Is spring in the air? Its in the bags for Easter
Naz has been a volunteer for Local Greens for almost a year now. She is a keen cook who is passionate about using local, seasonal produce. In her other life Naz is a freelance University Lecturer and her current projects include Academic Tutor for a Foundation Degree, External Examiner and trainer in Primary Science.
One of the many benefits of volunteering for Local Greens is the diversity of people you work with. At the last session I was at the cultural backgrounds of the people I engaged with included Irish, South African, Caribbean, Spanish, Anglo Saxon and my own, Indian. As a consequence, a recipe can be found for whatever vegetable is included in any bag. The query “What would you do with….?” is answered by a chorus of really interesting ideas. This has meant that I can prepare vegetables in many different ways.
With this is mind I have found a recipe for a dry vegetable curry from southern India called a “thoran” using spring greens, in the Small and Standard (no potato) bags , the Small and Standard bags have green curly kale, which you can substitute into the recipe. The recipe is from Rick Stein’s excellent “India” series, but I have made a few adaptations.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 dried Kashmiri chillies, broken into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons dried curry leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
30g fresh root ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
250g spring greens or green curly kale, shredded (5cm pieces)
2 carrots or 1 moolie diced
2 fresh green chillies, sliced
100g dried, unsweetened coconut grated.
1. Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan or sauté pan, and over a medium heat, add the mustard seeds then the curry leaves, cumin seeds and dried chillies. Stir for about 30 seconds then add the ginger paste, turmeric, salt and black pepper, then fry for 30 seconds.
2. Stir in the spring greens, moolie or carrots, then cook, covered over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add a tablespoon of water any time they start to stick.
3. Stir in the chillies and coconut and heat through.
Rick Stein suggests serving with basmati rice and poppadoms, but I think chapattis or parathas are best. You can now buy them frozen from Asian food shops, and they are really simple to cook. You can make it more suitable for steamed basmati rice by substituting the dried coconut for a good quality tin of coconut milk