In contrast to Bahrain, the weather here is awful. The bitter dry winds of winter have begun to blow, and the frost in the air is sign that a long and cold winter is ahead. So what else to make but a flavorful, light, mild curry that salutes the good old summer days? This curry has been a favorite of mine ever since my mom made it for me when I last visited. Now I request it all the time. If I had known how simple it was to make myself I made have saved my requests for more challenging dishes! Oh well, there is always next time…
You must make this dish, it is so perfect for weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to get dinner on the table. All the asian spices can be found in major supermarkets. The flavors marry so well together to form a complex fragrant sauce that will have you scooping up seconds and thirds!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, cut in 8 wedges
- 1 green bell pepper, cut in 8 wedges
- 1 stalk lemongrass, white bulb only
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk, 2 (13.5 ounce) cans (or powder reconstituted to same amount)
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined and tails removed
- Sea salt
- 1 lime, juiced
- Fresh Thai basil leaves
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges, for garnish
Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. Saute the onion andgreen peppers for 3 minutes to soften. Split the piece of lemongrass down the middle and whack it with the flat side of a knife to open the flavor. Add the lemongrass, ginger, currypaste and lime leaves to the skillet and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk andchicken broth. Lay the shrimp in the mixture to poach; add a pinch of salt. Stir together and simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze in the lime juice and shower with basil and cilantro; serve in dinner bowls with lime wedges
This worked amazingly well with the tagine I posted earlier, but I’ve had it so many times as a side for various protein sources, or even alone for a light lunch and it’s one of the recipes I keep coming back to. Especially for dinner parties, I know it takes virtually no time and it is always a crowd pleaser. Bookmark this recipe! Now go make it.
Adapted from Ina Garten
- 1 1/2 cups couscous (I use medium grain)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (I used white vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup small-diced carrots (I prefer shredding the carrot)
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins (Try dried cranberries instead! Yum!)
- 1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts) (I ended up using around 1 1/2 green onions)
- 1/4 cup small-diced red onion
Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the boiling water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly and allow the couscous to soak for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous, and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions(green onions), and red onions, mix well, and season to taste. Serve at room temperature. Any leftovers will keep well in the fridge. See how easy that was! And visually beautiful… thanks Ina for another stunning recipe.
P.S. the salad barely needs a recipe, but I’ll post one soon. It’s a refreshingly simple side with a mediterranean influence that counterbalances nicely with heavy dishes.
I wanted to have a few friends over, and I wanted to try something new. I’ve always loved tagine, a meat dish (or chicken) with sweet elements, traditionally stewed plums, or dates, or raisins. The combination of sweet and savoury and the depth of spices make this a comforting yet challenging dish for your palate. I don’t have a tagine pot, and I didn’t have hours to slow cook the recipe, but I looked around and found this conveniently simple, and relatively fast recipe. This is also really healthy, especially if you use lean meat. The added apricots give it a lot of fiber, click on the original recipe link to see nutritional information. I made it with a good friends help and it turned out to be a recipe that will definitely be repeated many times. Make, expand your culinary expertise and enjoy!
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500g lean diced lamb
- 1 large onion , roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots , quartered lengthways and cut into chunks
- 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 2 tbsp ras-el-hanout spice mix (see tip, below)
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 400g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
- 200g dried apricots (I also added around 150 g of squishy dates, gave it more of a pronounced sweet flavor)
- 600ml chicken stock
Ras el hanout, a North African spice mix, contains cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric and black pepper. Find it in larger supermarkets, or use a mix of the spices above.
- 120g pack pomegranate seeds
- 2 large handfuls coriander , roughly chopped
*Note, I doubled the recipe as I was cooking for a crowd, but for most purposes the original recipe should provide more than enough. I didn’t find the ras el hanout mix, so I made my own by just randomly measuring out the spices listed in the spice mix until I came up with around the 2 tablespoon mark. Turned out great!
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat the oil in a casserole and brown the lamb on all sides. Scoop the lamb out onto a plate, then add the onion and carrots and cook for 2-3 mins until golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Stir in the spices and tomatoes, and season. Tip the lamb back in with the chickpeas and apricots (and dates if using). Pour over the stock, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover the dish and place in the oven for 1 hr. If, at 5-10 minutes before removing from oven the sauce still seems overly liquidy, you want a more thick stew like sauce, add a slurry of cornstarch (equal parts cornstarch mixed with equal parts cold water, start with 1 tablespoon cornstarch to 1 tablespoon water) and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes more. *NOTE, I did all the stovetop work like sauteeing the vegetables and meat and simmering the broth in a nonstick metal pan, then transferred everything to a pyrex deep dish container when it came time to put it in the oven. I wasn’t sure how well my pyrex would do on a stovetop so I didn’t want to risk a kitchen disaster!
- If the lamb is still a little tough, give it 20 mins more until tender. When ready, leave it to rest so it’s not piping hot, then serve scattered with pomegranate and herbs, with couscous or rice alongside.
*Serve with this curried couscous. It is the perfect accompaniment and takes just a few minutes to prepare…you might find the couscous is even more popular than the tagine!