Vegetable Jalfrezi Curry

One thing you might know about me is that I’m really passionate about our environment and working towards a sustainable future. And, as sad I am to admit this, the meat industry, unfortunately, is too big a factor in today’s pollution that we can ignore. Hence, you are seeing more and more articles about the ‘planet diet’ and such. I don’t believe in being preachy, and I won’t be – so meat eaters don’t worry! But I did decide to make some changes in my lifestyle to start doing my bit beyond using reusable cups and avoiding plastic and such. I might write a proper post on the changes I’ve made if you would be interested but for now just a quick one: I’ve stopped eating meat every other week, therefore massively reducing my consumption. This is one of the best recipes I’ve made in this period (and in general!)

More in vegetable curries: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Hawaij root vegetable stew with whipped fenugreekChickpea, tomato and spinach curryQuick spinach, sweet potato and coconut stew + bonus Korma Paste recipe

Vegetable Jalfrezi

Serves 4 | Prep 25 mins | Cook 50 mins
Easy | Gluten-Free | Vegetarian

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Tip: I made my own Jalfrezi paste, but if you’d like to make this even simpler, just use 175g. Jalfrezi Paste from a jar.

You’ll need

For the Jalfrezi Paste:

  • 2 cloves garlic, pealed;
  • 5 cm piece of fresh root ginger, pealed;
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric;
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil;
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree;
  • 1 fresh green chilli;
  • 15g fresh coriander;
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds;
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds;
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds;
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds.

For the Curry:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil;
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced;
  • ½ butternut squash, cut into chunks;
  • 1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets;
  • 1 vegetable stock cube;
  • bunch coriander leaves, picked and stalks finely chopped;
  • 500ml passata;
  • 1 red pepper, sliced;
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced;
  • 400g can chickpea, drained and rinsed;
  • 100g natural yogurt;
  • 1 fresh green chilli, sliced;
  • boiled rice, to serve;
  • naan bread, to serve.

First make the Jalfrezi paste. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the cumin, fenugreek, coriander and mustard seeds to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder. Either way, when you’ve ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and ½ a teaspoon of sea salt until you have a smooth paste.

For the curry. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and cook over a low heat for about 8-10 mins until soft, stirring them often and adding a splash of water if they start to stick. Add the Jalfrezi paste and mix well, then add the squash, cauliflower, stock cube, coriander stalks, passata and 500ml water. Simmer for 20 mins, adding some more water if it gets too thick.

Add the peppers and chickpeas, and cook for 15-20 mins more, until all the veg is tender. Stir in the yogurt and most of the coriander leaves. Serve scattered with the rest of the coriander and the sliced chilli, with rice and naan bread on the side.

Original recipes: Jalfrezi Paste by Jamie Oliver, available online here. Vegetable Jalfrezi recipe from BBC Good Food magazine, issue May 2013, available online here.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Veganuary might be almost ending but vegan isn’t going anywhere. More and more friends and people I know are turning to more plant based foods in a bit to save the environment. While we need more change in the world to support sustainability and reduce pollution, I do believe, in the words of Tesco, that every little helps. While I’m not planning to go vegan (sorry, I can’t live without cheese…) I am looking to introduce more veggie and plant-based meals at home, by my meat from sustainable sources and doing little things like reducing dairy intake like swapping milk for oat milk in my coffee..

Anyway, back to this recipe. This chickpea curry is just great in all fronts! With just around 150 kcal per serving (according to BBCGoodFood), low fat, containing 2 of your 5 a day, AND it costs around £6 to make (that’s under £2 per serving!). You guessed it, it’s also really quick to make. You just can’t go wrong with this one. If you need to dial down the heat, halve the chillies.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Serves 4 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 25 minutes
Easy | Vegan | Gluten and Dairy Free

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You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ finger length piece fresh root ginger, shredded
  • 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 400g can chickpea, rinsed and drained
  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • rice or naan bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan or a sauce pan, and fry the onion over a low heat until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further 5 mins until the onions are golden and the garlic slightly toasted.

Add the turmeric, garam masala and cumin, stirring over a low heat for a few secs. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and add the tomato purée, then simmer for 5 mins.

Add the chickpeas to the pan with 300ml water (fill the can three-quarters full). Simmer for 10 mins before stirring in the spinach to wilt. Season well and serve with rice or naan.

Nutrition: per serving

kcal 145, fat 6g, saturates 0g, carbs 17g, sugars 6g, fibre 5g, protein 7g, salt 0.56g

Original recipe and nutritional information from BBCGoodFood issue December 2009, available online here.

~Em.

Malaysian-style chicken

My partner’s sister was in Cambodia recently and brought us back some fantastic spices and ingredients from there. Lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chilies… So we’ve been looking at ways to use them all up while they are fresh, before we dry the rest up. This recipe was perfect for this as it used all three of the above mentioned ingredients! And it was a really delicious curry too. Serve simply with fluffy white rice, this makes for a superb midweek dinner when you have a bit more time to cook. Saying that, it’s really waiting that you’ll need to have time for as the chicken will pretty much cook itself once you put it on. I’ve not changed much from the original recipe, apart from allowing a bit more time for the chicken to cook but you can adjust depending on the size of chicken thighs you use. I’ve also missed out a couple of ingredients because I found the sauce perfect without the addition of extra sugar and fish sauce.

Malaysian-style chicken

Serves 4 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 40 mins
Easy |Gluten and Dairy-Free

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You’ll need

  • Vegetable oil;
  • 8 free-range chicken thighs;
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 3 garlic cloves;
  • 4 medium-hot red chillies;
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer leaves removed, inner core sliced;
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger;
  • Groundnut oil;
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric;
  • 1 cinnamon stick;
  • 2 star anise;
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves;
  • 400ml coconut milk;
  • 100ml chicken stock.

Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken thighs, skin-side down, until the skin is crisp and golden. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Whizz the onion, garlic cloves, chillies, lemongrass, ginger and a good glug of groundnut oil. Fry this paste in the pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes, add the turmeric, cinnamon stick, star anise and kaffir lime leaves, then fry for 3 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and chicken stock, sit the chicken thighs in the pan, skin-side up, and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is just cooked and the sauce has reduced. Serve with rice on the side.

Original recipe from Delicious magazine, available online here.

 

Anjum Anand’s Goan Fish Curry

This is a recipe by Anjum Anand that I found in an old Sainsbury’s Magazine (October 2011 (!!!) to be precise). I loved it because it was quick, taking just 30 minutes, it packed some fantastic flavors and spices, and it was really light too. The original recipe is no longer available online but for more amazing Indian food do check Anjum Anand’s other recipes!

Goan Fish Curry

Serves 4 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 20 minutes | Gluten-Free | Easy | Under 300 Kcal

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Tip: to peel the tomato, put it in just boiled water for a few minutes first.

You’ll need:
  • 2 scant tsp cumin seeds;
  • 4-7 long red dried chillies, seeds shaken out;
  • 4 tsp coriander seeds;
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil;
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped;
  • 30g root ginger (peeled weight), cut into large chunks;
  • 6 fat garlic cloves;
  • 1 small tomato, peeled;
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 100ml coconut milk;
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste (or to taste);
  • 2-4 green chillies, whole but pierced;
  • 600g firm white fish steaks or fillets, cut into large chunks (use halibut or monkfish);
  • 4 tbsp coconut cream;
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced to decorate (optional)

First, make the spice mix. Using a spice grinder or small blender, grind the cumin seeds, dried chillies and coriander seeds to a fine powder.

Heat the oil in a wide nonstick saucepan. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat until golden.

Meanwhile, blend the ginger, garlic and tomato with a little water until smooth. Add to the onions and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until fragrant. Add the ground spices, turmeric and salt along with a small splash of water and cook for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and 300ml water, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.

Add the tamarind paste, green chillies and fish, bring back to a boil and simmer gently until the fish is just cooked, it will take 3-6 minutes depending on the fish. Add the coconut cream and shake the pan to incorporate. Season to taste and serve scattered with red chillies and rice or naan bread.

Potato and aubergine curry

I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of aubergines. I associate them with a unappealing mushy texture and bitter flavour. However, this summer I’ve been pushing myself to rediscover ingredients that I have thought for a long time that I don’t like. I’ve opened up to asparagus, broccoli and this recipe has definitely helped me appreciate an aubergine a lot more. I still can’t say I love them, but I know that cooked in the right way and paired with the right ingredients, they can be fantastic. So this recipe isn’t just for those of you who love a veggie curry anyway, it’s also for any others around here who don’t really like aubergines. I promise you, this curry might just change your mind about them. Take this from someone who has actively avoided aubergines for a fair few years.

Potato and aubergine curry

Serves 4 | Prep 20 minutes | Cook 40 minutes  | Vegan, Gluten-free | Easy

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Tip: If you want to save a little time, you can use 3 tbsp ready made Tikka curry paste instead of making your own.

You’ll need:
For the Tikka Curry Paste (makes roughly 3 tbsp):
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled;
  • 4cm piece of ginger, peeled;
  • 2 red chillies (deseeded if you prefer less spice);
  • 1 tsp ground cumin;
  • 2 tsp ground coriander;
  • 1 tsp paprika.
For the curry:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil;
  • 1 red onion, sliced;
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed;
  • 10 curry leaves;
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes;
  • 500 ml vegetable stock;
  • 500g new potatoes, sliced into thick disks (no need to peel);
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 2 cm dice;
  • 400g can coconut milk;
  • Chopped coriander (to serve).

First, make the curry paste. Put all the ingredients into a blender and mix on a medium speed until you have a paste. Set aside.

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Tikka curry paste: all the ingredients required

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or casserole dish. Fry the onion, garlic and curry leaves for 10 minutes on low heat, until the onion has softened. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, potatoes and aubergine. Bring to a simmer, add a little seasoning, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, removing the lid for the final 10 minutes. Finally, stir in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Season.

Serve the curry scattered with coriander and with rice or naan bread.

Original recipe for the Potato and Aubergine Curry is from BBC Good Food magazine, issue June 2012, not available online.

Original recipe for the curry paste from Kenwood World, available here.