Meat-free March Recipe swap: Korma, korma, korma chameleon!

Today is officially meat day, after 31 days of loving lentils, chomping far too much cheese and even learning to embrace the bean, I have achieved my goal of going meat free for an entire month. I’ll be doing a mini round up of what I have learnt over the next few days but now I need to get on to something very important – My Meat-free recipe report.

I’m ashamed to say I’m a day late with posting this as I’ve been galavanting in my old haunt Leeds for the Bank Holiday but I did actually cook up my  swap Korma on Friday. If you’ve not been following my non-meaty March exploits, myself and fellow Chorizo appreciator Bitsandbobsbecs decided to set up the recipe swap to introduce us to new meat-free meals for us to cook an we invited a whole heap of fellow bloggers to join us. You can read about the setup here. We’ll also be posting links to all of the fantastic blog posts the other recipe swappers have penned so you can salivate over everyone’s efforts. There have been some great posts so far, which is going to make choosing a winner tricky (the best post will receive a prize of veggie goodies from Abel and Cole and a veggie meal at GBK)

I was paired up with the lovely Kate over at Cake Poppins, Kate is not only a professional cake maker (warning: her blog will make you drool onto your keyboard), she’s also a vegetarian and I was put in touch with her via Twitter after doing a shout out for recommendations for local veggie/vegan restaurants. As well as being a fellow North Easterner, it would same Kate and I both share a love of curry as we ended up swapping veggie Indian Recipes. I sent her my failsafe, easy-peasy, full of taste gobi aloo recipe and some of the core spices for the recipe along with some of Maunika Gowhardan’s delicious sweet date chutney.  Here’s what it looked like:

meat-free march recipe swap goodies

Gobi Aloo goodies

Carried in the opposite direction by the good geordie post people was not one but three curry recipes – vegetable korma curry, green peas with coconut and coriander and tomato and cashew chutney. Kate said she usually cooks these in combination to serve up to a crowd, but as I was dining with my boyfriend only (who is veggie and enjoyed the novelty of me not eating dead things in front of him) I decided to cook just one of the curries this time round. Kate also thoughtfully included a nut roast recipe, which I’m sure he will be grateful of one Sunday to come. The tomato and cashew chutney is apparently a tiptop pasta sauce too, so expect a post on that and over-excitement about using my pasta maker coming up soon!

I called the curry “korma chameleon’ as it contained so many colours and the sauce changed beyond all recognition and each stage. It was quick and easy to make and the smell of it cooking lured my meat-loving dad into the kitchen to beg for a taste.  Here is how the preparation went:

 

vegetable korma curry recipe

Serves 3/4 (depending if you are serving alongside other dishes)

75g cashew nuts

75g dessicated coconut

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp indian five spice (my addition)

6 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

5 fresh green chillies, finely chopped,

1 inch root ginger, finely chopped

10 curry leaves

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

100g carrots – cubed

100g potato – cubed

50g green peas

2 tsp salt

 

Method

The first step was to blend the coconut and cashew into a paste – I did this with a hand blender and the aid of 100ml of water, though if you have a proper blender you probably won’t have to test your Popeye strength!

korma base paste

Coconut cashew paste: It's all white at this stage

Next, the oil went in the pan, and the seeds were put in to crackle, followed by the chillis, seeds, onion, curry leaves and giner. Ater five minutes the powders were added and cooked through on a low heat.

Spicy onion mix

Spicy onion mix: It's getting colourful

The next stage was making my korma sauce more of a combo, which involved stirring in the coconut paste and adding water.

Korma meets onion mix

Korma meets onion mix: Turning turmericy

The recipe called for half a pint of water to be added, along with the vegetables, to be followed by ten minutes of cooking. However, my notoriously rustic (lazy) chopping skills meant I had to cook the mix for a little while longer and added closwer to three quarters of a pint of water, to create a lovely thick sauce.

vegetable korma with cashews

Korma chameleon is now multi-coloured

The eagle-eyed among you will notice I used red chillies. I have a huge supply of these as we froze a mega-batch from my Dad’s allotment last summer. I served up the korma into bowls and scooped it up with a garlic and coriander naan and I’m happy to say it really hit the spot. I usually avoid kormas because restaurant versions so often come laden with cream, but this vegan version was far friendlier to my tummy and so cheap to make too. I had all of the ingredients in my lader aside from the spices, which Kate kindly sent. It’s so quick to make that it’s a top takeaway alternative, though my dad did lament that he thought it might taste even nicer with some chieken tikka slipped in. Personally, I’ll be keeping it meat-free next time I make it, though I may pop in some Paneer – inspired by my recent visit to one of Maunika Gowhardan’s curry-making classes.

i’m really pleased with how the recipe swap went and extra happy that going without sausage for 31 days has put me in touch with some talented bloggers with lots of tips to share!

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