I’m not a vegetarian by any standard, but occasionally I come across such a delicious vegetable-only recipe or two that make me think I actually could be, if I were so inclined. Today I’d like to introduce you to two of my favourite vegetable curries that even the meat-lovers of the world can enjoy.
First though, a little about “curry”. To most people, curry is a single type of dish and generally associated with the Indian culture, though that couldn’t further from the truth. In fact, curry refers to a broad of dishes from around the world that are each unique in their own way and make use of a variety of spices and cooking methods. The worry curry itself is actually from Tamil “khari” – meaning sauce or gravy (not spicy, as some might be forgiven for thinking!)
The “curry spice” that is often referred to in recipes was actually developed by the British spice makers who sought to emulate Indian curry, but in reality authentic Indian curries don’t use it. Curry remains the most popular dish in Britain today, so what are you waiting for?
Curry is incredibly easy to make yourself, and without further ado, here are my two favorite vegetable curry recipes!
White Vegetable Curry:
A hearty stew-like curry that won’t leave you gasping, perfect for the winter months. You will need:
– 1 lb of candied pumpkin
– 9 oz of potatoes
– 9 oz of okra
– 2 tbsp of oil
– 1 minced garlic clove
– 3 minced green chilli peppers
– 1/2 tbsp turmeric
– 1/2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
– 1 medium minced onion
– 8 curry leaves (indian supermarket should be able to help you there)
– 2 cups of coconut milk
– 1 stick of cinnamon
Peel and dice the pumpkin and potatoes, and remove the stems from the okra. Heat the oil over a medium flame, and fry the garlic, pepper, turmeric, fenugreek seeds and onion.
When the onion has softened somewhat, add the potato, pumpkin, okra, curry leaves, cinnamon, and coconut milk. Bring to the boil then decrease the flame and simmer uncovered for about half an hour.
It’s quite easy to make, but admittedly gathering those ingredients will be difficult.
Thai Green Curry Paste:
This will make a Thai green curry paste that you can use as the basis for any curry, and it will taste simple sublime. If you do want to add meat to your curry, chicken can be very easily added to this and is common, but it tastes great without any meat too.
– 1 tbsp coriander seeds
– 2 tbsp cumin seeds
– 8 green chilli peppers, chopped
– 20 minced red shallots
– 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
– 2 tbsp shrimp paste
– Fresh minced Thai ginger (asian supermarket)
– 12 minced garlic cloves
– 5 oz sugar
– 2 tbsp grated lime rind (zest)
– 2 tbsp salt
– Fresh minced coriander stems and root (easier to get if you grow your own, obviously)
– 6 minced kaffir lime leaves
– 3 minced lemon herb stems (the white bit)
– 2 tbsp oil
Wrap the shrimp paste in foil and roast for 3 minutes in the oven grill, turn several times.
Begin by frying the cumin and coriander in a large pan over a medium flame, stirring them for 3 minutes.
In a pestle and mortar, crush the seeds and peppercorns, then whizz it all around in the mixer with the shrimp paste. Add the ingredients slowly until you have a fine green paste. You can now use as much or as little as you want of the paste to form a base for your vegetable curry – pepper and potatoes are my personal favorites, but it will really work with anything.