tsp Hot Chilli Powder, 1tsp Garam Masala, 1/2tsp Turmeric, 1tsp Cumin, Juice of 1/2 Lemon, 4 tbsp Natural Yogurt

To Finish: 50g Unsalted Butter, 2cm Ginger Grated, 2 Cloves Crushed, 1 tsp Hot Chilli Powder, 1 Cardamom Pod Seeds Crushed, 1 tsp Ground Coriander, 1 tsp Turmeric, 1 tsp Garam Masala, Juice of 1/2 Lemon, 200ml Passata, 125ml Double Cream, Handful Chopped Coriander

Method:
1) Combine the chicken with all the marinade ingredients and store in the fridge, covered for at least 2 hours.
2) Once marinated, remove the chicken from the fridge. In a large saucepan or wok: fry the ginger, cloves, chilli powder, cardamom, coriander, turmeric and garam masala in the butter for 2 minutes over a medium heat.
3) Add the chicken and marinade and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4) Add the passata and lemon juice and cook for a further 5 minutes.
5) To finish, stir in the double cream and chopped coriander.

Serve with poppadoms, mango chutney and basmati rice!