Eats shoots & leaves
This time of year, a steaming bowl of curry feels like an endorphin bomb for my body and my brain. That sweet autumnal flesh of butternut and honking goodness of spice blends make my toes warm up and do the cha-cha. And while we love meat, we don't need to eat it every day - especially when curries taste this good.
The trick to a kickass powerful curry is injecting immodest amounts of spice. It will feel like glitter-comets dancing through your veins.
You can keep this dish mild for kiddies - I used the ubiquitous supermarket brand Schwartz for this recipe and my boys asked for seconds (OK, they left half the green beans behind and nicked my poppadoms, but I'm claiming it as a victory).
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Butternut and green bean curry
Serves 10 (can be frozen)
You will need:
• 2 yellow peppers, de-seeded anddestalked
• 2 butternut squashes, peeled and diced
• 5 tablespoons coconut oil
• 3 white onions, peeled
• 8 garlic cloves, peeled
• 2 finger-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled
• 35g mild curry powder
• 250g green beans, trimmed
• 2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk
• 200ml stock
• Zest and juice of ½ lime
• Dash of soy sauce
• Wild rice, flaked almonds, poppadoms, poached eggs, or fresh coriander and natural yoghurt, to serve
1 Fire up your oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas 6. Chop the yellow peppers into large bite-sized pieces.
2 Tumble the chopped peppers and the diced butternut squash onto two or three roasting trays. Dot them with 4 tablespoons of the coconut oil. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, or until it is soft in the centre and caramelised around the edges.
3 In the meantime, make the curry sauce. I like to briefly pulse the onions, the garlic and the fresh ginger together in a food processor to save on chopping. Works perfectly. Tip this blitzed medley into a large deep casserole pot, along with the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil. Gently cook the vegetable medley for 12-15 minutes over a low heat, until they are softened. Add your curry powder, whack up the heat, and stir continuously for 60 seconds.
4 Now tip in the trimmed green beans, the tinned coconut milk, the stock, the lime zest and the lime juice. Reduce to a bubbling simmer and allow the curry sauce to putter away for 20 minutes, half-lidded, while the tray of vegetables continues to roast in the oven.
5 As soon as the roasted vegetables are ready, scrape them into your pot of curry sauce. Add the soy sauce. Serve
immediately, or allow the curry to cool, then freeze it in individual portions. I eat this curry with wild rice, flaked almonds, poppadoms, and poached eggs or mountains of fresh coriander and cooling yoghurt.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine