Posts Tagged “curry”

Runner Bean Vindaloo Last month I made the annual end-of-summer visit to my parents' farm. This is a particularly opportune time of year to visit as there is a huge _glut_ of produce coming from the garden (and mushrooms from the woods, but that is a story for another time). I left with an overflowing box full of tomatoes, sweetcorn, apples, peas, broad beans, a _massive_ quantity of courgettes, cucumbers, runner beans and fresh herbs. I took as much as I could carry. In previous years I would hesitate before taking the runner beans. I have to admit, until recently I was always a bit unenthusiastic when it came to runner beans. I think it was their slightly furry texture that put me off. However, my mum used to make this unusual but very delicious green bean chutney which I loved; rich with mustard seeds and onions and turmeric, it had a curry-like aspect to it which, as a long-time curry lover, obviously appealed to me. Last year I had about half a kilo of runner beans and, wondering what to do with them, I remembered this chutney, and so got mum to send me the recipe. It is, as you'd expect of any good chutney, quite vinegary, which is another thing that particularly gets my taste-buds going! The chutney was great, and just as tasty as in my memories. This recipe is not for a chutney, but it was the seed of an idea. I had a moment of inspiration and realised that I could make a hot version of the runner bean chutney which, with generous quantities of vinegar and garlic, would be kinda like a _vindaloo_. It turned out to be really good, I'll definitely be making it again and I'll be pre-ordering the runner beans from the garden next year! --- * 500g runner beans * 3 tbsps of high quality rapeseed oil * 50ml white wine vinegar * ½ tsp ground turmeric * 1 tbsp ground cumin * 1 tbsp paprika * 1 tbsp ground coriander * 1 tsp cayenne pepper * 1 ½ tsp garam masala * ½ tsp brown mustard seeds * ¼ tsp whole fenugreek seeds * 15 fresh curry leaves * 3 medium onions, finely sliced along the grain * 2 tbsps fresh ginger, finely grated * 10 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and finely grated * 1 handful of baby spinach leaves * 1 tsp sugar * 1 tsp salt 1. Finely slice 2 or 3 of the runner beans length-ways and set aside to use for garnish later. Roughly chop the rest of the beans into about 2 inch pieces. Put a large, heavy based casserole pot or deep frying pan on a medium-high heat and add the rapeseed oil. Wait for the oil to heat up. Fry the beans in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, until they are lightly browned. Set aside on a tray or in a bowl. 2. While the beans are frying, measure out the turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper and garam masala and set aside in a bowl. 3. Ideally, your pan will be big enough to cook the rest of the curry in it; if not, transfer all the fat from the pan into a larger one. Set the pan over a medium-high heat and add the mustard and fenugreek seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onions and curry leaves. Stir and fry until the onions turn a light golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir until fully mixed. Now add the spice mixture. Turn the heat down and continue to cook for around 5 minutes. 4. Add the beans to the pan along with the salt, sugar, and about 150ml water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5-10 minutes, until the beans are soft. 5. Taste the curry and add more salt if necessary. Finally, add the baby spinach and stir until gently wilted. Serve with white rice, and garnish with the raw sliced beans.

Dal Makhani Dal is the Indian name given to lentils or beans. In India you can find a huge variety, and many more delicious savory concoctions made from them. When I visited the country, I was astounded at the depth of flavour that could be found in a _dal_; they were undeniably tasty, and had a powerful savoriness that I had previously thought wasn't possible in a dish with no meat. As lentils and beans are relatively inexpensive, they are used in everyday meals for lunch and dinner. This dal, made from black _urid beans_ however, is a bit more special. Due to the toughness of these beans, they must be soaked for several hours, then slowly simmered over a gentle heat for several hours more. Of course, a customary mixture of garlic, onion and spices is added to the mixture, and the result is a dark earthy bean stew that has a hint of smokiness. It's very rich, there's no denying it, so I have finished it with a swirl of yoghurt and some freshly chopped coriander. --- * 200g urid beans, soaked in water for at least 6 hours * 30g unsalted butter * 1 large onion, finely chopped * 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped * 20g root ginger, grated to a pulp * 3 tbsp tomato puree * 1 ¼ tsp salt * ½ tsp cayenne pepper * ¼ tsp ground asafoetida * 1 tsp ground coriander * 1 tsp ground cumin * ½ tsp garam masala * 15g unsalted butter * 1 bunch fresh coriander * 3 tbsp natural yoghurt 1. Drain the beans and rinse. Place in a pot and add water until just covered. Add ½ tsp salt, then bring to the boil, skimming off and discarding all the scum that rises. Simmer gently for 45 mins, topping up with water if necessary. 2. While the beans are simmering, add the 30g of butter to a separate pot and place over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and ¼ tsp salt. Turn the heat to low and fry gently for 20 minutes until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Now add the tomato puree, cayenne pepper, asafoetida, ground cumin, ground coriander. Stir thoroughly and cook for a further 5 minutes on a low heat. Now add the beans, the remaining ½ tsp of salt 300ml water. Bring to the boil, then turn to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 hours, topping up with water if necessary. By the end, it should be dark in colour and fairly thick; almost but not quite as thick as porridge. 2. To finish, add the 15g butter and mix vigorously to thicken the dal. If, at this point, it seems too thick just add a splash of water. Mix the yoghurt in at the last second to create a marble effect. Roughly chop the coriander and scatter over, along with the garam masala.

Chicken Vindaloo Of all the curries in the world, the Vindaloo is probably the most misunderstood. It’s notorious for being extremely hot and spicy, yet a genuine vindaloo is nothing near as spicy as its reputation would suggest, as I discovered when I visited Goa; the former Portuguese colony in India that is the Vindaloo’s home. I sampled several local versions of the famous curry there, and expecting my head to be blown off with heat and spice, I was actually pleasantly surprised; these Vindaloos were only moderately spicy, but strong with garlic and also had a distinctive vinegary tang. Vinegar is the key ingredient in a Vindaloo, and it’s possibly the cause of the Vindaloo’s fearsome reputation. Accidentally adding too much vinegar, and a little too much cayenne pepper, and you’ll have a concoction so eye-wateringly powerful that it’s probably not very enjoyable to eat. Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe for Vindaloo calls for duck, which is a break from tradition; the classic was typically made with pork. I have opted for chicken, and the result is excellent. This is adapted from Madhur’s recipe, although the underlying technique is hers. Afterall, she is the master of Indian cooking. Personally, I like to enjoy this with nothing more than some plain white basmati rice, although some sautéed green vegetable such as kale or chard, will go alongside nicely. --- * 4 chicken thighs, bones and skins removed * 3 tbsps of high quality rapeseed oil * 80ml white wine vinegar * ½ teaspoon ground turmeric * 1 tbsp ground cumin * 1 tbsp paprika * 1 tbsp ground coriander * 1 tsp cayenne pepper * 1 ½ tsp garam masala * ½ tsp brown mustard seeds * ¼ tsp whole fenugreek seeds * 15 fresh curry leaves * 2 medium onions, finely sliced along the grain * 2 tbsps fresh ginger, finely grated * 10 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and finely grated * 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely grated * 1 handful of baby spinach leaves * 1 tsp sugar * 1 tsp salt 1. Put a large, heavy based pan on a medium-high heat and add the rapeseed oil. Wait for the oil to heat up. Season the chicken thighs generously all over with salt, then fry in the pan, on both sides, until golden. Remove, and set aside. 2. While the chicken is browning, measure out the turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper and garam masala and set aside in a bowl. 3. Ideally, your pan will be big enough to cook the rest of the curry in it; if not, transfer all the fat from the pan into a larger one. Set the pan over a medium-high heat and add the mustard and fenugreek seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onions and curry leaves. Stir and fry until the onions turn a light golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir until fully mixed. Now add the spice mixture and tomatoes. Turn the heat down and continue to cook for around 5 minutes. 4. Cut the browned chicken pieces into approx. 2cm chunks, and add to the pan along with the salt, sugar, vinegar and 270ml water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 20 minutes. 5. Taste the curry and add more salt if necessary. Finally, add the baby spinach and stir until gently wilted. Serve with white rice.

Mulligatawny Soup This is an awesome soup, I adore the combination of rich mutton meatiness and spicy curry. It’s a proper hearty winter warmer of a dish, and pretty much a meal in itself as it is so thick and substantial. I made this soup with meat from the braised breast and stock that I made from the mutton bones. You could instead use leftover meat from a mutton or lamb roast, along with chicken stock from powder if you don’t want to make stock from scratch. The mutton could also be substituted quite satisfactorily with chicken; get some chicken thighs, season and toss in olive oil and roast on gas mark 7 for about 30 minutes. Then just pick off the meat and substitute into the recipe below accordingly. I used braised breast, but you could just as well use another cut such as scruffy chops, belly or neck chops. If you do braise some meat, you could use the braising liquor instead of making stock, although it will taste quite strongly of wine (if you use my recipe below) which you may not want in the soup. I believe the rich mellow flavour obtained from the slowly cooked stock is preferable in this case. --- * 150g of streaky bacon * 1 onion * 2 sticks of celery * 3 large cloves of garlic * 1/2 teaspoon of mutton fat, reserved from the stock * 2 carrots, cut into 5mm dice * 300g of braised mutton, cut into bite-sized pieces * 1 1/2 teaspoon of madras curry powder * 1/4 teaspoon of paprika * 1 litre of mutton stock * sea salt and cracked black pepper * a few drops of worcester sauce * 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar * 1 handful of flat leaf parsley * 300g of potatoes, cut into 1cm dice 1. Cut the bacon into thin lardons and fry in a little olive oil in a large pot until just starting to colour. Dice the onion and celery and finely chop the garlic. Add these to the pot with the bacon, along with the mutton fat. Turn the heat right down and gently sweat the vegetables down for 10-15 minutes until they are nice and soft. Add to the pot the carrots, braised mutton, curry powder, paprika and stock. Taste and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to just below simmering point and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add a few drops of Worcester sauce and 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar. Add the potato dice and cook until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Adjust the seasoning and serve with some roughly chopped parsley scattered over.

Curried Parsnip Soup This curried parsnip soup is the perfect form of resistance against the winter cold; it will warm your aching bones and put a smile on your face, I guarantee it. The chilli gives it a fiery kick which really helps warm you up! The recipe has the unusual addition of coconut - just a hint - which may come as a surprise, but it really transforms the soup and makes it extra delicious. --- * 300g of parsnips, chopped * 2 onions, chopped * 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, chopped * 50g of butter * 1 tablespoon of medium strength curry powder * 1 red chilli, chopped * 1 1/5litres of vegetable or chicken stock * 2 (150g) of floury potatoes, chopped * 1 tablespoon of creamed or dessicated coconut 1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Cook gently for about 5 minutes without colouring. 2. Add the curry powder and red chilli, along with the stock, and bring to the boil. 3. Add the parsnips, potato and coconut and simmer with the lid on for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. 4. Liquidise until smooth with a blender. 5. For garnish: try a swirl of double cream, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Or finely chopped red pepper and chives.