Here is the recipe for the Keralan coconut curry, taken from ‘Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast’ cookbook (see Birthday Bloggin’ post). This is a really light and easy to make curry. I used the vegetables suggested in the recipe but this would work well with most vegetables, or even paneer.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4-5)
•400g sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks and boiled for 10 minutes
•100g shredded spinach, washed
•400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
•4 tbsp vegetable oil
•1tsp mustard seeds
•1 onion, finely chopped
•3-5 green chillies, whole but pierced with a knife
•25g root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
•5 fat garlic cloves, crushed
•2 small tomatoes, chopped
•salt to taste
•1/2 tsp tumeric
•2tsp ground coriander
•1tsp ground cumin
•400ml creamy coconut milk
•1/2tsp tamarind paste, dissolved in hot water
•3/4 tsp garam masala
•knob of coconut cream
•black pepper to taste
1) Heat oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds. Once popping diminishes, add the onion and green chillies, sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute.
2) Add the tomatoes, salt, tumeric, ground coriander and cumin, sautéing for 4-5 minutes.
3) Add the coconut milk and a splash of water. Bring to a gentle simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes then add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, tamarind, garam masala and coconut cream. Taste and season.
I then set aside whilst I prepared the rice, re-heating when ready. For the classic yellow pilaf, you will need:
•450g basmati rice
•4tbsp vegetable oil
•1 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
•3 black cardamom pods
•2 cinnamon sticks
•6 green cardamom pods
•1 onion, finely sliced
•2/3 tsp tumeric
•salt to taste
1) Wash the rice in several changes of water then leave to soak as you prepare the dish. Heat oil in a large pan and fry the whole spices for 30 seconds. Add the onion and fry until golden.
2) Add the tumeric and turn in the oil for 5 seconds. Stir in the drained rice and add 800ml boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute. Cover tightly and reduce heat to a minimum. Leave undisturbed.
3) Check after 7 minutes; there should be no water left and the rice should be cooked. Turn off the heat and leave for 5-10 minutes then fluff with a fork.