Each week plant-based cook Bettina Campolucci Bordi, founder of Bettina’s Kitchen, gives us the lowdown on a particular seasonal fruit, vegetable or ingredient, offering cooking tips and a recipe. This week she delves into the history of curry, and the different ways curry powder can be used to spice dishes.
Ingredient Of The Week: Curry Powder
This week I would like to talk about one of my all time favorite dishes: curry. Curry is a spice blend that originated in India and has since become a staple in many cuisines around the world, including mine. It’s a complex blend of aromatic spices that can vary widely depending on the region and the dish. In this article, I want to explore the history of curry, the different types of curry blends, and some of my favorite ways to use curry in the kitchen.
The History Of Curry
Curry has a long and rich history that dates back to ancient India. The word ‘curry’ comes from the Tamil word ‘kari,’ which means sauce. Over time, the term has come to refer to a wide range of dishes that are seasoned with a blend of spices. Curry was originally used to flavour meat dishes, but it has since become a staple in vegetarian and vegan cooking as well.
One of the defining features of curry is its use of multiple spices. The exact blend of spices can vary widely depending on the region and the dish, but some common ingredients include cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and chilli peppers. These spices are toasted and ground into a fine powder, which is then used to flavour dishes.
There are many different types of curry blends, each with its own unique flavour profile. Indian curry blends can vary widely depending on the region, but they often include cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili peppers. Thai curry blends typically include lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and chili peppers. Japanese curry is a milder curry that is often made with a roux of flour, butter and veggies. Jamaican curry blends often include allspice, ginger, and Scotch bonnet peppers among other ingredients.
Curry powder is a versatile spice blend that can be used in a wide range of dishes. Curry paste, on the other hand, is a concentrated blend of spices that is typically used to make curries and stir fries. It’s a great way to add a burst of flavour to your dishes without having to measure out individual spices.
Coconut curry is a delicious and creamy dish that is perfect for a cosy night in. I like to make a simple curry sauce by cooking onions and garlic in coconut oil, then adding curry powder, coconut milk, and vegetables. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish that’s perfect for cold winter nights.
Red lentil curry is a hearty and filling dish that’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. I like to cook red lentils in a curry sauce made with onions, garlic, curry powder, and coconut milk. It’s a delicious and nutritious meal that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
Curry roasted vegetables are a delicious and easy side dish that’s perfect for any meal. Simply toss your favorite vegetables in a mixture of curry powder, olive oil, and salt, then roast them in the oven until they’re tender and golden brown.
In conclusion, this ingredient is a versatile and delicious powerhouse that can add depth and complexity to any dish. Whether you’re making a delicious bowl of soup or a spicy stir fry, curry is a great way to add flavour and warmth to your meals. So go ahead and experiment with different curry blends and recipes, you might just discover a new favourite dish.
I have a really exciting recipe to share with you that I think you’re going to love. It’s a coronation sandwich, but there’s a twist: there’s no chicken involved! Instead, I am using jackfruit, which is a versatile fruit that can be shredded and cooked until it’s crispy and stringy, just like chicken. The jackfruit is mixed with a flavourful blend of plant-based mayo, curry powder, diced apple, and more, and then sandwiched between your choice of sourdough or baguette. It’s a delicious and satisfying sandwich that’s perfect for lunch or dinner. So, let’s get started and make a coronation sandwich that’s sure to impress.
Recipe: Epic Coronation No Chicken Sandwich
- 400g tin of jackfruit, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
- 1 small apple, finely diced
- 200g plant mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon currants or raisins, chopped
- Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Sourdough or baguette
- A handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
- A handful of cress or watercress crisps (I love a truffle crisp)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Shred the jackfruit or, if it is in chunks, cut into thin strips or smaller pieces. Spread the jackfruit out on the lined tray, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the jackfruit in the oven for 20–30 minutes until stringy and crispy – it will look like shredded chicken. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Once the jackfruit is cooled, add the remainder of the ingredients to the tray and mix together well.
- Use the Coronation Jack to fill a sourdough or baguette sandwich, adding your choice of extras such as coriander, cress or watercress and crisps (or all of these) if required.
- I recommend using proper sandwich bread, watercress and truffle crisps for the most epic of flavour.
Featured image: Getty Images