Caribbean Corn and Pea Curry

So, I paid a visit to the Afro-Caribbean store in Southside the other day and picked up a plantain (I love plantains, like whoa) and what I thought was a sweet potato.  It looked sort of like a sweet potato, but it wasn’t marked.  I figured the worst it could be was a yam, and I could roll with a yam.

But when I skinned it and cut it open, I was in for a traumatising result.  I thought, ‘Hm, this might be a yam.’  And in the time it took me to exit the kitchen, enter the living room, say to Red, ‘I’m not sure it’s a yam, either’, and make it back to the kitchen, the not-yam had sprouted what can only be described as root-vegetable blood which had promptly turned a mouldy colour.  Horrifying.

So, I was left with a plantain. Excellent.

Tonight’s dinner was a lesson in ingenuity and good-pantry keeping.  And, to my very pleasant surprise, it ended quite tastily.

Corn and Pea Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe plantain (yellow), sliced lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • Half a small tin of sweet corn
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2-inch ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Half a bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50mL water, plus more as needed

Step One Heat oil in a big pot.  Add onion and sweat over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, and red chilli flakes and fry for an additional minute.

Step Two Add thyme, bay leaf and 50mL of water with a bit of salt.  Stir and cover the pot.  Turn the heat down to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step Three Add the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine.  Add water as necessary to make the consistency just barely on the soupy side of not-sticky.  (I know this probably makes no sense.  Basically, make sure that the mixture isn’t sticky and burning onto the bottom of the pot, but don’t add so much water that your curry turns into a stew/soup.)  Turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Simmer for another 5-7 minutes.

Serve with/over brown rice.

Yields 2 servings

Next time I might make it with scotch bonnets instead of chilli flakes and call it Jamaican.

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I got six courgettes for 99p at Waitrose this afternoon, figuring I would make courgette meals for six days in a row.

And then I realised that Red and I are going back to Essex this weekend to pick up our luggage for our trip, and I therefore won’t be home to make dinners.

Crap.

So I had to compensate in tonight’s dinner.  Objective: use as much courgette as humanly possible.  Result: (mostly) Courgette and Red Lentil Dal.  Adapted from Leah Leneman’s Vegan Cooking for One.  Served with some perfectly cooked brown rice.  The picture’s a bit crap because I took it with my phone, but the dal was a beautiful yellow punctuated by the bright green of the courgettes.

 

Courgette and Red Lentil Dal

Ingredients:

  • 2 courgettes
  • 3.5oz red lentils
  • water (for cooking lentils)
  • small onion
  • 1 tbsp creamed coconut
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp turmeric 
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Step 1: Put lentils in a pot and cover with water and stir in turmeric and some salt to taste.  Bring to a boil and then simmer briskly for ten minutes. After ten minutes, cover and simmer on low for another fifteen minutes.  Check lentils periodically and add water as necessary.  They should have a slightly soupy consistency by the end.

Step 2: Cut onion and chop garlic.  Sautee over medium heat in vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes, until beginning to soften.

Step 3: Chop ginger and slice courgettes.  Add to onion and garlic mixture and sautee for another 3-4 minutes, until courgette begins to soften.

Step 4: Add vegetable mixture to lentils (once the lentils have finished cooking; they should look like slop by this point).  Add garam masala, cayenne pepper, and creamed coconut and mix everything thoroughly.

Step 5: Serve with rice.

Step 6: Enjoy immensely.

(Serves 2)

 

I enjoyed mine a little too immensely, as I bit the hell off my tongue.  Note to self: eat less zealously.