Sam Mannering's super-easy vegetarian curry
There seems to be an assumption that any sort of curry takes forever to make from scratch. This is, of course, complete nonsense.
I've never been one for store-bought curry pastes; I prefer to build my own. I've deliberately kept this one very mild so it can be used as a base for other flavours – finely chopped red or green chilli or that addictive Chinese chilli paste (Lao Gan Ma is the brand to look out for). That's the beauty of making your own curry bases, you can chop and change as you like. If you're not crazy about cumin or coriander, don't add it. I hope this doesn't mean I'm a boastful person, but there is a special certain pride in making this sort of thing from scratch.
I'm very pleased to see snake beans starting to appear in supermarkets because I absolutely love them. If you can't find them, normal green beans or flat beans are just as delicious.
CURRY OF PUMPKIN, SNAKE BEANS, CASHEWS AND CURRY LEAVES
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
half a crown pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and cut into smallish pieces
salt and pepper
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
handful fresh curry leaves, picked off the stem
handful coriander, finely chopped
1 400ml tin coconut milk
1 cup roasted cashew nuts, plus a few extra
1 tbsp soy sauce
handful snake or green beans, washed and cut
into 7-10cm lengths
1 lime, quartered, to serve
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped, to serve
brown rice, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C on fan bake.
Spread pumpkin over an oiled roasting tray, drizzle a little more oil over the top and season well with salt and pepper.
Roast for 25-30 minutes until pumpkin is tender and a little caramelised on the outside. Remove and cool.
In the meantime, place about 3 tablespoons oil into a large deep frying pan or saucepan, over a moderate heat.
When oil has heated up, add onion and fry for several minutes until soft and translucent.
Add cumin seeds, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala, curry leaves and coriander, and continue to fry for another minute until the spices are fragrant – take care not to let them burn.
Add coconut milk, cashews and soy sauce. Stir in and simmer, reduce and thicken for five minutes.
Add roast pumpkin and snake beans and fold carefully into the mixture.
Cook for another three or four minutes until snake beans are just cooked, but still have a bit of crunch.
Taste and season with salt and pepper and serve alongside brown rice with lime juice squeezed on top.