Butternut Curry & Black Rice
by Iona Berry
Most of us grew up with meat as the hero of our meals and with vegetables taking up the mere corners of our plates. It can be hard to know where to start if you're trying to flip the script and cook plant based meals that don’t feel like just eating a plate full of sides. Building an exciting, yet satisfying meal around vegetables - whether that’s a bunch of carrots or a humble head of cauliflower - can sometimes feel like a little daunting and underwhelming task.
Our new series, Veg and Two Veg is here to tackle just that and to explore all of the ways in which every day vegetables can be the star of the table without sacrificing flavour or heartiness. Whether you’re cooking for one or cooking for a bunch, these recipes will fill your table with vibrant, deeply flavoured and satisfying dishes that you’ll be making on repeat.
This delicious curry is inspired by a Mahkini sauce (sometimes called an Indian gravy), but this time veganised using plant-based cream and butter. It is a rich and indulgent tasting curry that is delicious served alongside the black rice
This curry is delicious served alongside the black rice, although if you can't find it feel free to sub in basmati or brown rice. It would also work really well served with a biryani or plenty of rotis and Indian chutneys. I like to keep the butternut squash separate from the curry sauce but if you prefer you can mix it through right before serving. This is a great dish that can be prepared in advance because the sauce and squash would last well in the fridge for a few days and then you could simply cook the black rice and heat through the rest right before serving.
1 medium sized butternut squash (around 700g)
2 tbsp (30g) oil
¼ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp kashmiri chilli flakes
½ tp salt
1 tbsp (15ml) maple syrup
2 tbsp (30ml) oil
1 white onion, finely sliced
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp coriander seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp kashmiri chilli flakes
1 tsp garam masala
1 heaped tbsp ginger paste
4 small/medium cloves of garlic, sliced
2 x400g tins peeled plum tomatoes
150ml plant based double cream (I used Elmlea)
60g unsalted plant based butter
1- 2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground fenugreek
300g black rice
Pinch of salt
Chopped roasted hazelnuts
Fresh coriander leaves
Preheat the oven to 200˚C fan/220˚C conventional.
In a small bowl, whisk together the turmeric, chilli flakes, maple syrup, salt and oil until well combined.
Toss the marinade over the butternut squash and then put onto a tray (make sure to pour any excess marinade onto the butternut squash in the tray as you don’t want to lose any flavour). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and tender.
Meanwhile, make your sauce. Begin by heating the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sliced white onion and the salt and cook for 10 -15 minutes until the onions are deeply caramelised.
Add the coriander seeds, cardamom pods, chilli powder, chilli flakes, garam masala and cook those for 2 minutes on the heat, stirring constantly and taking care not to burn. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
To make the black rice, you need to rinse the rice first in a colander before adding it to a saucepan with cold water (make sure to leave a 2 inch gap above the rice). Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes until tender.
Add the tomatoes and sugar and put a lid on to cook for 20-25 minutes. Try and break the tomatoes up when you stir the curry so that they melt into the onions.
Transfer the tomato mix to a blender and blend until smooth. Then transfer back to the pan and add the cream, butter, fenugreek and season with salt and pepper.
Serve up the creamy curry sauce with the black rice and pieces of butternut squash on top. Top with fresh coriander and chopped hazelnuts.
By Iona Berry
Iona is our Development Chef, aka our go-to girl for developing, testing and tasting delicious dishes for you to all enjoy at home. When she’s not in the kitchen, you’ll find her either running or cycling, or trying out food markets and new restaurants around London. Continuous market research it would seem.