Friday, 18 April 2008

Malaysian Vegetable Curry

It seems like ages since I've posted here! I've spent quite a bit of time this week trying to force my blog into a 3 column layout, and slowly pulling my hair out... Hence my earlier rant post!

I have also been sticking to my store cupboard challenge pretty well - I've limited eating out to a minimum, and even had four friends round for curry on Wednesday to help me out! However, a lot of the time, eating from my store cupboard seems to mean there is very little of interest to tell you about!

On Wednesday I invited the girls round for dinner - and there was only going to be two options... either pasta (to use up the kilos of the stuff I have discovered lurking in my cupboard) or curry (to use up the rice & tins of coconut milk) For either option, my kitchen was full of possibilities - frozen chicken or beef, lentils and other legumes, tinned tomatoes, a million spices and pastes so I knew I'd work out something. I was also ready for some vegetables and healthiness, so when I finally chose curry I decided that one of them would vegetarian - and here it is!

Malaysian Vegetable Curry

This makes loads! You could probably feed 6 as a main, or more as a side.
  • 2 cups lentils - washed (I used a mixture of red and yellow, if you use any other type note that it will probably affect the cooking time.)
  • 1 onion, thinkly sliced or chopped - it's up to you!
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1" piece ginger, grated
  • 3 thai red chillies - stalk removed, and halved lengthways
  • half head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • handful of green beans, washed and cut in two
  • 1/2 courgette, cut into chunks and fried over a very hot heat for a few minutes
  • 1/2 aubergine, cut into chunks and fried over a very hot heat for a few minutes
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp madras curry powder (Not what I would usually use, but I was using stuff up!)
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1" piece of stick cinnamon
  • Either coconut oil/ ghee/ normal oil for frying - in that order of preference!
  • Fish sauce(opt!), salt and soy sauce to taste
In a large saucepan (this is a biiiiiiggg curry!) heat the grease of your choice over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds * and keep moving until they start to pop, then add the onions and fry until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.

* if you have them, chuck in a few curry leaves here - I thought I had some, but I had run out!

Add the lentils, chillies and chopped tomatoes and stir well. Add the rest of the spices and mix thoroughly.

Next mix in a little bit of water - just enough to make it properly wet. Hmmm.... I realise how rubbish that instruction is - but basically we're going to cook the lentils for a few minutes and they need water to expand into! I think I added about a cup overall. It doesn't really matter too much :)

Bring to the boil, turn to a simmer, and leave to cook for 10 minutes. (If you are using other types of lentils - extend the cooking time as appropriate here)

Add the cauliflower and the tin of coconut milk, again bring to the boil, turn to a simmer, cover and leave for 10 minutes.

Almost there!

I would fish out the cinnamon stick here - but feel free to leave it in if you want a more cinnamony flavour.

Add in the rest of the vegetables, taste and adjust seasoning with fish sauce, soy sauce and salt.

Simmer uncovered for another 5/6 minutes - or until the lentils and vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Serve with steamed rice and/or rotis.


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4 comments:

Kavs said...

:) your curry reminds me of my grandma's "sambhar" - which is kinda like an indian vegetables and lentils stew.

p/s: why'd u name it malaysian?

kittie said...

HI Kavs! When I went on a Sri Lankan cookery course the tutor had also lived in Malaysia - when I asked him the difference between the two he said that Malay curries were almost a cross between Thai and Indian - so salty/coconut milk and earthy indian spices, esp turmeric and cinnamon. So that's what I was going for here! Am I barking up the wrong tree??!

Kavs said...

heya kittie, sorry took so long to reply. Well, since the term "Malaysian" generally for us, denotes a hodgepodge of chinese, indian and malay cuisine... i guess you aren't too far off! :) I got my mom to make my grandma's recipe, and linked back to u!

Mary Rex said...

This looks yummy, and since I was looking for a way to use up some stores as well, perfect. I will just need some cauliflower to whip it up tonight. thanks for the recipe.