Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Curried Courgette

August 17, 2017 by General Administrator

This is a two-hander. First you make some customised curry powder. Then you make a very quick courgette dish using the special spice blend. The coconut milk, and the technique of adding spices in two stages, gives a layered depth: no single flavour predominates. It’s very good with rice.

You can get curry leaves from the Oriental Store on the High Street, or at Sandhu’s on Russell Terrace—just ask them and they’ll fetch some from the back of the shop. They keep for a long time in the freezer.

The recipe for the roasted curry powder makes a lot. Keep it for use in future courgette curries, or in other recipes that might appear later this year. It’s really easy and worth the small effort.

Courgette Curry with Roasted Curry Powder
Serves 2

For the Roasted Curry Powder
1 tablespoon basmati rice (brown or white)
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the Courgettes
2 medium courgettes, chopped into big chunks
1 teaspoon chilli powder
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed
a sprig of curry leaves
1 white onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons roasted curry powder
300ml tinned tomato (or you can use fresh tomatoes)
150ml coconut milk

For the Roasted Curry Powder:
Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat. Add the rice and toast it for several minutes, until it starts to turn brown (or browner, if it’s already brown). Add the other spices and toast for 3 to 5 minutes, until they start to darken but are not getting burnt. Turn the heat down if necessary and stir regularly.

Remove from the heat and let it cool. Once it’s cool you need to grind the mix. You can either use a spice grinder, if you possess such a thing, or ask someone else to grind it for you in a mortar and pestle. The latter is hard work, which is why I’d recommend asking someone else to do it.

Put the ground spice mixture in a jar and label it so you don’t forget what it is.

For the Courgettes:
Put the courgettes in a bowl and toss them with the chile powder and a pinch of salt. Set them aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot add the mustard and fennel seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop and fly all over the cooker add the curry leaves and stir. Then add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes, until the onion is starting to brown.

Add the curry powder, stir, and cook for a few minutes, to allow the flavours to emerge with the heat. Add the tomatoes and stir some more. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the courgettes, stir again, and cook for about 5 minutes, or longer, until the courgettes are tender.

Pour in the coconut milk, stir, cover and let cook gently for another 5 minutes or so. Now it’s ready. Eat with rice, perhaps.

(Recipe adapted from Rosie Birkett, Guardian 22 July 2017.)

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