WARM UP WITH CURRY

donna hay - Fresh + Light - - Contents - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY WILLIAM MEPPEM STYLING JUS­TINE POOLE

Aro­matic and en­tic­ing, these light yet creamy cur­ries will re­vi­talise your din­ners with a world of new flavour

Darker evenings and cooler weather call for bright, lively cur­ries with siz­zling fra­grant spices. We’ve taken our pick of favourites from around the world, in­clud­ing In­dia, Thai­land, Sri Lanka and Mau­ri­tius, and given them a lighter spin. Each one uses a clever blend of in­gre­di­ents, in­cor­po­rat­ing nour­ish­ing com­po­nents in­clud­ing fresh veg­eta­bles, co­conut wa­ter and lean pro­teins. Choose your curry, then pick the per­fect side and condi­ment for an un­for­get­table feel-good feast.

Based on the classics, these are bet­ter- for-you din­ners for ev­ery day. The Thai green curry is a lighter ver­sion of the stan­dard, with a spinach-based iron-rich curry paste, plus omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon. And the chicken curry clev­erly uses al­mond milk to re-cre­ate the mildly spiced rich­ness of a clas­sic but­ter chicken.

salmon green curry

1 tea­spoon ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

400ml can co­conut milk

2 cups (500ml) co­conut wa­ter

2 stalks lemon­grass, bruised and halved

8 kaf­fir lime leaves

1 long green chilli, halved

1 ta­ble­spoon fish sauce

4 x 150g fil­lets skin­less salmon

1 bunch (300g) bok choy, trimmed and halved

2 cups (160g) bean sprouts, trimmed shiso leaves and lime wedges, to serve gin­ger brown rice or co­conut quinoa, to serve (see recipes, p102)

curry paste

2 es­chalots (French shal­lots), chopped

2 cloves gar­lic

5 cups (100g) baby spinach leaves, blanched

6 stalks (stems and roots in­cluded) co­rian­der (cilantro), chopped To make the curry paste, place the es­chalots, gar­lic, spinach and co­rian­der in a small food pro­ces­sor and process un­til smooth.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 3–4 min­utes or un­til aro­matic. Add the co­conut milk, co­conut wa­ter, lemon­grass, kaf­fir lime leaves, chilli and fish sauce. Cover with a lid and cook for 5– 6 min­utes or un­til the mix­ture comes to the boil. Add the salmon and cook for a fur­ther 5– 6 min­utes or un­til cooked to your lik­ing.

Add the bok choy and cook for 1 minute or un­til just cooked through. Di­vide be­tween bowls, top with the bean sprouts, shiso and lime wedges, and serve with the gin­ger brown rice or co­conut quinoa. SERVES 4.

chicken and al­mond milk curry

2 tea­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

800g chicken thigh fil­lets, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces 1¼ cups (350g) to­mato puree (pas­sata)

2 cups (500ml) unsweet­ened al­mond milk

3 sticks cin­na­mon

1 long red chilli, halved

½ cup (80g) chopped al­monds, toasted cau­li­flower rice and cu­cum­ber raita, to serve (see recipes, p102) mi­cro (baby) co­rian­der (cilantro), to serve

curry paste

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves gar­lic

4cm-piece gin­ger, peeled and sliced ½ tea­spoon ground turmeric 1 tea­spoon ground cumin

1 tea­spoon ground car­damom 1 tea­spoon fen­nel seeds

1 tea­spoon garam masala

1 tea­spoon sea salt flakes To make the curry paste, place the onion, gar­lic, gin­ger, turmeric, cumin, car­damom, fen­nel, garam masala and salt in a small food pro­ces­sor and process un­til smooth.

Heat 1 tea­spoon of the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat, add the chicken and cook, in batches, for 3 min­utes each side or un­til lightly golden. Re­move and set aside.

Heat the re­main­ing oil in the pan, add the curry paste and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 2–3 min­utes or un­til aro­matic. Add the to­mato puree, al­mond milk, cin­na­mon and chilli. Re­turn the chicken to the pan and stir to com­bine. Re­duce heat to medium and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 25–30 min­utes or un­til slightly thick­ened and the chicken is cooked through.

Top the curry with the al­monds. Serve with the cau­li­flower rice, cu­cum­ber raita and co­rian­der. SERVES 4.

egg­plant, kale and chick­pea curry

1 tea­spoon ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

2¼ cups (560ml) co­conut wa­ter

400ml can co­conut milk

2 sprigs curry leaves

5 Ja­panese egg­plants (aubergine), halved length­ways 400g can chick­peas (gar­ban­zos), drained and rinsed 80g baby kale leaves

½ cup (25g) flaked co­conut, toasted gin­ger brown rice (see recipe, p102), to serve

curry paste

2 cups (50g) kale leaves, torn

2 tea­spoons cumin seeds

2 tea­spoons fen­nel seeds

4 car­damom pods

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves gar­lic

3 stalks (stems and roots in­cluded) co­rian­der (cilantro), chopped 1 tea­spoon sea salt flakes

¼ cup (60ml) co­conut wa­ter To make the curry paste, place the kale in a bowl and cover with boil­ing wa­ter. Set aside for 2 min­utes to soften, then drain. Heat a small fry­ing pan over medium heat, add the cumin, fen­nel and car­damom, and cook, stir­ring, for 2–3 min­utes or un­til lightly toasted and fra­grant. Place in a small food pro­ces­sor and process un­til finely chopped. Add the onion, gar­lic, kale, co­rian­der, salt and co­conut wa­ter. Process for 1 minute or un­til a smooth paste forms.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add the curry paste and cook, stir­ring, for 3–4 min­utes or un­til aro­matic. Add the co­conut wa­ter, co­conut milk, curry leaves and egg­plant and stir to com­bine. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 min­utes. Re­move the lid, add the chick­peas and cook for a fur­ther 5 min­utes or un­til the egg­plant is ten­der and the chick­peas are warmed through. Top with the baby kale and co­conut and serve with the gin­ger brown rice. SERVES 4.

cur­ried mus­tard mus­sels

1 tea­spoon ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

½ cup (125ml) co­conut milk

2 cups (500ml) co­conut wa­ter

¼ cup (70g) whole­grain mus­tard

1kg mus­sels, cleaned thinly sliced red chilli, mint leaves and co­rian­der (cilantro) to serve

curry paste

1 onion, roughly chopped

½ tea­spoon cumin seeds 6cm-piece gin­ger, peeled and sliced 3 car­damom pods

2 cloves gar­lic

6cm-piece fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced To make the curry paste, place the onion, cumin, gin­ger, car­damom, gar­lic and turmeric in a small food pro­ces­sor and process un­til smooth.

Heat the oil a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stir­ring, for 2–3 min­utes. Add the co­conut milk, co­conut wa­ter and mus­tard. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 min­utes or un­til the mix­ture starts to boil. Add the mus­sels, cover and cook for a fur­ther 5 min­utes or un­til the mus­sels open. Top with the chilli, mint and co­rian­der to serve. SERVES 4.

Top­ping a pot of warm, rich curry with a flurry of bright, fresh herbs and sliced chilli adds a pow­er­ful and un­mis­tak­able zesty fin­ish to a dish. It’s a great way to build lay­ers of flavour and cre­ate stun­ning con­trast, with hardly any ef­fort re­quired.

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