Tag Archives: curry

My last meal in my first Flat

I’m about to move house and leave my lovely huge kitchen for the delights of a “do-er upper”. I am not moving far but will have a whole house – i’ll be knocking some walls down and building some new rooms so will have a lovely new kitchen in no time but tonight – as the last time i’ll cook here it was quite emotional.

So my last meal was a vegetable curry and it was delicious. It ticks all the gluten free, dairy free, low fat, no salt, no sugar boxes and was packed with nutritious vegetables.

Serves 4
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
Coconut Oil
1 onion – blitzed to form a paste
1 carrot – diced
1 potato – diced
1 tin plum tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2tsp ground coriander
1tsp turmeric
1/2 cauliflower – chopped to florets
1 red pepper – diced
1 courgette – sliced
1/2 tsp Garam masala

For the Masala – blitz the below:
1 red chilli
2 cloves garlic
4cm Ginger

In a large pan heat some oil, once hot add the cumin seeds until they start to pop. At this point when fragrant, add the onion and gently cook until caramelised and dark. Add the carrot and potato along with the spices, mix in the tinned tomatoes and then half fill the can with water and add this too. Leave on a high heat, covered for 10 minutes.

As the vegetables begin to soften, add the cauliflower, courgette and pepper and a little water if needed. Mix together and add the chilli masala paste. Leave covered on the hob, bubbling away for another 15 minutes. For the final 5 minutes uncover to allow the sauce to thicken a little. The curry will be ready when the veggies are soft and the sauce is thick and punchy!

Serve with cauliflower rice and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.


And with that il say a fond farewell to my lovely flat in Toots and sign off….next time I blog it will be from my new house!

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Top 2016 Recipe – Thai Yellow Curry

My last post of 2016 is going to be a homage to my favourite thing about 2016 which was travelling to, and around Thailand.

Elix and I travelled East in November embarking on a Thai journey taking us up North to Chiang Mai for cooking, culture and trekking. Then South to Railay for Coastal Rock climbing and lots of Seafood. Third stop was Koh Lanta followed by Koh Phi Phi – both beautiful, sunny, waterfall filled Islands and finally the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

We took a fantastic cooking class in Chiang Mai trying out Thai curries, Salads, Stir Frys and a questionable Banana and Coconut dessert. I have barely scratched the surface with Thai recipes that I still want to try and cook but wanted to share my take on the Yellow Chicken curry we learnt in Chiang Mai – despite me only being back 6 weeks i’ve already cooked it three times for family and friends! It seems odd to put the relish with a curry but believe me, it elevates the taste to insane levels – something about the spicy, crunchy and fresh salsa compliments the creamy curry amazingly!

Serves 4
For the Curry Paste
2tbsp Lemongrass
1tsbp Dried Chilli
2tbsp Grated Ginger
2tbsp Grated Garlic
1tsp Shrimp Paste or Fish Sauce
1 Onion
a dash of coconut cream to help puree
Curry
250ml Thick Coconut Cream
250ml Coconut Milk
1tsp Curry Powder (i used my own one which had the best results and is simply even amounts of ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, ground ginger and chilli powder)
6 Chicken Thighs – cut into bitesize pieces
8 Mushrooms – sliced
Handful of Baby Corn – chopped
Handful of Mange Tout – chopped
Half a Courgette – sliced
2tbsp Palm Sugar
3tbsp Soy Sauce
Relish
50ml White Wine Vinegar
50g Caster Sugar
1 Red Chilli – finely diced
1/2 Cucumber – finely diced
Handful of Coriander – leaves chopped
1/2 Onion or 1 Shallot – finely diced
50g Roasted Peanuts – chopped

First thing is first, make your paste by blitzing everything together in a food processor or nutribullet. Leave to one side.
Fry the thick coconut cream in a pan and as the milk starts to seperate from the oil, add in the curry paste and curry powder to fry for a few more minutes until aromatic and sizzling. Now add the chicken, mushrooms, mangetout and baby corn and mix. Pour in the thin coconut milk and bring to a simmer. The chicken should take roughly 10 minutes to cook through, after 5 minutes, add the courgette and spinach, stir and leave to simmer.
To make the relish, bring the vinegar and the sugar to a boil and keep on the heat to allow to reduce by a third. Leave to cool and then mix together with the cucumber, chilli, coriander and onion. Just before serving scatter with the peanuts for a toasty crunch.
When the chicken and vegetables are all cooked through add the palm sugar and soy sauce and mix. At this stage check seasoning and add extra sugar if needed, extra coconut milk if you want to mellow the spice or extra soy or salt.
Serve with brown rice and the relish and some flat bread or naan bread to mop up the gravy -like sauce.

Jungle Curry

I’m getting more and more excited about my November trip to Thailand. David Thompson’s Thai Food Cookery book as helped this along and I spent quite a bit of time this weekend leafing through the beautiful book – so many salads, curries and soups to choose from. The book includes a recipe for Jungle Curry – my recipe below is not David Thompson’s one – I needed something quick and easy after a busy weekend and his will take more patience, effort and specialist ingredients – one for another time!

Jungle Curry originates from North Thailand, it doesnt include coconut milk (apparently there are no coconuts there, I assume because its inland and a mountainous region – I will check in November and confirm!) so is hotter, less creamy and less sweet than the more commonly found green, yellow and red thai curries.

The recipe I designed was also healthy and nutritious.  Chillis in the paste are good to supress appetite, the paste also includes ginger and garlic aswell as a sprinkling of turmeric – all good to aid digestion and promote a strong immune system. Brown rice accompanied the curry – unprocessed whole grains are important sources of fiber and protein. For cooking I used coconut oil instead of vegetable/sunflower oil as this is good for balancing cholesterol and light in flavour. I made the curry with fish (I used hake), mange tout and baby corn – a good balance of protein and vitamins. The paste will work with any protein and vegetable combination  though. Next on the list to try are chicken, mushroom and baby corn aswell as mixed vegetable (aubergine, cauliflower, peas and squash).  

I researched a few recipes for the Jungle paste – and came up with one which isnt too hot but balances the sweet, salt, sour, hot flavours found in Thai food.

Serves 4
500g sustainable fish fillets cut into 1 inch/bitesize pieces – i used hake
1tbsp coconut oil
1 large handful baby corn – halved
1 large handful mange tout – halved
2tbsp fish sauce
2tsp palm sugar
1 tsp lime juice
1tsp tamarind water (mix 1/2 tsp tamarind with 1tbsp water)
For the Paste
1 green chilli
1 red chilli
8 shallots
4 cloves garlic
6cm ginger
1 tbsp lemongrass paste/2 sticks lemongrassed bruised and diced
1tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp shrimp paste

Cook the veggies for a couple of minutes in boiling water and set to one side (this way you can pop them in with the fish at the end and as they are part cooked will be ready when the fish is).
To make the paste simply blitz everything together until a smooth paste forms.
Cook the paste for a few minutes in 1tbsp coconut oil until fragrant and sizzling. Add in the fish sauce, tamarind water, lime juice, palm sugar and check the seasoning. If you feel something isnt balanced (too sweet or sour, then balance by adding extra acidity – lime or extra sugar to balance a sour taste). Stir through. Add the vegetables and fish (if you are using a different protein add this now too) – cook through, fish should take 8 minutes or so, chicken will take 10 minutes.
Dish out with brown rice and sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Burmese Curry

Last year i holidayed in Myanmar and it was the best couple of weeks I could have wished for. The country is beautiful both physically and culturally with so much to see and do. The cities are vibrant, beaches are idyllic and everywhere in the middle is beautiful.

The food in Myanmar is a mixture of the cuisines of all it’s neighbouring countries – thai, indian, chinese flavours and spices and curries, salads, noodle soups and stir fries.

The curry in this blog perfectly showcases the fusion in Myanmar’s cuisine with Indian turmeric and chilli spices mixed with South East Asian fish sauce and lemon juice. The curry was lightly spiced,  sweet, fresh and nutritious. It was also nice and easy to cook!

Serves 3
3 Chicken Thighs – chopped into bitesize pieces
1 Medium Potato – cubed
1 Large tomato – chopped
1 Onion
1/2 Cauliflower – chopped into florets
1tsp Ginger
1tsp Lemongrass Paste
1 Clove Garlic
1tbsp Chilli Powder
1tbsp Turmeric
1tsp Fish Sauce
1tsp Lemon Juice
Vegetable Oil

Start by making a paste of onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass using a little vegetable oil if needed. Slowly fry the paste with some water until rich in colour which should take 10-15minutes. Meanwhile part boil the cauliflower and potato for 8 minutes. Add the chicken and coat in the paste, sprinkle in the chilli powder and turmeric, cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook for another 10 minutes until the chicken is sealed. Add the cauliflower and potato aswell as the tomato and pour in 100ml water and the fish sauce and lemon juice. Stir to combine and simmer until the sauce has reduced to a thick gravy and the vegetables are cooked.
Serve with brown rice and a little naan bread.

Ruby Sunday

It was curry night this eve in my household – after a very busy weekend, lots of food, wine, gym, yoga and fun I wanted a chilled evening of cooking and tv. Rubies it was!

My favourite curries to eat when I go out in Toots are slow cooked lamb curries – cooked so slowly I would never have time to do it myself and achieving such tender lamb and amazing flavours I just can’t resist!

The curry in this post is a Kashmiri recipe called Subz Saag Gosht – Lamb with winter vegetables and Spinach. I adjusted the recipe a little and it ended up being a Slow Cooked Lamb, Carrot and Spinach Curry. It was spicy but ever so flavoursome, the sauce reduced to a thick gravy, sweetened by tomatoes and the lamb was melt-in-the-mouth tender.

Serves 4
3tbsp sunflower oil
2tsp Cumin Seeds
2tsp Cloves
2 Onions – diced
40g Grated Garlic
40g Grated Ginger
2tsp Chilli Powder
1tsp Turmeric
500g Lamb (we used diced shoulder)
2 Green Chillis – sliced lengthways
300ml Lamb/Veg stock
2 Carrots – diced
200g Tomatoes – chopped
200g Spinach leaves
Start by heating the oil and adding the cumin seeds and cloves until they pop. Mix in the onion and saute, after a few minutes add the ginger and garlic until the garlic begins to change colour.
At this point sprinkle in the chilli powder and turmeric ensuring all the spices mix together. Pop the lamb into the pan and stir so everything combines together. Once the lamb is browned add the carrots, chilli and stock. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the sauce will have reduced slightly and be thicker – at this point add the tomatoes and leave to simmer for another 20 minutes.
Finally, stir in the spinach leaves until wilted and mixed in, check seasoning and adjust if necessary and serve with brown rice and a fluffy naan.

  

Thai Yellow Curry

When I planned our meals at the weekend I was in the mood for something South East Asian – it feels like so long since we had anything Thai usually preferring Indian curries and Vietnamese salads. A lack of thai yellow curry paste in any shop in Toots (I was searching for some a few weeks ago when researching satay sauce recipes) made me think that I should learn how to make the paste myself. My first night in Bangkok a couple of years ago was my first taste of Thai Yellow curry and it was beautiful. 

Green Curry is usually made up mainly of green chilli and herbs, Red curry paste is red from chilli and ground cumin and Yellow Curry still has the red chilli but added Turmeric and usually more coconut milk for added richness.

 

Serves 2

Yellow Curry Paste

6 Cloves Garlic

2 Sticks Lemongrass (outer husk removed)

1 Red Chilli

1 Dried Chilli

2 tsp Turmeric Powder

1.5 inches Ginger

3 tbsp Water

2 tsp Shrimp Paste

1 Onion

1 tsp Brown Sugar/Palm Sugar

 

Blitz all of this in a Food Processor until a smooth paste is formed – set aside

 

Curry

2 Chicken Breasts – we butterflied ours and then sliced into strips

Coconut Oil

2 handfuls Spinach – shredded

2 handfuls BabyCorn – halved

200ml Coconut Milk

3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce

1 tbsp Fish Sauce

2 tbsp Lime Juice

 

This is very quick and easy so I recommend you pop your rice on to cook before you start. Any rice will go – we had brown basmati with ours.

 

Fry the curry paste (all of it!) in the coconut oil until sizzling and fragrant and add the chicken. Stir fry this for a few minutes until sealed and cooked through. Add in the babycorn and ensure everything is fully coated in the paste. As the chicken and babycorn cooks through, add in the soy, fish sauce and lime juice. If you like your curry to be spicy you might be keen to eat it as is but we wanted some extra sweetness and creaminess and needed to tone down the kick from the chilli heat (I bought some dried chillies in Mexico and they are super hot!) so we added the coconut milk a bit at a time until it tasted perfected and was heated through. Finally stir the spinach through an once wilted down, the curry is ready to serve with some rice.