I was dreaming of kaffir lime leaves the other day and then lo and behold there they were right in front of me at the super market. It was a signal. I came home and went recipe hunting. As you can tell from the number of curry recipes in my recipe index curry is one of my number one favourite foods right behind French Fries!
This recipe is Thai inspired and has chickpeas, roasted butternut squash and spinach. The kaffir leaves give it a fresh Thai flavour and the bonus is that it’s super easy to make. I found this recipe on trinitykitchen.com. Give it a visit as she has come great recipes on it.
Here it is in all its glory!
1 large butternut squash (1kg or 2lbs approx)
350ml (1½ cups) water
10 kaffir lime leaves
7 cardamom pods
1 heaped teaspoon grated ginger
4 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
250ml (1 cup) passata (called sieved tomatoes in the US)
200g (1 cup) cooked chickpeas
100g (3½ oz) creamed coconut (see notes)
40g spinach ( a large handful)
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
Bake the squash
Peel, de-seed and dice the butternut squash into chunks of about 1.5cm (or ½ an inch) cubed. Larger chunks are fine, although you’ll need to add extra baking time.
Place the squash onto a baking tray and pop into an oven heated to gas mark 7 (425F/220C).
Bake until you can pierce a fork through the chunks. This make take 30 – 45 minutes.
Whilst the squash is baking make the rest of the curry.
Place the kaffir lime leaves and 350ml of water into a medium sized pan and bring to the boil. (Note: Count the kaffir lime leaves as you put them in and remember how many you used, because you will have to remove them at the end of the cooking period. They are meant for flavour, rather than eating).
Take the seeds out of the cardamom pods and crush with a pestle and mortar (or alternatively chop repeatedly over and over with a sharp heavy knife until they look ground). Toss them into the pan.
Peel and grate a heaped teaspoon worth of fresh ginger. Toss it into the pan.
Peel and crush 4 large garlic cloves and add to the pan.
Add the sea salt, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, passata, creamed coconut and chickpeas to the pan, stir together and allow all of the flavours to infuse. Let this simmer on the lowest heat for about 20 minutes and turn off the heat.
(Don’t add the spinach leaves right until the end – AFTER you remove the kaffir lime leaves.)
Once the squash has baked, take the kaffir lime leaves out of your other pan. When you are happy that all of the lime leave are out, then roughly chop the spinach and mix in the curry pan along with the roasted squash.
Add a little extra water if the sauce is too thick.
Use the basil to garnish.
Serve with rice, quinoa or millet or on it’s own as a stew.
Thanks Trinity for this awesome recipe.
.I got this recipe via my Curry Head brother who has a keen eye for delectable curries.This is so flavourful and fantastic in a way that is very different from other curries I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot). The ingredient list is a bit daunting….don’t be scared! At least that’s what my brother told me. Just put all the spices and everything you need on the counter…chop, prepare, measure and the next thing you know you are in the midst of magical curry alchemy.
Curry Head got the recipe from a site called The Amateur Gourmet… and it turns out the Amateur Gourmet has tons of great recipes including one for deviled eggs which will be part of my 60s appie feature at our Christmas party! Nothing ever happens without a good reason!
The list of spices for this recipe is a bit long and unusual…you’ll need things like star anise, fenugreek seed, kaffir lime leaves, cardamom seeds, pineapple juice, lemon and orange peel…and so on and so on….It is a cornucopia of spices that all comes together in a magical way.
The original recipe calls for lamb…we’re not lamb eaters but I think you can substitute chicken or chickpeas for a veggie version. Once you you have everything, this is easy to make and cook. And what a great addition to your curry portfolio! Thanks Curry Head for the big heads up!
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds, toasted (to toast these three, just add them to a dry skillet, turn up the heat and toss around until fragrant)
- 10 whole cloves
- 2 whole star anise
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves
- 1 tablespoon crumbled dried pequin chilies or red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more for lamb)
- 2 cups thinly sliced shallots (or yellow onions, if that’s easier)
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh ginger (from a 3-ounce piece)
- 3 cups drained, trimmed, and chopped canned peeled whole tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Maldon or another flaky sea salt
- 8 cilantro roots with 2 inches of stem attached, washed well and finely chopped (I just used the stems; not sure about the roots!) (save the leaves for garnish)
- A 5-inch strip of orange peel, any white pith cut away
- A 5-inch strip of lemon peel, any white pith cut away
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice (fresh, bottled, or canned)
- 4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces (I only bought 2 pounds and that worked fine for two people)
- Make the curry first by combining the toasted spices, cloves, star anise, cardamom, lime leaves, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, and turmeric in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, and grind them until you have a very fine powder.
- Heat a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the shallots (or onions) and garlic [note: if I had to do this again, I’d wait to add the garlic so it doesn’t brown before the onions!] and cook, stirring often, until they’re deep brown, about 10 minutes. Add the ground spice mixture, cinnamon stick, and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and salt (I didn’t add all 2 tablespoons at first–it seemed like so much!–so I added 1 tablespoon here and about 1/2 tablespoon later to taste), stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture looks quite dry, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro, citrus peel and juice, and pineapple juice, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat until smoking; meanwhile, season the lamb with lots of salt. In batches, brown the meat (believe me: it’s worth doing this in batches–I crowded the pan and ended up with gray meat) all over, 12 to 15 minutes per batch. As the pieces finish browning, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the Dutch oven with the curry mixture. Brown the following batches in all the nice fat remaining in the pan, transferring the pieces to the Dutch oven as they are done, and then discard the fat.
- NOTE: we used free range chicken…I boiled it and put pieces in when done. Still fantastic. Or you could braise pieces in a pan and then add it to the spice mixture. Or just throw in chickpeas,
- Give the lamb pieces a good stir to coat them in the curry mixture, cover the pot, and put it in the oven. Cook the lamb 1 1/2 hours, stirring now and then.
- Reduce the heat to 250 F and let it go until the lamb is fork tender but not totally falling apart, another hour or so. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro leaves, if you like.
You may be freaking out about some of these ingredients–kaffir lime leaves? fenugreek? pequin chilies?–and normally I’d tell you to go ahead and make it without them, but, instead, think of this as an opportunity to do some serious spice shopping, either in real life or online. The exotic spices in this dish are part of what makes it taste so special.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 3 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Link to recipe on the awesome Amateur Gourmet site…
It turns out that you can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks. This year for my birthday I received a copy of Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey which I promptly was going to return as I’m loyal to only one Asian cookbook and have been for years and that’s the All Asian Cookbook by Jacki Passmore.
Anyways, in pursuit of open-mindedness I cracked the spine and made dinner combining Mung Beans in Coconut Curry along with Beet Greens sautéed in Ginger, Lemon and Cumin with a little side of Tomato and Onion Chutney. I tried to make the Tamarind Chutney but failed miserably. I actually loved it when I tried it at a friend’s house but something went drastically wrong when I made it. Continue reading