I do love a good curry! Going to India really gave me a passion for Asian cuisine. There are just so many different types of dishes, many of which we rarely or never get to sample outside of the country, unless you’re lucky enough to have a friend who hails from there!
This dish is my take on a malabar curry. It’s infused with warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom and is a delicious sauce for simple seasonal veg. Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients – it’s not that difficult to make as I prove in my living cooking session. Remember, if I can do this, anyone can!
Traditionally, malabar curry will contain coconut milk. Whilst for most people, this is not an issue, it is off the menu for some including people who are following the Overcoming MS programme (click here for more info), healing a fatty liver or other weight-related health issue. Coconut is delicious but it is a highly saturated fat which does not work for everyone. An alternative is to use a dairy-free cream (in this one I use cashew cream but you could use oat or soya) with a couple of drops of coconut essence. It’s not quite the same but its a reasonable enough substitute and means you don’t have to miss out on this wonderful dish.
I hope you give this a go. It really is super tasty – the flavour develop if you leave it to brew, so make it in advance and enjoy later in the day or the next day. Do let me know how you get on.
For the spice mix
- 3 cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the curry
- 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 10-12 curry leaves fresh or dried
- pinch asafoetida
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes blended to a pulp
- 3 medium carrots chopped
- 150 grams green beans or broccoli chopped
- 100 grams peas fresh or frozen
- 300 mls coconut milk or cashew cream with coconut essence
- 250 mls water
- salt and pepper to taste
- handful fresh coriander chopped
- Heat a medium-sized pan and add the mustard seeds and asofoetida. Toast for a minute or so until you smell the spice aromas and the seeds start to pop. Very careful add a couple of tablespoons of water (careful it will spit) along with the onion, ginger, curry leaves (if fresh) and a pinch of salt. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Whilst the onion is cooking, pop out the cardomom seeds from the pods and drop them into a pestle and mortar with the cloves. Grind to a rough powder. Add the cinnamon. ***
- Add the tomatoes to the pan (and curry leaves if using dried) and stir well to combine. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Now stir in the spice mix and the other spices alongwith the carrot and green beans (if using brocolli and peas, don't add these yet). Coat the veg with the spices then pour in the water. Bring to the boil, then pop on the lid, reduce the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the veg start to soften.
- Add the brocolli (if using) and peas to the pan. Stir well and simmer for a few minutes.
- Pour the coconut milk or cashew cream into the pan and warm through on a low heat. Do not boil or over heat. Season with salt and pepper then serve garnished with the coriander.