CAPE MALAY CURRIED BEEF

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 20 MINS COOK TIME: 3½ HOURS

SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil

800g stewing beef, diced and patted dry

with kitchen paper

2 onions, finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic, crushed

4cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely

grated

3 hot red chillies (deseeded or not, to

taste), finely chopped

1 red pepper, deseeded and diced

2 tablespoons tomato purée

700ml hot water, or more as needed

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 bay leaves

3cm stick of cinnamon

6 green cardamom pods

2 sprigs thyme

75g dried apricots, chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

fresh coriander, to garnish (optional)

rotis or plain rice, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, deep, heavy-based pan with a tight-fitting lid over a high heat.

Add the beef and sear briskly until brown all over, stirring continuously. Remove

from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onions to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook until nicely

browned and softened, about 10–15 minutes (test a piece of onion with a spoon – it

shouldn’t be firm). If the juices seem to be catching, reduce the heat to low, add 1–2

tablespoons of water and let it bubble away to deglaze the pan.

Add the garlic, ginger, red chillies and red pepper and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring.

Add the tomato purée and cook, stirring, for a further 2 minutes. Return the meat

to the pan and add the water, vinegar, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, green cardamom

pods and thyme. Season then cover with the lid and cook on the lowest possible

heat for 1 hour.

Remove and discard the cinnamon, add the chopped dried apricots and top up the

liquid with more hot water, if needed. Continue to cook, stirring every 30 minutes,

for a further 2 hours, or until the meat is melting into the curry sauce.

Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving. Taste and add more salt, if

needed. Serve garnished with coriander leaves, with rotis or rice.

TIP

This is often cooked with cubed

potatoes added for the last half

hour of cooking.

CARIBBEAN-STYLE BLACK BEAN CURRY

SERVES 2 AS A MAIN OR 4 AS A SIDE

PREP TIME: 20 MINS COOK TIME: 25 MINS

1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil

1 onion, finely chopped

½ red or orange pepper, deseeded

and diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely

grated

10 sprigs of fresh coriander, stalks finely

chopped, leaves reserved to garnish

1 teaspoon mild or medium curry

powder (ideally Jamaican but Madras

or similar will work)

¼ teaspoon hot chilli powder (optional)

400g can cooked black beans in water,

undrained

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons coconut milk or

coconut cream

½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 shallot, finely sliced, to garnish

freshly squeezed lime juice, to serve

rice or Rotis (see page 200), to serve

Don’t skip the toppings – the shallot and lime really make this curry sing.

Heat the oil in a saucepan set over a medium heat, add the onion and pepper and

sauté for about 8 minutes, until softened and the onion is just beginning to brown.

Add the garlic, ginger, coriander stalks, curry powder and chilli powder, if using.

Cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the beans along with the water

from the can, the thyme and bay leaf and bring up to a simmer, then reduce the heat

to low and gently simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then (add a splash

of water if the pan gets too dry).

Remove from the heat and add the coconut milk or coconut cream and the vinegar.

Stir well, then taste for salt and pepper – add a touch more vinegar if you’d like

more tang.

To serve, divide between bowls, then top each one with the reserved coriander

leaves, sliced shallot and a little squeeze of lime juice. Eat with rice or roti, as a main,

or alongside jerk chicken or tofu.

TIP

If you really like to make your tongue

tingle, swap the green chilli for ¼

of a super-hot Scotch bonnet chilli,

deseeded and finely diced (be sure to

wash your hands or wear gloves).

KHAO SOI GAI

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 20 MINS COOK TIME: 50 MINS

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

seeds from 4 green cardamom pods

2 tablespoons finely grated turmeric

root (optional)

4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon very finely chopped

coriander stalks

4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil

600ml full-fat coconut milk

400ml hot chicken stock

8 lime leaves, roughly torn

1 teaspoon fish sauce, or more to taste

900g bone-in chicken thighs and

drumsticks (ideally 8 small pieces), skin

on or off

200g Asian leafy greens, sliced into 3cm

pieces (we use choy sum)

240g dried medium egg noodles

Salt

TO SERVE:

a handful of fresh coriander

crispy onions (bought or homemade, see

page 179)

a drizzle of spicy chilli oil (optional)

lime wedges

Grind the dry spices to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Add the turmeric, ginger

and coriander stalks and pound to a paste. Add the red curry paste and mix well.

Heat the oil in a very large, deep, heavy-based pan, over a medium heat. When hot,

add the spice paste and cook, stirring, for 4–5 minutes, until really fragrant.

Reduce the heat to low, add half the coconut milk and bring up to a simmer, then add the

rest along with the stock, lime leaves and fish sauce. Bring up to a simmer again. Make

a few deep slashes down to the bone in the chicken, then submerge in the broth and

cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Halfway through, turn each piece of chicken over to

ensure they cook all the way through.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Check the chicken is done by piercing a thick piece; if the juices run clear it is cooked (if not, cook for a further 5–10 minutes). Stir the greens into the pan, cover and cook

for 3 minutes.

Blanch the noodles in the boiling water for 2–3 minutes, until al dente. Drain and

refresh under a little running cold water so they don’t become soggy, and divide

among 4 wide shallow bowls.

Taste the curry and add a little more fish sauce if needed. Place 1 or 2 pieces of

chicken into each bowl on top of the noodles, then ladle the curry and greens over.

Finish with coriander, some crispy onions, a drizzle of chilli oil and lime wedges.

TIP

Using bone-in chicken gives

more flavour, but for speed you

can use boneless (use 600g and halve

the cooking time). In Thailand, this is

served topped with crunchy deep-fried

noodles. To make your own: blanch and

pat dry an extra 100g egg noodles,

then briefly fry in 2cm hot oil,

until crisp.

LIPU’S BENGALI FISH TENGA

SERVES 6–8

PREP TIME: 15 MINS COOK TIME: 35 MINS

2–3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil

1 medium onion, finely sliced

a pinch of salt

3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

400g canned chopped tomatoes or

chopped fresh tomatoes

500g firm-fleshed fish, such as trout,

salmon, turbot or monkfish (ideally

bone-in) in large pieces

400ml freshly boiled water

TO SERVE:

a handful of fresh coriander

2–3 finely sliced green chillies

plain rice

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-based saucepan with a lid over a medium-low

heat. When hot, add the onion and salt and cook until soft and translucent. Add

the garlic and continue to cook, until the garlic starts to colour a little, then add

the ground turmeric and cook until fragrant and the oil separates from the onions.

Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes and onions have

completely broken down, adding the final tablespoon of oil if needed.

Add the fish and cook for 1–2 minutes, gently stirring to coat it in the onion and spice mixture.

Add the hot water and bring up to a simmer without stirring. Cover with a lid, reduce

the heat to low and cook for 5–10 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and easily

flakes apart or falls off the bone.

Garnish with fresh coriander and fresh green chillies and serve with plain rice.

TIP

You could use raw scallops, prawns

or diced aubergines for this dish; just

simmer until cooked through.

LEON Happy Curries by Rebecca Seal and John Vincent is published by Conran Octopus, £16.99. Photography by Steven Joyce