Monday, May 9, 2011

Bean Curry–adapted very slightly from Madhur Jaffreys Ultimate Curry Bible.

Get yourself some fresh curry leaves. Really nothing like them. Although they did lead to a week of Curry.

No great harm in that. 

Probably takes about 20-30 mins all in.


  • 1 can of beans – drained and rinsed (Black Eye were good, Kidney if you must)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 whole, dried, hot red chillies
  • 1 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • A generous pinch of ground Asafetida
  • 15 fresh curry leaves, if available
  • 3 medium tomatoes, grated on the coarsest part of the grater  (or just chopped up a bit if you think life’s too short)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 fresh, hot green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp peeled fresh ginger grated to a pulp
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp salt


  1. pour the oil into a medium pan and set over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the red chillies, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves and tomatoes. Stir once, then add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, green chillies, garlic, ginger, sugar and salt. Stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the beans into the pan with the spiced tomato mixture. Bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, on a very low heat, for 10-15 minutes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pineapple Curry



Didn’t make this myself, L did, but brought back fantastic memories of our trip to Sri Lanka in January and a very welcome ice cold drink and fan at the Sun House in Galle at the start of the Galle Literary festival.

From their kitchen via Rick Stein and the BBC.

For this recipe, you only need a small amount of the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder. The remaining curry powder can be stored in a screw-top jar for up to three months and used in other recipes.

If you are in Sri Lanka pick up a bag of this and the unroasted kind as well and this curry can be ready before the rice is cooked. Pandan Leaf not that easy to come by, but you can get essence in Asian food shops.

Great with a Sri Lankan cooked salad (and maybe some chicken curry too if you eat meat)



For the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder
For the pineapple curry
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 25g/1oz finely chopped garlic

  • 100g/3½oz onions or shallots, peeled, finely sliced

  • 1 x 5cm/2in cinnamon stick, broken into smaller pieces

  • 24 fresh curry leaves (available from some Asian supermarkets)

  • 6 x 2.5cm/1in slices pandan leaf (available from some Asian supermarkets)

  • 3 tbsp roasted Sri Lankan curry powder (see above)

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 x 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk

  • 650g/1lb 7oz pineapple chunks

  • 4 green cayenne chillies, peeled, finely sliced

  • 1 tsp salt

Preparation method

  1. For the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder, heat a heavy-based, deep-sided frying pan over a medium heat. Add the uncooked rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until the rice is toasted and pale golden-brown. Transfer the toasted rice to a large mortar or spice grinder and set aside to cool.

  2. Repeat the dry-frying process with the spices, then tip into a bowl and set aside to cool.

  3. In the same pan, repeat the dry-frying process with the dried chillies, then tip into a bowl and set aside to cool.

  4. When the toasted rice, spices and chillies have cooled, add the remaining spices, dried chillies and ground turmeric, and grind to a fine powder (do this in batches if necessary).

  5. For the pineapple curry, heat the oil in the same frying pan. Add the garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes, then add the onions or shallots, cinnamon stick, curry leaves and pieces of pandan leaf and fry, stirring regularly, for 2-3 minutes.

  6. Add the three tablespoons of the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder and the ground turmeric. Continue to fry for a further minute, or until the spices are fragrant.

  7. Add the coconut milk, stir well and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then continue to simmer for a further 1-2 minutes.

  8. Add the pineapple chunks, green chillies and salt and return the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat again until the mixture is simmering and continue to simmer for a further 4-5 minutes.

  9. Serve immediately.