Although the last bauble was plucked from the tree yesterday, carefully bubble wrapped, boxed up and sent back up to the attic for the next eleven months I am still eeking out the last vestiges of Christmas.
Turkey curry is the only way to usher in the new year. This curry feels so happy, healthy and hearty that it is encouraging me to take a running jump into January. I have been making the same resolution to throw off all my excess baby weight every month since June last year so I refuse to make yet another promise to myself that is let down by exhaustion and lack of time.
Instead I will be focusing on falling back in love with food. It is no secret that I haven’t posted here much, of course I barely have a second to myself but since it is also true that we will always make time for the things we really want to do I have to confess that food has not been my friend of late.
I have been tired and hungry, stopgapping my energy loss with sugar and letting Deliveroo do all my heavy lifting at mealtimes. However times are achanging and I have definitely been feeling a little of my trusty spark back. These past 6 weeks I have begun to wean Cole and he has been taking to food as if he has been waiting for this moment the whole of his tiny little life. His unparalleled enthusiasm is reminding me how excited I used to get about mealtimes. We are doing baby led weaning which basically means we are foregoing purees and diving into the main event, it’s absolutely wonderful to see him polishing off fishcakes, turkey and brussel sprouts and omelette and he is inspiring me to find myself again in my love of food.
I have cooked from scratch more this past six weeks that the whole of the last seven months put together and I am relishing every minute of it. Thanks to Cole I have finally managed to perfect falafel, houmous and cornbread muffins, rekindle my love of swiss bircher museli and start every meal with a fat wodge of melon (– it’s teething time!)
However, this curry is not for my little one, there is only so much under seasoned food mummy and daddy can subject themselves to so this is one for us grown-ups. I make a curry every year on Boxing Day and this year’s was so particularly good that I dug out another tupperware of turkey from this year’s stash in our freezer and re-fashioned it slightly for a lighter month (goodbye double cream and roast potatoes!) but I have to say it has lost absolutely nothing in the translation. This turkey, kale and peanut curry is so deeply flavourful and the rough earthy kale which is tucked into the curry at the last minute is not merely a nod to trends but a necessary backdrop to the whole affair.
The accompanying cucumber and coriander raita is so alive and refreshing that it sparks a complete contrast to the comfort of the curry and the two pair admirably together. If you can take it you must sprinkle on some more chilli, a further crumble of peanuts and a smattering of coriander. This flavour of this curry will knock you for six then pick you up and give you a wonderful cuddle.
Bring it on 2016, I am so excited about the year – and the food- to come!
Turkey, Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita
Serves 4 with rice and 2 without rice
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large onion (about 250g), peeled and diced
¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
¾ teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons curry powder
¾ teaspoon turmeric
½ red chilli, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch ginger peeled and grated
1 teaspoon mango chutney (or any other chutney you have hanging around)
200g tomatoes (about 4), quartered
50g peanuts, roasted and unsalted, roughly chopped
275g leftover turkey
400ml coconut milk
160g kale (I used cavolo nero)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large flat bottomed pan with the coconut oil then add the diced onions. Fry on a very low heat for about 30 – 40 minutes until the onions have caramelised.
- Pour the fennel, cumin, mustard and coriander seeds into a small frying pan over a low heat for one minute, keeping a close eye so they don’t burn. Tip them into a pestle and mortar and pound until they have completely crushed.
- Add the toasted spices into the caramelised onion along with the curry powder, turmeric, chilli, garlic, ginger and mango chutney. Stir in then add the tomatoes.
- Cook on a gentle heat for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced to a pulp.
- Add the peanuts, turkey and coconut milk then simmer on a low heat for a further 15 minutes until the curry has thickened.
- Meanwhile prepare the kale by removing the stems of the kale and discard, then slice the kale leaves finely.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil then blanch the kale for a 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze the kale to remove the excess water.
- Stir the kale into the curry then remove from the heat and serve with the cucumber and coriander raita.
Cucumber and Coriander Raita
200ml natural yoghurt – the best you can find
Handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
- Cut the cucumber in half and remove and discard the seeds by scooping out with a teaspoon. Then grate the cucumber into a medium sized bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined and the sugar and salt has dissolved into the yoghurt.
- Leave to chill in the fridge until needed.