The Book People have arrived…
I have happily purchased this book of curry recipes. I was keen to try something new in the kitchen. I think I also liked the pretty book cover! Curries were not something I grew up with, my palate was shaped and formed by Nigerian cuisine and when I left home, Western European foodstuffs. For me, the word curry immediately brings to mind all things spicy, warm and exotic. I have made a number of curries but so rarely do I make them, that I have literally documented each one. I have mostly eaten curries at other peoples houses, work or in restaurants, so I am excited about exploring this in my own home.
The first recipe was chosen by my sister – butternut squash, kale and chickpea curry. It was a very good choice. The recipe is easy to make, there is not much chopping to do, there is some stirring and simmering which is soothing in it’s nature. We did find that we added more chilli flakes, vegetable stock and tomato puree to give it the taste and texture that we wanted. The first attempt was very successful, it was delicious and heartwarming. My sister cooked some wild rice which complimented the curry perfectly. I have made this again (twice) in different guises, sweet potato instead of butternut squash and spinach instead of kale. I must confess, not as good as the first one but still tasty.
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
6 green Cardamon pods
2 onions finely diced
3 cloves of garlic crushed
4 cm piece of ginger peeled and finely grated
2 tablespoons tomato purée
750 g butternut squash peeled deseeded and cut into 2 cm chunks
400 g canned cooked chickpeas drained
400 ml hot water or enough to cover
250 g of kale or Cavolo Nero stems removed leaves finely shredded
freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper
a handful of fresh coriander to garnish
rice to serve
Heat the oil in a large, deep pan with a lid, set over a medium heat.
Add the mustard seeds and, when they start to pop reduce the heat and add the cumin, chilli flakes, coriander seeds, cloves, cardamom pods and onions.
Cook for about 8 minutes stirring until the spices are very fragrant and the onions are soft.
Add the garlic ginger and tomato purée and cook for about 3 minutes stirring until the raw smell is cooked out.
Add a pinch of salt, the butternut squash chickpeas and enough hot water to cover.
Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the squash is tender.
Remove the lid and stir well letting the squash break down a little to thicken the source.
Add the kale or Cavalo Nero to the pan pushing it down to submerge it in the sauce. increase the heat and simmer for five minutes.
Squeeze over a little lemon juice then taste for salt and pepper.
Serve with rice scattered with a handful of fresh coriander leaves.