AT THIS time of year, I like nothing better than a full-flavored curry to wake up my taste buds after months of more tame seasonal fare.
My husband recently cooked up this dish based on one he found in the January 2017 issue of Delicious magazine. As usual, he made some test batches till he got it just to his (our) liking, which usually means devising ways to add more flavor and richness, usually by means of a few substitutions and a little more of “this and that”.
The underlying theory behind the original recipe is to offer a lighter alternative by exchanging coconut milk for yogurt (full-fat, mind you), which actually works just fine, but then my own resident master chef substituted ghee (clarified butter) instead of sunflower oil for that extra bit of richness, which goes down a treat.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and if you can think up any more ‘improvements’ just drop a line in the Comments below and let us know so we can all enjoy them!
Vegetable curry with lime rice
Serves 4 as a main (for two, it means you have lots of tasty leftovers for the week ahead).
3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter; you can also use beurre à rôtir)
2 medium onions, sliced lengthwise in slivers (plus one extra onion, set aside)
250g cauliflower florets
700g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and cut into 2cm pieces
200g spinach (baby spinach, preferably)
200g frozen peas, to start
6 tbsp Madras curry paste, to start (we found a jar at Dragon Pearl: 1, Rue de Cornavin, 1201 Geneva, Tel: 022.731.16.41)
Any extra veg lying about in the fridge (we added half an eggplant, diced)
1/2 litre water, to start
200g full-fat Greek yogurt
For the lime rice:
500g Basmati rice
50g fresh coriander, roughly chopped to serve (optional)
Zest and juice of 2 limes, plus wedges to serve
Heat the ghee in a deep pan (we used our cast iron-bottomed Le Creuset) on Medium heat and fry the onions for 4 to 5 mins, then add 5 tbsp curry paste and fry for 1 minute more. Add the butternut squash and fry for 2 mins, then the cauliflower florets (and any other veg) and fry for 5 mins. Add 1/2 litre water and simmer for 1 hour, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add more water if the sauce gets too thick and pasty.
Stir in the frozen peas and spinach to wilt. Add another tbsp of curry paste, mix. Stir in the yogurt, season and heat through for 5 minutes.
For best flavour, leave to cool overnight so the spices settle and infuse the mixture.
When ready to serve, gently reheat, add another onion prepared as above and allow to cook through. Add more water as needed. Toss in another handful of frozen peas and lightly cook through.
Heat the rice according to the package instructions. When done, stir in the coriander, lime zest and juice and season to taste. Serve with the curry and lime wedges to squeeze over.