Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Curry in a Hurry

With the turn in weather, I find myself craving woollen socks, hot cocoa and warm, stick-to-your-bones sorts of foods. Coupled with the fact that Mr Cycling Chef is leaving shortly to bike around Central America for 6 weeks, I thought what better than a curry reminiscent of the flavours of the Americas? This, I think, is one of the best things about food. With a little imagination, a few choice ingredients and an adventurous palate, you can travel to far off and exotic places simply with your taste-buds. So I invite you to pack your bags and head down to Latin America with me.

This region is a true melting-pot of international flavours. You will find African, Native American, European and Asian influences intermingling with indigenous grains, produce and meats. Many of the foods that we know and love today are direct byproducts of this cultural interaction. Tomatoes brought us pizza sauce, potatoes became french fries, chillies now lend heat to Pad Thai and cacao turned into chocolate.

I have made this curry before with both butternut squash and pumpkin (both were delicious!) but this time around I tried a squash unknown to me. I won't lie, I chose it because I thought it was pretty. I'm shallow like that.

Hello! I am a red kuri squash and I am adorable. 

Red kuri squash is chock full of vitamins A and C, plus betacarotene, calcium and iron. And did I mention fibre? No? Because this little cutie has that going for it as well. 

This curry (or should I say, kuri?) has a delicate and sweet flavour and is not particularly spicy. Rather, it is seasoned with softer flavours, most notably cinnamon and saffron. 

Red Kuri Curry with Basmati Rice
Inspired by Celia Brooks Brown

Serves 4

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper, finely diced
generous punch of cayenne
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 cinnamon stick
generous pinch of saffron threads
500g red kuri squash, chopped into 1/2" cubes
3 tomatoes, finely diced
1 large garlic clove
1 14oz can of coconut milk
salt and pepper
2 cups brown Basmati rice

  • Place rice in a pot with 4 cups of salted water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium and add the oil. Add the onion and pepper and saute until translucent.
  • Add the spices and stir until fragrant.
  • Add the squash, tomatoes and garlic and cook until the tomatoes soften.
  • Add the coconut milk and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes, until the squash is tender.
  • Serve alongside rice.
This is best eaten curled up on the sofa, wearing woollen socks and listening to the rain outside. 


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