The best vegetarian curry I have ever made! The key here is a long, slow cook. Your house will smell amazing and your tastebuds will thank you!
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion – finely chopped
1.5 inch piece cassia bark (or cinnamon)
2 green cardamon pods
1 inch piece fresh ginger – very finely chopped
1 clove garlic – very finely chopped
2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1.5 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspooon cumin
half teaspoon good chilli powder or use fresh chilli
1/3 cup flaked almonds
5 tablespoons Greek-style yoghurt
4 medium sized potatoes that keep firm when cooked – cubed
150 grams butternut pumpkin diced
200 grams lentils (I used canned)
1 can low fat coconut cream
2 tablespoons concentrated tomato purée
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flaked almonds prepared as in Method
Chopped fresh coriander leaf to garnish
Heat the butter in a large heavy pan then add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger and stir for a few minutes with the heat on a low heat ensuring they do not burn. Cook until fragrant.
Add the cassia bark and cardamons, stir a little and allow to infuse for a few minutes.
Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, mustard seeds and chilli powder and fry gently for a minute. Add 1 tablespoon of yoghurt, stir round and turn the heat up so the yoghurt sizzles in the oil (don’t worry, it won’t split if you’ve used full cream yoghurt). When the yoghurt has lost a lot of it’s moisture add another tablespoon. Stir and fry as before.
Repeat until all the yoghurt is incorporated. Add the tomato purée and 2 cups of water. Add in the potatoes, pumpkin and lentils. Allow to cook on a simmer until the potatoes have softened. Add in the coconut cream. Add salt and pepper to taste
While the sauce is cooking, heat a frying pan at low to moderate then add the flaked almonds. Move the almonds around the pan so they don’t burn and heat until they have just taken on a brown colour. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. When cool, crush them up with your fingers into smallish pieces.
Add the almonds to the sauce and simmer gently until your desired thickness is acheived. Stir from time to time. If the sauce gets too dry add a little hot water and continue to cook until the potatoes are cooked to your liking.
At the end of the cooking you should have a fairly thick, creamy sauce with little patches of oil appearing at the top. Remove the cassia and cardamons (if you can find them!).
Serve, garnished with chopped fresh coriander over some steamed rice with some papadums.
I cooked mine for approximately 2.5 hours. From what I hear… the longer you cook it the less “gassy” the lentils become