Vegetable Curry

An easy vegetable curry can be made from all sorts of vegetables, according to what you have. This is a good way to use up vegetables which may be past their prime. All root vegetables are good with spices because of their sweetness, while the addition of pulses such as chick peas, will make the dish more substantial for a main course. Halved hard-boiled eggs are also a harmonious addition. This is a good lunch or supper dish, especially if you have a vegetarian in the family.

Remember that some vegetables take much longer to cook than others, and they should be added at different times. This is why I always make a vegetable curry in a flameproof casserole on top of the stove.

Ingredients

  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2.5 cm (1 in) piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 cauliflower, divided into florets
  • 1 large red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 500 g (1 lb) ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 250 g (8 oz) spinach, washed, drained and chopped roughly
  • Salt

Method

  1. Melt the butter and oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onions and stir until beginning to soften. Add the ginger and garlic with the spices and cayenne pepper.

  2. Stir for 1 minute. Add the parsnips, cauliflower and red pepper and stir around. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and caster sugar. Cover the casserole tightly and cook over the lowest possible heat, stirring around once or twice with a wooden spoon, for 30–40 minutes until all the vegetables are very tender and the tomatoes reduced to a pulp.

  3. Add the chopped spinach and stir in, cover the casserole and cook gently for another 8–10 minutes until the spinach is soft. Season with salt and more cayenne if you like a spicy taste. Boiled basmati rice is an ideal accompaniment, or serve with Saffron and Chilli Rice Cooked in Coconut Milk or with Indian bread.