It’s the season to be jolly, and also it seems like the season for little bugs to take over. Maybe it’s the milder than usual weather we’re having this december, but it does seem like the colds are winning! I have been really under the weather this week but decided the time had come for a little kick from within to burn off the bug. I am a real believer as food as a healer – and a good wholesome curry was much more appetising than a lemsip. Unfortunately it took me a week of suffering before I felt well enough to really do much cooking, but I was very very pleased when I did.
I needed a dinner that would also be suitable for little toddler, and I found that using half a mildish red deseeded chilli, as the recipe below states, added warmth but was nothing to worry about. If you are in this position cooking for little ones though, I recommend adding chilli gradually and tasting to be safe. Because I knew I wanted a bit more spice in my serving, I made up some chilli oil, heating a slug of olive oil in a tiny pan with a whole chopped chilli (seeds and all) and drizzling this over my dinner after it had all been dished up. This worked perfectly to add a bit more heat.
Here is the recipe I used, it is another one from this wonderful book.
Veggie Bean Curry
Ingredients (enough for three (adult) portions)
2tbsp oil (i used coconut oil because i’ve heard it’s nutritious. and delicious)
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 onion (chopped)
1 garlic clove (or 2) grated
A small knob of ginger root, grated
Half a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (or more or less according to your taste)
1 heaped tsp turmeric
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Mixed chopped veg of your choice – about 250g or a couple of handfuls
400g tin of white beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400ml vegetable stock
1tsp garam masala
2-3 tbsp of plain full fat yoghurt or cream
Freshly ground black pepper, sugar and sea salt
Begin by heating your oil over a medium heat and adding the cumin seeds to allow them to infuse for a minute. Add the onion and cook for about ten minutes until it is nice and sweet and soft. Then add the ginger, garlic, chilli and turmeric and mix together, heating for another minute or so.
Next add your tomatoes, bring to the boil then turn down the heat so they simmer. Let them simmer for a few minutes while you prepare your vegetables.
After a good ten minutes add the veg, beans and stock and let this bubble away for about 45 minutes, or until everything is nice and tender (if you are using tender veg like peas or spinach, add these towards the end of the cooking time).
45 minutes seemed like a long while to wait, but i used the time to cook my rice, and also a little bit of dhal, and the chilli oil i mentioned earlier and it worked out about right. I meant business with this dinner!
When cooked add the yoghurt, garam masala and season with salt, pepper and sugar to your own taste. mmmm. Serve and enjoy, and cold be gone.