We love this delicious vegetarian curry, made with coconut milk, created by Cyrus Todiwala, from his cookbook Simple Spice Vegetarian
IMAGE: MATT RUSSELL
Kaari is how one would pronounce the word curry. Kaari or curry represents anything either with or in a sauce predominantly made using coconut milk. Mostly only people from South to South East Asia will use the term curry, as traditionally they use coconut milk. Curry in British terminology denotes everything representing Indian cuisine, which is confusing to those of us who were brought up on curry and rice, as it has a completely different meaning.
Old Ceylon-Spiced Omelette Kaari (Ceylon Paarampariya Masala Muttai Curry)
- 3 tbsp Rapeseed oil
- 2 (level) tbsp Ginger and garlic paste (see below)
- 2–3 Fresh green chillies slit lengthways
- 10–12 Curry leaves preferably fresh, thinly shredded; if using dried soak in water for 10–12 minutes and dry thoroughly before shredding
- 3 medium Red onions finely chopped
- 2 tsp Hot madras curry powder (see below)
- 2 tsp Red chilli powder
- ½ tsp Ground turmeric
- 4–5 medium Tomatoes chopped
- 700–800 ml Coconut milk
- 6–8 sprigs Fresh coriander stalks and leaves chopped plus extra for serving
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the omelettes
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2-3 tbsp Cashew nuts
- 2 small Red onions chopped
- 6–8 Eggs
- 2 medium Tomatoes chopped
- 6–8 sprigs Fresh coriander stalks and leaves chopped
- Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the ginger, garlic paste, green chilli and curry leaves.
- Sauté for 2–3 minutes, until the garlic changes colour, and add the onion.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the curry powder, chilli powder and turmeric with 5–6 tablespoons of water to form a smooth paste. Set aside.
- After 6–7 minutes, or when the onions turn a light brown, add the curry paste and cook on a medium to low flame until the liquid dries out and you can see oil emerging.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture has reduced and looks almost like jam, then add the coconut milk and simmer for 10–15 minutes until it is the consistency of fresh double cream. Add some seasoning.
- Meanwhile, make the omelettes. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the cashews. Sauté until they change colour, about 2–3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on some kitchen paper. Now add the onions to the same pan and cook for 3–4 minutes, until pale brown. Take off the heat and strain the onions in a colander (with a bowl underneath to collect the butter). Squeeze well to get rid of any moisture.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl, stir through the onions, tomatoes and coriander and season well.
- Wipe the frying pan dry and heat half the strained butter over a medium heat. As the butter begins to froth, add half the beaten egg mixture. Once one side is cooked, about 2 minutes, flip to cook through and then remove once just cooked (it will continue to cook in the curry). Slice into strips and repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Add the omelette strips and cashews to the warm curry sauce, top with the coriander and serve immediately.
Ginger and Garlic Paste (Adoo lasan)
- 115 g Garlic 4oz cloves, roughly chopped
- 115 g Fresh ginger 4oz, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Oil any except olive oil, plus extra for preserving
- Put the garlic and ginger into a blender, add the oil and a dash of water and blitz to a purée. If too thick, add more water and a little more oil until smooth in consistency.
- Transfer to a sterilised jar, cover with a layer of oil to preserve, seal tightly and store in the fridge for up to 3 months. Use as needed, always using a dry spoon and keeping the rim of the container clean. If the paste begins to dry out, pour some more oil over the top before resealing.
Hot Madras Curry Powder
- 50 g Dried red chillies 13/4oz
- 80 g Coriander seeds 23/4oz
- 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp Black mustard seeds
- 8-10 Black peppercorns
- a pinch (optional) Asafoetida
- 3/4 tsp Ground turmeric
- 8-10 Fresh curry leaves shredded; if using dried, soak in water for 10–12 minutes, and dry thoroughly before shredding
- 150 g Split yellow peas 51/4oz
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
- Place the red chillies on one baking tray and the rest of the ingredients on the second. Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave in the switched off oven for 15–20 minutes.
- Grind the chillies to a fine powder, then grind the other ingredients. Sift everything through a fine sieve. Grind any larger pieces and sift again.
- Store in an airtight container for 10–12 months. Keep in the fridge or a cool dark place.
Recipe taken from Simple Spice Vegetarian: Easy Indian vegetarian recipes from just 10 spices, by Cyrus Todiwala, published by Mitchell Beazley, £20, www.octopusbooks.co.uk