If you ever find me sat in your kitchen, my stomach rumbling after a bad day at work or something like that, and you’re not sure what to cook for me to make me feel better, you could do a lot worse than presenting me with this plate of absolute deliciousness. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’ve got something of an unhealthy love of green peas, and when they’re paired with earthy mushrooms and the creamy, fatty decadence of coconut milk, with a bit of fresh coriander stirred in for good measure, that whole combination is sure to lift me out of any bad mood and settle me on a happy little cloud of contentment.
There might not be a better curry that this, a recipe that was inspired by one from the book Asian Vegan Kitchen. I highly recommend this book, as it spans an entire continent, highlight vegan recipes that will knock your socks off from Thailand to India and back again. It’s one of my favourite cookbooks at the moment, and this is certainly the best thing out of it so far.
The best thing about this meal is that it can be made from scratch in about 30 minutes flat. It’s near-perfect for a rainy, cold winter night, and the leftovers are phenomenal for a next day lunch. If you’re one of those heathens that doesn’t like fresh coriander (Danielle, I’m looking at you!) you can always leave that out, but I strongly recommend its inclusion. It’s the cherry on top of this fantastically flavoursome dish.
For the sauce:
1 cup almonds
1 hot red chilli, chopped (aji chombo or scotch bonnet)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
a pinch of nutmeg
2 onions, finely diced
1 cup of water
1 cup of coconut milk
a little oil
For the curry:
2 cups of button mushroom, chopped
1 can of cooked green peas, drained
1 cup of fresh coriander, chopped roughly
In a large frying pan, heat a little oil and fry the onions for 5 minutes until they’re translucent and starting to brown
While the onions are frying, blend the almonds in a food processor until they’re finely ground, then add in the red chilli, turmeric, cardamom, ginger, salt, pepper, nutmeg and water, and blend for a few seconds until everything is combined into a fine paste
Add the almond paste into the frying pan and stir for 5 minutes, until very fragrant
Add in the coconut milk and stir for a few minutes until everything is combined
Add the mushrooms and peas into the sauce, stirring to mix well, and adding water to slacken if necessary, then cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes
Remove from the heat, stir in the coriander leaves, and serve over rice
I honestly don’t know if I can describe how beautifully simple this recipe is until you try it. It’s full of good fats, which is important for everyone but not least for vegans, and the combination of spices is warming without being terrifyingly hot. If you don’t love curry until it makes you physically sweat (I’m looking at you, Andy) then feel free to add in more red chillies to reach your perfect hotness.
This is a great meal with some mango for dessert. And if you can, double the recipe to make sure that there are leftovers. It’s even better after a night in the fridge!