A healthy, warming curry recipe from Busylittlefoodie’s Grace Brady!
There’s a shift in the air. Spring is here! As a teacher of foreign language students, I constantly hear them talk (complain) about the weather but during the summer, their tune changes and they are constantly flabbergasted by the way Irish people embrace any bit of sunshine and warmth we can get our hands on. Over the weekend, I went home to the midlands (I know it’s strange for a surfer to be from the most landlocked, central part of Ireland) to spend some time with family. Taking the train down, blasts of warm sun shone through the window. I started to think about flip flops again.
I spent the day down at the lake, helping my Dad to strip paint off a wooden sailing boat and to sand down the hull of the boat. I don’t know what was more rewarding; the physical work, the woodwork or the competition for most vibrant blue going on between the sky and the lake. It was magic. We sat in the sun in our t-shirts eating ham sandwiches and drinking cups of barry’s tea. It felt like summer. The second we moved out of the sun and into the shade though, it was obvious we weren’t in summertime bliss just yet. On the train back on Sunday I saw people in back gardens setting up barbeques and girls sitting in the sun with their latest summer dresses but when I got home and the sun went down, I knew I needed warming up. It was time for my sweet potato and turmeric curry.
Curry is one of those wonderfully, simple dishes that is easy to make and only gets better with time. It’s also brilliant because you can change the ingredients based on what you have. I sometimes add chickpeas into this or spinach or kale at the end just before serving. The glow the turmeric brings to the curry is not its only selling point. There is plenty of ginger, turmeric and garlic to keep away any approaching illnesses and it’s the business for warming up cold toes. I serve mine with either short grain brown rice or basmati.
So get out there, enjoy the sunshine, brave a few midday hours in your flip flops but have this bubbling slowly away so that when the evening comes, you’re sorted.
2 Tbs coconut oil
1 big chunk fresh ginger (about 6 cm)
4 cloves of garlic
1 white onion
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp masala mix (you can buy these for 1 euro in any good Asian shop-magic mix of spices)
1 large (700 g approx) orange sweet potato (peeled and chopped into big cubes)
1 chunk fresh turmeric (approx. half the amount of ginger. Get it in the Asian shop too)
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 cans coconut milk
A few handfuls of washed spinach or roughly chopped kale at the end
1 can rinsed chickpeas when you add in the coconut milk.
1) Slice the onions. Squash and chop the garlic. Add them to the coconut oil in a large pot on medium heat with the cumin and coriander seeds and stir until the onion and garlic are soft. You can add a drop of water to stop things burning.
2) Add the masala mix and sweet potato and stir to mix all the ingredients through. Add the coconut milk. Peel and finely grate the turmeric into the curry mix, along with the turmeric powder. Cover with a lid and turn down to a low heat and cook for 30 minutes until the sweet potato is soft when you skewer it with a knife.
3) Add in the optional extras if you like. This curry can be eaten straight away but my best advice is to leave it at least overnight. Keeps for 3 days in an airtight container.
I serve this curry with rice. I used to be all about the pasta but rice has become my best friend in the last few years. You can buy short grain rice for next to nothing these days. The best way to cook it is absorption.
In a pot, measure out ½ cup rice per person (more if you’re super hungry). For 6 people, that’s 3.
To this, add just over 6 cups of water. Bring the water to the boil. As soon as it boils, turn it way down to a little bubble. It should take 35-40 minutes for all the water to be absorbed. The rice should be cooked, sticky and perfect for your curry!