Tag Archives : pea


Sri Lankan Cauliflower, Cashew and Pea Curry 2

sri lankan cauliflower, cashew nut and pea curry

Sri Lankan rice & curry has to be one of my all time favourite dishes. If you haven’t had it, get yourself to your nearest Sri Lankan grocer or curry shop immediately. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a plate of rice and different types of curries. Normally you’d have a spicy meat curry that balanced out with a few different types of milder vegetable curries and dahl. It is served with pickle, sambal (the Sri Lankan side dish made from grated coconut tossed with dried fish and spices, don’t get confused with the Malaysian sambal which is a chilli sauce) and a poppadum.

Cauliflower, cashew and pea curry

This is a great recipe for a mild ‘white’ curry. It’s great for using up cauliflowers or other vegetables that you have lying around. I adapted it from one of my favourite cookbooks of all time, Sri Lankan Flavours by Channa Dassanayaka. It’s a gorgeous book with lovely photgraphy and the recipes are very easy to tackle. Don’t let the number of spices put you off. They are cheap and easily available. Head to your closest Asian or South Asian grocer to stock up on your spices.

simmering curry (cauliflower, cashew nuts and pea curry)

Sri Lankan is one of my favourite cuisines to cook at home. It has great focus on vegetables and, with a well stocked spice cupboard, is very flexible and can be made with whatever is around. Channa says you can add other vegetables such as carrots and potatoes or whatever is available in the fridge.

Cauliflower Curry For Two

  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts (roasted, salted, raw – they all work)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 curry leaves (or 1 bay leaf – pictured)
  • 1/4 mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

Boil the cashew nuts while you’re preparing the other ingredients to soften. This should take about 20 minutes. If you like a bit of crunch in the cashew nuts as I do, 10 minutes should be enough.

Add the cauliflower florets to the cashew nuts. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander and bring to boil. Simmer for a few minutes until the cauliflower is soft. Add frozen peas and coconut milk and bring back to the boil.

In another pan, fry the onion, curry leaves (or bay leaf), mustard seeds, garlic and chilli until the onion is soft and coloured. Toss the onion mixture into the cauliflower curry. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste.

Channa said this is great with roti or bread. I served it on rice with Sri Lankan chicken curry.


Penne with Cauliflower, Peas, Mint and Breadcrumb 2

penne with cauliflower, peas, mint and breadcrumb

I bought half of a really nice cauliflower from the farmers’ market the other day and decided that I wanted to make something simple with it. I was inspired by a recipe from Matt Moran’s new book When I Come Home which featured in this month’s Delicious magazine. It was originally made with orecchiette and I didn’t have any. (more…)


Chorizo, Fennel and Tomato Risotto

chorizo, fennel and tomato risotto

Defintely a winter thing, we have been crazy about our risotto. I have discovered a new combination that I like.

You’ll need the following for three people:

risotto ingredients

  1. 1 chorizo
  2. 1.5 cups of Arborio rice
  3. 1 litre of hot vegetable stock*
  4. 1 cup of fennel, sliced
  5. 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  6. 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  7. 1/2 small zucchini, diced
  8. 1/2 tomato, chopped
  9. 3 tbsp of frozen peas (optional)
  10. 2 tbsp of butter
  11. 1 tbsp of olive oil
  12. 1/3 cup of white wine

grilling the chorizo

First thing first, we need to grill the chorizo. I use a pair of tongs to hold the chorizo over the gas flame.  It’s messy because the chorizo will spit oil and catch fire and you’ll end up with huge flames some times. Keep turning it around until browned on all sides. It’s much more fun this way but I am a bit of a pyromaniac. You can put it under the grill if you want. Slice the chorizo in bite-sized pieces.

frying the rice, fennel and celery before adding wine

Place 1 tbsp of butter and olive oil and sautee the fennel and celery until soft. Add garlic and rice and fry until the rice is too hot too touch. Add the white wine and stir until the wine is evaporated. Add a ladel of hot stock. Fry until each ladel of stock is evaporated before adding a new ladel. Keep adding stock and stirring for another 5 minutes

adding tomato to risotto

Add the chopped tomato. Keep stirring and adding stock for another 5 minutes.

add chorizo and zucchini

Add the zucchini and chorizo. Keep adding stock and stirring for another 5 minutes.

adding butter to risotto

Add a tbsp of butter and frozen peas, if using. Stir for another 5 minutes and add stock if necessary. Turn off the heat and grate in a little bit of parmasan cheese. Rest the risotto for 5 minutes, covered.

Served garnished with fennel tops. Grate parmasan cheese over as desired.

* I use 1 litre of water, some tough fennel bits and 1 tsp of Vegeta gourmet stock powder. Bring to boil and simmer before adding to the rice. The stock must be hot.


Chicken a la King 2

chicken a la king served with rice

When I was in a boarding school, chicken a la king was one of those dishes that was served and I actually liked. The way I recalled it, it had chicken in a pure white sauce and it was always served with this rice dish that had onion and peas cooked into it. Never had any pimiento in it though.

After consulting many many chicken a la king recipes online, it seems like most of the recipes are a blend of those two dishes I was served in a boarding school (minus the rice of course). So I just went with the general idea. Unfortunately, at the time I had no onion in the house. Definitely a required ingredient in chicken a la king!

This is the result.

You’ll need, for two people:

  1. 2 cups of cooked chicken (I used the barbecued chicken that we bought earlier)
  2. 1/2 onion, chopped (I didn’t have any and it definitely was lacking)
  3. 1/2 red capsicum, cut into thin strips
  4. 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  5. 3 mushrooms, sliced
  6. 2 tbsp of plain flour
  7. 2 tbsp of butter
  8. 1 tsbp of Vegeta stock power (or some salt)
  9. 1.5 cups of milk
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. 2 tbsp of tomato ketchup
  12. 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

cooking chicken a la king

Add butter to a frying pan until it bubbles, add onion, bay leaf, capsicum and mushroom to fry. Stir for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms colour and the capsicum softens. Add the flour and keep frying for a minute or so until the flour is cooked. Add milk and stir vigorously to get rid of any lumps. Season with the stock powder or salt and pepper and bring the sauce to boil. Season with the tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Add any water if necessary. Add the cooked chicken and frozen peas and simmer for 10 minutes until the peas are cooked.

Serve on a bed of rice or cooked fettucine.

Edit: OMG I completely forgot to write about the tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Add them!

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