This is Ms O’s creative cooking week.
Nope. Don’t get your hopes up. What it actually means is – stop cooking the same old stuff and try something new, darn it all to heck.
Personally I like to borrow cookbooks from the library before committing my cash to them. It saves a lot of heartache when you find that you don’t actually enjoy the same tastes as the author. So this week, on my library trip I picked up a couple of books by well known authors Rose Elliot and Nigella Lawson. First up will be recipes by Ms Elliot. This one comes from Vegetarian Supercook.
Creamy cashew korma
Vegan. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes. Serves 4.
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
50g (2oz) cashew nuts
400ml (14fl oz) coconut milk
400ml (14fl oz) water
small handful of curry leaves (optional)
175g (6oz) okra, topped and tailed
250g (8oz) cauliflower florets
250g (8oz) broccoli florets
salt and pepper
chopped coriander leaves, to garnish
- Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, cover and fry for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, cumin and ground coriander, and cook for a minute or two longer.
- Grind the cashew nuts to a powder in a coffee grinder, food processor or using the fine grater in a hand mill. Add them to the pan, along with the coconut milk.
- For a really smooth sauce, you can now purée the whole lot in a food processor or blender (or use a stick blender in the saucepan) or, if you prefer some texture, leave it as it is.
- Return the mixture to the pan, if you’ve puréed it, and add the water and curry leaves, if using. Leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until thickened.
- Just before the sauce is ready, put the okra, cauliflower and broccoli into a pan containing a depth of 5cm (2 inches) boiling water. Cover and cook for about 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and add the vegetables to the korma, stirring gently. Season with salt and pepper.
- You can serve this at once, but if there’s time, let it rest for a while – even overnight – for the flavours to intensify. Then gently reheat. Scatter with coriander before serving and serve with hot white basmati rice.
This is a pretty simple and basic recipe. It isn’t strongly flavoured at all. In fact, if you like curry, you will probably want to zap it up a lot.
However, it makes a good base with which to play around with the flavours. We used green beans instead of okra, and added sliced chicken breast after step 2 and allowed it to cook along with the sauce.
It’s a definite keeper for our household, but it will be tweaked to suit our taste.