Mushroom and pea curry

The pea season is coming. The mange tout are already ready, and some of the peas are podding up nicely. I did a massive pick-through of the peas at Tagsa Horticulture, and made this curry based on one in ‘Curry Easy’ by Madhur Jaffrey

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
  • half a can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 punnets of chestnut mushrooms, around 400 to 500g, chopped into chunks.
  • 300g peas, could be frozen, or mange tout, freshly picked and halved

METHOD:

  • Combine the dry spices in a bowl and add around 1 1/2 tbsp water to make a paste
  • Pour the oil into a medium pan, and heat to medium hot. Add the onion and start to stir and fry, until the onion is becoming a little browned at the edges. 
  • Add the spice paste, cook for a minute and then add the tomato, mixing and stirring. 
  • After about five minutes, when the tomato is hot and beginning to cook down, add 450ml boiling water and the salt. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes
  • Add the chunks of mushroom, bring back to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. 
  • Add the peas, bring back to a simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes. 

This was best served warm, rather than hot, with a flat bread such as a nan. 

Mutton Curry, Jamaican style

I made this with some odd cuts of mutton from the freezer, I had about 1kg of meat, including some ribs and other odds and ends. I started with a recipe from Original Flava for Curry Goat, and scaled up the ingredients. There’s actually several versions on their website, so I didn’t feel so bad adjusting it to fit what I had. I made the main part of the stew the night before I needed it, but because the ingredients needed marinaded, I actually started the prep on Tuesday for a meal on Thursday. The actual cooking part is very easy, and the end result is very very tasty, and quite hot. 

The other thing that would be good to get ahead of starting is some scotch bonnet pepper paste, ground allspice and Caribbean curry powder, which is quite mild. They are all available online. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1kg mutton, cut into chunks about 3cm across
  • Caribbean curry powder – around 3 tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2cm ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 cm ginger root, chopped
  • 1 can of coconut milk (I only had around 300ml, not a full can, it was still delicious)
  • 300ml vegetable stock or water
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 6 small waxy potatoes, cleaned and cut into chunks
  • 1/3 tsp scotch bonnet chilli paste
  • If you wish, add chopped tomatoes. I added two ripe tomatoes that were minding their own business in the vegetable rack.

METHOD:

  • Chop the meat, leave bones in. In a large container with a lid, mix the mutton with 1 tbsp curry powder, salt, pepper, allspice and turmeric, and leave to marinade in the fridge overnight. 
  • The next day, heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large pan and add a tablespoonful of curry powder. Fry the meat in batches, and set the browned meat aside in a bowl. 
  • Check there is enough oil in the pan, and the fry the onion over a medium to high heat, until it is beginning to brown, and then add the ginger and garlic. Continue to cook for another couple of minutes
  • Add a little coconut milk and the scotch bonnet paste, mix it in and then add the mutton back into the pan. Stir it all together and then add the rest of the coconut milk, tomatoes, another 2 tbsp of curry powder, thyme and stock, and then cook the stew in a slow oven, around 150C for 2 hours. Once this step is complete, you could freeze the stew or put it in the fridge ready to finish the cooking later. 
  • Add the potatoes and the sliced spring onions, and simmer for another 30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked. 

    This stew is one of those that benefits from being eaten the day after, as the flavours mingle together. Serve with rice. 

Spicy fried potatoes

I think of these as tiny square spicy chips – they should be crispy and flavoursome. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Around 700g potatoes, diced to around 1cm cubes
  • 5 tbsp veg oil, such as rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 1/8th tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder, such as Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat, and add the asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and let them sizzle for a minute, so that the mustard seeds pop. 
  • Add the potatoes, stir and sprinkle in the turmeric. 
  • When the potatoes start to brown, add the coriander, cumin, chilli and salt and turn the heat up to hot. Fry for another couple of minutes so the potatoes are crispy on the outside. 

A great side-dish, or serve with a fried egg on top. 

Potato and carrot curry

We have lots of delicious potatoes, so when my daughter came over, we cooked this curry. It uses coconut milk along with spices to make a fragrant curry. We served this with a salad of grated beetroot, flavoured with toasted cumin, and dressed with lemon juice and salt. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil, or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp whole black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow split peas
  • 2 whole dried birds-eye chillies
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes, or a couple of medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • a small pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 400g potatoes (we used charlotte) and 100g carrots (we used yellow carrots) – cut into 2cm large chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • Chopped coriander leaves

METHOD:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat up the oil and then add the mustard seeds, yellow split peas and chillies. After a minute or so, they’ll start popping. Add the onions and basil leaves as soon as this happens. Turn the heat down a bit and cook until the onion has softened. 
  • Add the coriander, cayenne, tomatoes and garam masala, and stir to mix. Add the potatoes and carrots along with around 250ml water and the salt, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for 15+ minutes
  • When the potatoes are cooked, add the coconut milk and fresh coriander leaves, and heat through, stirring. 
  • Serve with other dishes, for example a salad, or dal, or a kale dish. 

Chicken curry baked in foil

This is a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey that works well with a busy schedule. The meal can be prepared ahead of time, and just popped into the oven to cook it. It goes well with plain basmati rice and a salad. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika (Hungarian, sweet)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/4 tsp grated ginger root
  •  3 tbsp full fat plain yoghurt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • approx 650g skinned chicken pieces. Ensure that there are some deep incisions in the flesh

METHOD:

  • Mix all of the ingredients except the chicken in a bowl. 
  • Rub the marinade into the chicken, including into the incisions. 
  • Put the chicken pieces in a single layer on a bit of tin foil, and then fold the sides, top and bottom of the foil over the chicken to make a sealed packet. Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours. 
  • Preheat the oven to 200C. 
  • Put the whole packet in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes. You can try opening the packet to turn the chicken half way through, but I find it makes little difference. 

Salmon in a tomato cream curry sauce

I’ve been reading ‘Curry Easy’ again. I had some salmon fillet from the reduced section in the co-op and Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe book had several very good ideas. I picked this one, but now I want to go and buy more salmon so I can try the other recipes too. I did tweak it a bit so I didn’t have to go to the shops again. 

This is very easy to prepare the sauce and fish in the morning, ready to cook when you get in after work. I served this with rice, and stir-fried chard.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 600 to 700g salmon fillet
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 250ml single cream (approx.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds

METHOD:

  • Start by dividing the salmon into 8 pieces. Season with a little salt and black pepper, turmeric and cayenne, and leave to marinade in the fridge. I used a plastic container with a lid, but a plastic bag would do. 
  • Combine the tomatoes, cream salt sugar, garam masala, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and coriander leaves. Use a soup wand to make the sauce smooth. Just before using, stir in the lemon juice. 
  • To cook the fish, heat some oil in a pan, and when it is hot, add the cumin seeds, and cook for 10 seconds. 
  • Pour in the sauce and bring to a simmer before adding the salmon pieces. Spoon the sauce over the top of the fish, and continue this way for another 4 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. 

 

Chickpea curry

This is a very easy curry to serve with baked potato, baked sweet potato, or with nan bread. It is best served warm rather than hot.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch of ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • chopped coriander leaves. 

METHOD:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan to a medium heat, and fry the cumin seeds for around 1 minute, before adding the onion, and frying until it is soft, around 7 minutes
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and chilli, and cook for another three minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick. 
  • Add the remaining spices and cook for another couple of minutes
  • Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and then add the chickpeas, and cook for another 20 minutes. I covered the pan for the first ten minutes, and then took the lid off and stirred the curry, to ensure it didn’t stick. 
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. 
  • Serve garnished with chopped coriander.

 

Beef Jhal Faraizi

I had no idea that Jhal Faraizi was designed to use up left-overs. In fact, this recipe is almost like stovies, but with more meat, and green Chillies. Madhur Jaffrey’s book Curry Easy gives a short history of the origins of the dish, which originated in Bengal. Some versions have a sauce, but this is more pared back, and quick and easy. I didn’t have any left-over potatoes or beef, so this version includes cooking from scratch. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium floury potatoes
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 fresh hot green chillies, chopped finely
  • around 350g beef (could be left-overs) – diced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly sliced
  •  Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Boil the potatoes whole, and then set aside to cool
  • Poach the beef in some water and ginger, for around 20 minutes, then strain and remove the ginger. I kept the liquid back and used it as stock in another recipe. 
  • When the potatoes are cool, peel them and cut into small dice. 
  • Put the oil in a large frying pan, and heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle briefly. 
  • Add the onion, potatoes and chillies, then turn the heat down a bit, and stir, cooking until the onions are translucent, around five minutes. 
  • Add the meat, a good pinch of salt and lots of black pepper. Stir and mix for a minute, and turn the heat down very low. Press the mixture down into the pan and then cook gently for around 15 minutes. 
  • We had this with poached eggs on top. 

Prawn Biryani

We adapted this from Madhur Jaffrey’s book, Curry Easy. Her recipe uses farmed tiger prawns, which are available frozen. We used fresh local prawns. It was really delicious. We had to adjust quantities as well, as we are only cooking for two people. I added some spices and herbs from similar recipes from Iran. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 kg fresh prawns
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • chopped coriander and mint leaves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 150g rice
  • Small pinch of saffron in 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp Caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp butter

METHOD:

  • Put the rice in a large measuring jug of cold water, and leave to soak. Drain off and refresh the water from time to time. 
  • Cook the prawns for a couple of minutes in boiling water, then drain. When the prawns are cold, peel the tails, and cut them in half around the middle. 
  • Put the prawns in a bowl with garlic, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and set aside.
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil, flavoured with salt, half a teaspoon of caraway and 2 cardamom pods. 
  • When the water is boiling, add the drained rice. Bring back to the boil and cook until the rice is not completely cooked, but almost. Drain the rice.
  • In a frying pan, heat up a tbsp of vegetable oil and fry the prawns for 2 minutes or so. 
  • Mix the cooked prawns with the lemon juice, coriander and mint leaves. 
  • Grease the bottom of a large pan with the butter, then add half the drained rice, then the prawns, and then the rest of the rice. Sprinkle the top with the saffron water. 
  • Cover the rice and cook over a low heat for another ten minutes or so, until the rice is fully cooked. 
  • Carefully mix the rice and prawns, and serve. 

Goan prawn curry with coconut

We made this with some really great quality local prawns. Looks like a tradition is starting. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kilo medium or large prawns, shelled
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp hot paprika
  • 250ml coconut milk (or 50g creamed coconut dissolved in 250ml boiling water)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (or 1 tsp tamarind paste)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1cm cubed fresh ginger, finely diced

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a wok, or large frying pan
  • Add the onion, and fry at quite a high temperature. 
  • Add the ginger and garlic when the onion is translucent. 
  • When the onion starts to brown, turn off the heat and stir in the pepper, cayenne, paprika and turmeric. Stir to mix. 
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the coconut milk. When it starts to bubble and cook, add the prawns and lemon juice, stir and cook until the prawns are hot.

Serve with rice.