I have a kind of weird relationship with curry. When I was a student I used to live in London together with my brother and our diet back then was pretty nasty to say the least, it mainly consisted of of sushi, burgers, pizza and loads of diet coke. Every know and then however I would make us some curry from scratch. I would get all the proper spices and get really into the process of adding them at a certain time, roasting them properly to get all the right aromas and so on. It was a really delicious curry.
Then I became vegan and my diet chanced drastically. Now whenever I went out to eat to a regular restaurant I was confronted with curry being the only vegan option on the menu. Not that I don’t appreciate restaurants offering a vegan option, I do. But does it always have to be curry?
So curry slowly went from being my go to healthy home cooked meal to something that in my mind was kind of boring and I stopped making it all to getter. But my curry recipe from back then was super delicious and it stuck in the back of my mind. I never wrote it down but recently I tried to recreate it. Since its been a few years and its way easier to get your hands on all the right indian spices when you live in London, this recipe is a slightly different version. But it’s still pretty delicious so I wanted to share it with you.
Like I said it can be quite hard to find certain spices in some places, so definitely feel free to substitute. For example if the recipe ask for the whole version of a spice and you can only find the ground up one, just use that. The reason why it’s preferred to use whole spices in curry is that when you dry roast the whole spices before adding all the other ingredients, its allows them to fully unfold their aromas and release all their essential oils.
There is a whole science behind the spices used in curry, for example different traditional recipes ask for different spices to be added at a certain time in the cooking process. It’s really fascinating. However I don’t want to get to deep into all of this, since it can be quite confusing. So for this recipe you will just be adding them all at one in the beginning of the cooking process. I hope you have fun recreating this one.
For the curry:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 470g or 2 normal sized sweet potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 handful of spinach leaves
- 1 large white onion
- 3-4 chilis
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp of minced ginger
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 6 dried curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 5 whole dry cloves
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp whole pepper corns
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- a handful of fresh coriander to garnish
for the naan:
- 2 cups or 250g spelt flour
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp or 100ml soy milk
- 3 cloves of garlic
for the yoghurt sauce:
- 1 cup or 250 g of plain soy yoghurt
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp minced coriander greens
- salt & pepper to taste
for the rice:
- 1 cup or 190g rice
- 2 tsp of olive oil
- a tsp of saffron
- salt to taste
To make the curry:
- Heat up a large pot on medium heat. Next peel and dice the sweet potatoes and steam cook for about 15 mins to make them soft. For this curry you want the sweet potato to be almost dissolved, therefore you have to steam or cook them in advance.
- Add the curry leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, peppercorns and turmeric into the dry pot and let them roast for a little while to allow them to unfold their aroma.
- Next slice the onion and mince the ginger and together with the coconut oil add into the pot with the spices. Let everything cook for a few minutes while sitting.
- Then add the minced garlic stir in to the mix for about 30 seconds before adding the coconut milk and diced tomatoes.
- Slice the carrots and the bell pepper and add into the curry together with the steamed sweet potato. Stir in well, turn the temperature down to medium/low and let it simmer with a lid on for a minimum of 40 minutes.
- Right before serving add in the spinach and the lemon juice. Stir well until all the spinach leaves are wilted.
To make the naan:
- Add the flour into a clean bowl, through a sieve. Next add the sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix well.
- Create a little mold in the middle of the flour and add in 2 tbsp of olive oil and soy milk.
- Combine well and start kneading the dough on a clean surface. Continue kneading for about 8 minutes until the dough is completely smooth.
- In a oiled bowl covered with a damp towel, let the dough sit for about 15 mins in a warm place.
- While the dough is resting, crush the garlic cloves and combine them with the remaining olive oil.
- Next divide the dough into 5 balls. Roll them out into flat teardrop shapes to create the signature naan look.
- Place a sheet of baking paper into the oven and set the oven on grill. Wait a few minutes to allow the baking paper to heat up. Then place the naan on top and bake on the upper shelf for 2 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and immediately brush with the oil and garlic mix.
To make the yoghurt sauce:
- Simply chop the coriander greens into small bits and combine with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Keep refrigerated until serving.
To make the rice:
- Cook your rice as usual after cooking immediately add the oil and salt and stir for a few minutes to allow the rice to cool down before adding the saffron.