Not over ’til it’s over

Although Halloween is over for another year, I still have tons of homegrown pumpkins to use up so I decided it was time for curry night in our house. This is a Thai inspired curry with coconut milk added at the end to intensify the flavour and add a layer of richness to the dish, ideal for this time of year as the evenings start to cool down. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Coriander beef, pumpkin and chilli curry

Beef and Pumpkin curry 1

Serves: 4

1 kg cubed beef steak

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp salt

4 long green chillies, chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

3 cm cube root ginger, pealed

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped

2 tbs tomato puree

1 bunch fresh coriander

4 tbs sunflower oil

500 g butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed

125 ml coconut milk, plus extra to drizzle

turmeric rice and lime pickle, to serve

Place the beef in a bowl and add the ground coriander, black pepper and half the salt, stir well to coat meat and set aside until required.

Place the chillies, onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, tomato puree and all but a few sprigs of the coriander, roughly chopped, in a blender with 1 teaspoon salt and blend until smooth.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan fry the beef in batches in a flameproof casserole until browned, removing with a slotted spoon. Add a little extra oil to the pan if needed and add the paste, fry briefly until fragrant, then return the beef to the pan.

Bring to the boil, cover a simmer over a very low heat for 11/2  hours. Add the pumpkin to the pan, cover and cook for a further 30 minutes until the beef  is tender and the pumpkin mushy. Add the coconut milk and simmer gently for a few minutes until thickened.

Garnish the curry with the remaining coriander sprigs, drizzle over a little extra coconut milk and serve with turmeric rice and lime pickle.

Beef and Pumpkin curry 2


Going green this summer

I just love summer salads and tend to eat little else once the weather heats up. Last year I was working as cookery editor for Grazia (UK) magazine and one of my favourite recipes at the time was a delicious poached chicken and pea salad with a coconut and chilli dressing. This has now become one of our favourite salads at home and as fresh peas are abundant at the moment I thought you might like to try this out.

Poaching is a great and somewhat under used cooking method. It is in fact a very healthy way of cooking both meat and fish as you don’t need to add any fat. Not only that, but the poaching liquid ensures the meat will be lovely and moist and full of flavour. Often the stock is used as part of the dish but here the majority of the stock can be frozen for use in another dish.

 

Poached chicken with fresh pea, coconut and chilli salad

Photo Ian Wallace

Photo Ian Wallace

Serves: 4

1.5 kg free range chicken

1 onion, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, bashed

5 cm piece root ginger, sliced

50 ml light soy sauce

250 ml Shaoxing cooking wine

500 g mixed freshly shelled peas, mange tout and sugar snaps

50 g fresh pea shoots

a few fresh mint leaves

dressing

125 ml coconut cream
1 tbs poaching liquid from the chicken

juice 1 1ime

1 tsp freshly grated root ginger

2 tsp grated palm sugar

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

salt

Trim the chicken and place, breast side down, in a large saucepan with the onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, cooking wine and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface if necessary and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the chicken to cool in the pan.

When cold, remove the chicken, peel and discard the skin and bones and shred the meat. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the poaching liquid (reserve or freeze the stock to use another time).

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and season with a little salt, if necessary.

Steam or blanch the peas, mange tout and sugar snaps until al dente, drain well and immediately plunge into cold water. Drain again and dry thoroughly.

Arrange the peas, shredded chicken, pea shoots and herbs on serving plates and serve drizzled with the coconut chilli dressing.

TIP: Shaozing cooking wine is a Chinese rice wine and has a distinctive earthy flavour. It is available from many liquor stores or some larger supermarkets, as well as Chinese food stores.

Photo Ian Wallace

Photo Ian Wallace