It may be Spring here in Perth but the winter weather is showing no sign of easing, so we're trying to keep warm and well with lots of spicy curries packed with healthy ingredients. This coconut and vegetable curry is so easy to cook up and incredibly satisfying to eat.. it's currently on high rotation at home.
To make enough for four people you will need:
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 red onion, finely chopped (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (optional)
1-2 inches of ginger, grated
1 stalk of curry leaves (optional)
1-2 green chillies
2 teaspoons of bottle masala (or good, freshly ground curry powder)
Around three cups of raw veggies: for example potato, green beans, peas and zucchini. You can also add roasted veggies like pumpkin, or steamed veggies to shorten the cooking time.
1 tin of coconut milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 a teaspoon of sugar
1 heaped teaspoon of tamarind paste (or some freshly squeezed lemon juice)
Start by heating the fat in a heavy based pan and slowly fry your onions if you are using them, taking at least 10-15 minutes until they are golden and caramelised. Add the aromatics you are using: curry leaves, garlic, ginger and chilli, and fry for a few more minutes until the raw smell of spices disappears. Add the bottle masala and fry for a couple more minutes until your mixture is soft.
Add the veggies, stir fry for another minute or so, then slowly add the coconut milk (don't tip the whole tin in at once, add a little, stir and then add a bit more, you want the curry to be frying rather than stewing).
When all the coconut milk has been incorporated, add the salt and sugar, turn down to low and cover and cook until the veggies are done (around 20 minutes until you are using roasted or cooked veggies in which case you can shorten the cooking time).
At the end of cooking, you can loosen the curry by adding a bit of water until you have gravy of a consistency you like, and then stir in the tamarind paste or the juice of half a lemon, to add a bit of tang and balance the coconut flavours.
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with hot white rice.