Curry stir-fry an ideal side dish

The Press - Zest - - Zest -


This is an adap­ta­tion of a thoran – a dry curry dish from the Ker­ala in the south­west re­gion of In­dia. It is tra­di­tion­ally served with rice and I like it as a side dish with cur­ried fish. At this time of the year it’s a use­ful dish for us­ing up the last pur­ple-sprout­ing broc­coli, spinach that is about to go to seed, and the last cut of asparagus. Green beans – french beans not run­ner beans – are a way off yet, but frozen baby beans added at the last minute can be used. Fresh and frozen curry leaves are usu­ally avail­able at larger Kosco stores. Grated fresh co­conut would be added in Ker­ala and if co­conuts are on your shop­ping list, fine, but a lit­tle des­ic­cated co­conut can be used if you don’t find the touch of sweet­ness too sur­pris­ing. Serves 4-6. 2 ta­ble­spoons co­conut oil 1 tea­spoon brown mus­tard seeds 12 curry leaves (thawed if frozen) 1⁄ red onion, finely sliced length­ways

2 1 clove garlic, diced small About 8 asparagus spears, peeled, sliced 1⁄ tea­spoon turmeric

2 A large hand­ful of pur­ple-sprout­ing broc­coli (broc­col­ini can be sub­sti­tuted) About 100g green beans, sliced 4 hand­fuls of fresh spinach leaves Salt to taste 1-2 ta­ble­spoons dried onion flakes (I use Me­fco) 1 ta­ble­spoon des­ic­cated co­conut 1⁄ tea­spoon dried chilli flakes

2 Op­tional: a sprin­kle of sesame oil Heat the co­conut oil in a large, deep fry­ing pan (a wok is good) over medium heat, add the mus­tard seeds and as soon as they start pop­ping, add the curry leaves and onion slices. Cook, stir­ring un­til the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add the asparagus spears, turmeric and enough wa­ter to just cover the asparagus. Cook for 2 min­utes un­til the asparagus be­gins to wilt, then quickly add the re­main­ing vegetables and salt to taste. Add more wa­ter if nec­es­sary and cook un­til the vegetables are ten­der. Add the dried onion flakes, co­conut if us­ing, and dried chilli flakes and cook un­til the wa­ter has boiled off. Dress with sesame oil if us­ing and serve. Kate Fraser has moved on from edit­ing Zest, but the good news is she will con­tinue to write her popular weekly Now’s Good col­umn.


When Craig Hop­kins was a cap­tain on su­per yachts he got to know the world’s pro­vi­sion­ers. Re­tired and back in New Zealand he missed the spe­cial­ity mar­ket­places so started his own – Ede­sia – an on­line spe­cial­ity food­store.

Pomegranate bal­samic jelly, by Di­vin­ity, is a New Zealand prod­uct stocked by Ede­sia. It is rec­om­mended as a condi­ment to serve with cheese, but I say slather it over a lamb roast – or a soli­tary lamb chop if that’s your idea of din­ner – and en­joy its ful­lon tart rich­ness. $8.95 from edesia­mar­


Once tried, th­ese onion flakes are likely to turn up as an Ad­ver­tis­ing Kris Mor­gan, kris­tian.mor­gan@fair­fax­me­ Phone: 03 943 2558 ad­di­tion to true-Brit pars­ley sauces, Thai cur­ries, Chi­nese stir-fries, In­dian dishes, tagines . . . $2.49 a bag from Me­fco (Acheron Drive off Blen­heim Rd)

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