When visiting my lovely family in Bilsborrow I wanted to make tea simple by using what was in the fridge. There were bell peppers, potatoes, coriander, onions, and a mango! After picking up a can of coconut milk from the local village store, we got cracking in the kitchen. The result was quite satisfying and without too much fuss. I promised Stef to write it up as he thought it might be something he could whip up in a jiffy when he got home from work.
One thing I forgot to do was cook the potatoes separately. Boiling them in coconut milk took what felt like forever. Instead of four to five minutes it was over thirty! Luckily there was plenty of time so it wasn’t a problem.
Now I’m curious how this recipe will go for lunch today for the Zen River crowd.
Tip: try using carrots instead of potatoes for a lighter, more colourful touch and prepare the same way. Substitute ground turmeric with two small fingers of fresh turmeric root, minced fine.
500 g (1 pound) waxy potatoes, or carrots
1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper
1 ripe mango
150 g (1 cup) runner beans
20 g (2 tablespoons) fresh ginger
3 medium cloves garlic
10 g (3 tablespoons chopped) fresh coriander (cilantro)
2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
250 g (1½ cups) chickpeas, cooked and drained (about one can)
400 ml (1¾ cups) coconut milk
60 ml (¼ cup) water
2 whole star anise
1 tablespoon hot curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sultanas
1 teaspoon lemon juice or mild vinegar
Salt to taste
- Peel and medium-dice the onion.
- Deseed and medium-dice the bell pepper.
- Medium-dice the mango; first determine the direction of the flat seed then cut the fruit into two parallel cheeks following the seeds flat edge. Score the cheeks into squares without piercing the skin. Press the back side of the mango skin so it flips inside out; the squares will pop up like a hedgehog. Trim the segments away from the peel.
- Peel and mince the ginger and garlic.
- Top and tail the runner beans, removing any strings from the side. Cut into short horizontal lengths.
- Peel and medium-dice the potatoes, or carrots. Rinse the potatoes with water.
- Roughly chop the coriander.
- In a stew pot, heat the oil on a medium flame. Add the onions, bell peppers, mango, and star anise and stir-fry until the onions begin to brown. Then add the garlic, ginger, and a dash of salt. Stir-fry a few minutes more.
- Put in the coconut milk, water, curry powder, turmeric, tomato paste, and raisins, and stir well. Then put in the drained chick peas. Simmer for 10 minutes to marry the flavours, stirring occasionally.
- While the curry sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the runner beans, return to a boil and simmer over a medium flame for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and put into the sauce.
- In the same pot of boiling water, tip in the potatoes, return to a boil and simmer over a medium flame for about 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and combine with the curry sauce. (To prevent the sauce from getting too thick try not to break the potatoes when stirring them through the sauce.)
- Add the lemon juice and coriander. Season to taste.
- Serve alongside basmati rice and apple chutney.