WheelerandCompany have had a busy weekend cooking for a very special 3rd Birthday party. The hoards arrived, ate drank and, well trained as they are, cleaned up after themselves!
We made a really good lamb and prune tagine with a 3lb shoulder of lamb from Kearney's in Cushendall, a beetroot, potato, feta and mint salad and a bean, butternut squash and coconut curry and some curried prawns to nibble Lots to eat and drink and fun was had by all, especially the 3 year old when the cake arrived!
I will give you the curry recipe here today as my sis urgently wants it and tomorrow I will give you the tagine recipe which is from the very special Claudia Roden - I love her recipes for tagine, meat balls with egg, lentil soup....
The bean curry recipe I have is from a very old magazine clipping from an unidentified source, I use it regularly to quantify the spices and then add a wide variety of ingredients, anything that I have available.
Bean, Squash and Coconut Curry
For 4 you will need:
2 tblsps sunflower or vegetable oil
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
10 curry leaves - use fresh if you can get them, I had to use dried
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tsp mild curry powder - I used this as it was for the children, use hot if you prefer
4 cardamon pods, lightly crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder - again optional and leave it out if it is for children
200ml coconut milk
1 tin chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 small squash or 1/2 a medium one, peeled and diced
3 tblsps of coconut flakes
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
juice of 1 lime
2 tblsps coriander leaves, chopped and more for garnish
Basmati rice and naan bread to serve.
In a heavy casserole dish with a lid, warm the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop after about half a minute, add the curry leaves and onion and cook for 4 minutes until the onion softens. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Now add the spices : ginger, curry powder(mild or hot), turmeric, coriander, chili powder(optional) and cardamon pods. Stir it all through well and let it cook for a few minutes until you can smell the amazing smell of the combination of the spices.
Add the coconut milk, water and the butternut squash. Bring just to boiling point, turn it down and simmer gently until the squash is just soft to the tip of a knife. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
I have made this a few times this week, once adding prawns, trimmed french beans, broccoli, courgette and also one left over chestnut mushroom. You could also add some slices of raw chicken breast as a substitute to the squash. As long as the spices are correct, this is a very versatile curry which will marry well with a few neglected vegetables that need using up.
I have to mention the wonderful birthday cake hand-made by Emmas Buns in Northern Ireland - a work of art to say the least!