Indonesian Jackfruit and Mushroom Curry with Red Rice, Crispy Tempeh, Green Papaya Salad and Sweet Potato Chips

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Here is another curry recipe using the Indonesian Curry Paste from the last post. If you haven’t had jackfruit before, I strongly suggest you give it a go, especially if you are a vegan or vegetarian, it’s a great substitute for meat. It’s becoming easier to find in Australia, most good asian or indian grocers should have it in cans. Here in Indonesia it’s growing everywhere and most markets sell it by the piece, already cut, which is good because cutting a fresh one can be a very messy, sticky task. Check out my recipe for Smokey Pulled Jackfruit Burgers for another yummy way to use jackfruit.

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Recipe

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

Curry

2 tbs sesame oil

1 cup Indonesian Curry Paste

500ml coconut milk

1 litre vegetable stock

4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

2 cans jackfruit, drained

200g chanterelle mushrooms (or any mushroom you like)

Bunch kale, roughly chopped

Bunch choy sum, roughly chopped

Green Papaya Salad

2 cups shredded green papaya

1 chilli, finely chopped

Juice of 3 limes

2 tablespoons palm sugar

1 tsp salt

Handful each of lemon basil, coriander and mint

Crispy Tempeh

1 piece tempeh, chopped into 2cm pieces

3 tbs Canola oil

3 tbs kecap manis

To serve

Cooked red rice

Lime wedges

Sweet potato chips

Method

For the curry, heat the sesame oil in a large wok over medium to high heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for about 1min until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, stock, tamari and jackfruit. Bring the boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45mins, or until jackfruit is very tender and starting to fall apart. Add water during this time if the sauce is becoming too thick and reduced.

Add the mushrooms, kale and choy sum and cook for a further 10mins or until mushrooms and greens are just cooked.

Meanwhile, for the green papaya salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stir well, cover and refrigerate until needed.

When ready to serve, cook the tempeh. Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the tempeh and the kecap manis and cook, stirring, for about 5mins or until tempeh is crispy and golden brown.

Serve the curry with the cooked red rice, papaya salad, crispy tempeh, lime wedges and sweet potato chips.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Palak Paneer (my version)

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See under the title of my blog it says, ‘food. experiences. experiments. recipes’… this was one of those experiments. So, please excuse this very unattractive curry. It may be the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen but man was it tasty!

The experiment part was the paneer, and although it wasn’t the first time I had made it, it was the first time I had used it in a curry. It is an incredibly easy cheese to make, but so far I had only used it in pies, and crumbled in salads. When I made this curry the paneer had only been setting in the fridge for a few hours, I think it would have had a better chance of staying in solid cubes if I had left it for twenty four hours, so that’s what I’ve suggested in this recipe. Alternatively you could use store bought paneer.

In the end, it was still really delicious, it just wasn’t the same as I’ve had it in Indian restaurants, but, that’s ok! I didn’t use the traditional spices and cream either, and I added chickpeas, so, maybe I shouldn’t really be calling it Palak Paneer, but, in the words of Kylie Kwong, it’s MY version of Palak Paneer. 😉

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Recipe

You will need to start this recipe the day before

Serves 4

Ingredients

Paneer

2L full cream milk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt

Curry

300-350g spinach (I used a mixture of Brazilian and Baby Spinach)
2 long green chillies, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic (1 roughly chopped and 3 finely chopped)
1 Tbs fresh ginger, julienned, plus extra to serve
2 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 bay leaves
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1 heaped tsp garam masala
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
300g Paneer, cut into 2cm cubes
1/2 cup plain yoghurt, plus extra to serve
salt and pepper
Cherry tomato, cucumber and parsley salad, lemon wedges, and brown rice, to serve

Method
To make the paneer, place the milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring, until foamy and steaming. Do not bring to the boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. You should see the curds separating from the whey almost immediately. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for 15 mins.
Strain the curds and whey through a sieve lined with muslin or a couple of fresh chux cloths. Bring the corners together and twist to push the whey out of the curds. You can also press down on it to really get the liquid out. Unwrap and stir in the salt. Bring together the corners and twist again and press out the last of the whey. Set the sieve in a bowl, place a small plate on top of the paneer, along with a couple of cans of food as weights. The sieve must be clear of the bottom of the bowl to allow any more liquid to drip out from the paneer. Place in the fridge overnight to set.
For the curry, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Prepare a large bowl with ice and water. Place the spinach in the boiling water, press down and cover with a lid. Remove from heat and let sit for 2mins. Strain the spinach and place in the ice water for 5mins.
Place the spinach in a blender, along with the 1 clove of roughly chopped garlic, the green chillies and the ginger. Blend until smooth (add a little water if necessary). Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium high heat. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook, stirring until they begin to splutter, about 3mins.
Add the bay leaves and the onion. Cook until golden, about 5 mins. Add the remaining 3 garlic cloves and the tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until tomatoes break down, about 3mins.
Add the turmeric, curry powder, garam masala and chickpeas. Cook, stirring, for about 3mins, or until fragrant.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the spinach mixture. Heat, stirring, until nearly simmering. Add the yoghurt and stir through. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add the paneer and very carefully stir through the sauce, being careful not to break it up too much. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 mins before serving.
Serve with the brown rice, the salad, lemon wedges, extra ginger, extra yoghurt and a nice cold beer.

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Thai Apple Eggplant, Chicken and Cashew Curry

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Just a quick mid-week post here to share this tasty curry. It’s one of those recipes that is so lovely to make if you’ve got a quiet afternoon to yourself (rare at this time of year), to spend some time hanging out in the kitchen, drinking a nice cold vino and whipping up this  yummy meal. Also, the curry paste recipe makes twice as much as you need so that you can keep the other half for a night when your a bit less relaxed and you can just chuck in whatever you’ve got in the fridge and still end up with a yummy dinner.

I made this with the apple eggplants as they are abundant up in Darwin, but you can use any eggplant that is available in your area or even replace it with another veg such as zucchini or sweet potato, and you could replace the water spinach with regular english or baby spinach. It’s all about what’s available to you and hopefully grown locally!

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Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

Curry Paste
1 tsp peppercorns
2 tbs dried shrimp
1 tsp shrimp paste
4 coriander roots, chopped
3 stems lemongrass, white and light green part, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbs ginger, chopped
1 tbs galangal, chopped
1 tsp fresh turmeric, chopped
2 long green chillies, chopped
2 small red chillies, chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
3 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs coconut vinegar
2 tbs coconut sugar
The rest….
400ml can coconut cream (don’t shake before opening)
1-2 cups chicken stock
500g chicken thigh, cut into 3cm pieces
500g thai apple eggplant, tops cut off, quartered, smaller ones, halved or left whole, the pieces should be around the same size as the chicken
1 large bunch water spinach, leaves picked (reserve the stems for a stir fry or something)
230g tin water chestnuts, drained, sliced
1/2 cup roasted cashews
1/2 cup coriander, chopped
1/2 cup thai basil chopped
Steamed long grain rice, to serve

Method
For the curry paste, in a large frying pan, over medium high heat, fry the peppercorns, dried shrimp, and shrimp paste (wrap paste in a small foil parcel), for about 5 mins or until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
In a mortar and pestle or a small bender, pound or process the peppercorns, shrimp and paste with the remaining curry paste ingredients.
You will only need 1/2 of the paste for the recipe. Keep the other half in the freezer for up to a month.
Over medium high heat, In a large/deep pan, pour the top half of the can of coconut cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, for about 10mins, until the cream splits from the oil. Add the curry paste (remember, only half of what you made), and cook, stirring, for about 5-10 mins or until fragrant.
Add remaining coconut cream, 1 cup of chicken stock, chicken, eggplant and water chestnuts. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20mins or until chicken is cooked and eggplant is tender but not falling apart. Uncover, add the spinach and cashews and cook for another 5mins.
Take off the heat and allow to cool for about 10 mins. Stir through the herbs.
Serve with the rice.
Enjoy!

Pork Vindaloo with Pineapple Salsa, Coriander Yoghurt, Mini Paratha and the Perfect Rice



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Every time I make a curry or curry paste, I feel privileged to be a part of centuries old knowledge of flavour combinations and balances. How many years, experiments, failures, and triumphs must have gone into the classic curries that we know and take for granted today. It is so fascinating to me the processes that have been mastered over time to create these beautiful, colourful and aromatic spices and spice blends that we are so lucky to have at hand almost whenever we like. I get so much pleasure out of combining the spices and smelling the aromas as they all come together in the mortar and pestle, and then when they ht the heat of the pan…heaven!

 

I will often make up my own curry pastes with what I have at hand but when it comes down to it, following a good recipe like this one for Vindaloo, can’t be beaten. The balance is just right and the flavours are so beautiful. I found this one in a Women’s Weekly cook book when I was 21 and cooked it for one of my best friends’ 21st birthday dinner. Since then I have only used this recipe for Vindaloo and I always seem to use it as my go to crowd pleaser when cooking for someone special. I recently cooked it for my beautiful sister in laws’ birthday dinner and it went down a treat. Unlike Vindaloos that you find in your local Indian takeaway, there is not a lot of heat, just a whole lot of flavour.

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As always, i can’t help myself but to make a myriad of accompaniments to meals like this, and depending on the time of year, a fruit salsa goes perfectly. If it were summer I would use mango, here I’ve used pineapple, I once even used kiwi fruit. Come to think of it, banana would also be lovely.

 

Having a yummy flat bread is also important when eating curry, it’s essential for scooping up those last bits of goodness left on your plate at the end. If you don’t want to bother with making your own bread, store bought flatbreads or pappadums would also work.

 

Now, about the rice. Until a couple of years ago I was never a big fan of rice and only saw it as a filler for stretching out a curry/stirfry, etc, between a lot of people. Man, was I wrong. After some Goan people taught me the proper way to cook Basmati for curries, I enjoyed it immensely and started playing with different types of rice and how to use the right ones for the right purposes. Fluffy basmati is so beautiful with a thick curry like this, as the curry is quite a heavy texture, the rice is lovely and light. Make sure you buy good quality basmati and follow the cooking instructions in this recipe if you want to achieve the optimum result. The best thing is it’s one of the easiest ways to cook rice too!

 

I hope you give this curry a go and enjoy it as much as I did, do it when you have a day off and appreciate every moment.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Canola oil, for sautéing

1kg pork neck, cut into 3cm cubes

2 brown onions, sliced

2 cups beef stock

300ml coconut cream (this isn’t necessary but adds a nice creaminess and takes away a bit of the heat)

about 8 small, washed potatoes, halved

2 cups basmati rice

Curry paste

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground chilli

2 ttsp black mustard seeds

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cracked pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Pineapple Salsa

1/2 pineapple, finely chopped

1 long red chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped mint leaves

juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp sugar

pinch salt

Coriander Yoghurt

1 cup plain yoghurt

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup finely chopped coriander

1 small cucumber, peeled, de-seeded, finely diced

salt and pepper

Mini Paratha

1 cup wholemeal flour

1 cup chickpea flour

1 tablespoon olive oil

150mls lukewarm water

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

salt and pepper

Method

Combine all ingredients for the curry paste in a bowl and set aside for half an hour.
Meanwhile, heat some of the canola oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish over medium high heat and, in batches, fry the pork until browned, about 2 mins. Remove from pan and set aside. Add more oil if necessary and sauté the onions until soft. Add the curry paste and fry, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 mins. Return the pork and add the stock. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low, simmer, covered for about 2 hours or until pork is becoming tender. Add the potatoes and coconut cream and continue to cook, uncovered for another 45mins to an hour or until potatoes are soft and pork is very tender.

Meanwhile, to make the pineapple salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside for at least an hour, stirring every now and then.

To make the coriander yoghurt, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside, in the fridge, for at least an hour, stirring every now and then.

To make the paratha, combine the flours, cumin and seasoning in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the water an olive oil. Mix to combine and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth. Wrap in cling wrap and rest for an hour. Roll into 10-12 balls and roll out with a rolling pin to 1/2cm thickness. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat and fry paratha for about 30secs a side or until golden brown. Once cooked keep them wrapped in a damp tea towel so that they remain warm and moist, you can also re-heat them in the oven in the damp tea towel or some foil.

Once the curry is cooked, turn off the heat and cover.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold water until water runs clear. Add to the boiling water and stir immediately to prevent any clumps. Boil for about 10 mins or until just cooked. Pour into a strainer and sit the strainer back onto the empty saucepan (not on the heat). Allow to sit, without stirring, for about 5 mins, during which time you can put the curry, bread, salsa, and yoghurt on the table. Pour the rice into a serving bowl and add to the table.

Get everyone to the table and enjoy!!