Curry stir-fry an ideal side dish
GREEN VEGETABLE THORAN
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.
EDESIA ONLINE SPECIALITY FOODS JAR OF POMEGRANATE JELLY
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 edesiamarket.co.nz
Once tried, these onion flakes are likely to turn up as an Advertising Kris Morgan, email@example.com 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)