This is not a fussy thing! Not a gram (or lentil) of stress, just lots of spicy and sweet creaminess……the perfect dish to end Vegetarian Week. Twitter takes up a lot of time! I’ve been tweeting like a nutter this morning but its great to come back to the BHK. Blog-ville!
Here is last nights dinner which worked out a treat. Creamy and sweet with a hint of nuttiness and plenty of spice this is pure plant and packed with things to make you shine and go MMmmmmmmm……. This is a chunky curry, all made in the one pan for ease of preparation. We like to keep things whole food and don’t think this means loads or extra prep or time over the hob. There is no separate masala sauce making here, we just dive straight in and get maximum flavour and richness from the soya milk and peanut butter.
Jane and I celebrated my birthday on the beach and in the garden yesterday. A little belated as I’ve been busy promoting ‘Peace and Parsnips’ down in London and working at the Trig. We quaffed a nice bottle of Sancerre and watched the sun slowly set from a rug near our stone circle (quite a cool feature of our garden!) Pretty idyllic behaviour! Our garden is looking wild and verdant at the minute, alive with the hum of big busy bumble bees. You have to wait ages for a sunset at this time of year, we gave up at 9:30pm and retreated into the Beach House. I mention in the recipe that we like our veggies with a little crunch and must say that the pictures of the curry were taken alot later in the evening when the curry had sat and carried on cooking. They were well cooked by that stage (a bottle of wine can have a bizarre effect on cooking).
Later we watched an interesting documentary ‘Sacred Science‘ about natural plant healing, straight from the shamans of the Amazon. There is so much healing potential in the plant world, most of which we are unaware of. This documentary opened our eyes to the potency of the natural world to heal even serious or terminal illness; cancer, parkinsons, diabetes etc. The Amazon is tragically disappearing for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being deforestation for the growing of soya beans to fatten cattle for humans to consume. Cutting out meat and dairy will have a hugely positive effect on the Amazon, safeguarding the plants that will one day, no doubt, be used more widely to cure illnesses that presently can only be treated with powerful chemical drugs with many side effects.
A WORD ON WELSH WEATHER
(Always an interesting conversation in North Wales. We had hail stones the other day like ping pong balls. It sounded like the world was being pummelled with marbles!) Its been chilly up here in North Wales and the plants are taking it slowly this year. Basically, not growing. We are about to put our crop of seedlings out into the veg patch, but if things don’t get alot drier and sunnier, we fear stunted beetroots and shy cabbages. Come on SUN! Trigonos (is our local organic/ biodynamic veggie farm) is growing a load of veggies this year and hopefully soon we’ll have some local seasonal veggies to play with. At the minute we are turning to things like sweet potato regularly, primarily because they are one of the most nutritious (see ‘Foodie Fact’ below) and delicious things that could ever pass your hungry lips.
Jane makes me a mix CD for my birthday every year, last year we had the magnificence of ‘Wild Honeypie’ which contained alot of tracks from the awesome snowboarding movie ‘Valhalla‘. This years offering is ‘Hazy Daze’ and I’ve popped a couple of the tunes at the bottom of this post. To give you an idea of what we’re grooving to when peeling our radiant orange spuds. Its fair to say that ‘Ultimate Spinach’ are our new favourite band for so many reasons.
So, a simple curry which we hope you make with big smiles and eat with loved ones and laughterXXXXxx
The Bits – For 4
850g sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into 2 inch chunks)
1 large onion (sliced)
1 large pepper (deseeded and cut into 2 inch chunks)
1 large courgette
2 large tomatoes (roughly diced)
1 chilli (finely diced) or 1/2 teas chilli flakes
2 inches ginger (roughly grated)
250ml soya milk
2-3 tbs smooth peanut butter
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 teas sea salt
2 teas cumin seeds
1 1/2 teas mustard seeds
1 teas fenugreek seeds
1 teas ground turmeric
2 teas ground coriander
1/2 teas ground cardamom or 4 cardamom pods
In a large frying pan, warm the vegetable oil and add the spice seeds (only). Leave them to fry and pop for 30 seconds and then add the onion. Stir well and add 1 tbs of water if the pan is getting too hot. This helps to prevent the spices from sticking and potentially burning. Fry and stir for 5 minutes, when the onions are golden, add the ginger, chilli and sweet potatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Making sure you stir regularly.
Now add the ground spices to the pan, stir well and add the tomatoes with 2 tbs water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the soya milk, courgettes and pepper, turn the heat up a little and bring the curry to a boil. Lower the heat and cover and cook for roughly 5-7 minutes, until the courgettes are soft with some crunch still. If you plan on serving the curry later, cook only for a few minutes, the veggies will cook through when you come to re-heating the curry.
Just before serving, stir in the peanut butter. If you really like peanuts, go for 3 tbs, 2 tbs will give a light, nuttiness.
Would be lovely with some freshly chopped coriander, brown rice and all your favourite curry accompaniments. A spiced chutney of some sort will be magnificent! To add even more nutrition by adding a few handfuls of spinach to the finished curry and stirring them in.
Sweet potato is one of our favourite ingredients. Its such a treat in so many ways, just roasted in its jacket is something sublime. Sweet potato (also called Yam) is grown all over the world, there are actually over 200 varieties. The insides of these potatoes can be purple, cream, yellow, pink, white…. They are originally from Central and South America, one of the oldest foods known to man, nowadays the worlds largest producer is China. Sweet potato is one of the finest sources of beta-carotene, raising our Vitamin A levels. Eating sweet potatoes with a little fat, i.e. the vegetable oil in this recipe, helps the body absorb the beta-carotene. These vivid tubers also contain lots of Vitamin C and Manganese.