Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for jersey royal and green bean istoo | Life and style

Black pepper, once a highly prized spice for which kingdoms fell and men died, originates in India’s Malabar coast, where it’s one of the main spices of the local cuisine. When used as more than just a seasoning, as in this istoo (a corruption of the word ‘stew’), pepper adds a gentle, rounded heat, unlike the sharp hit you get from fresh chillies. The result is one of the most gentle-natured and elegant curries I’ve come across in all my travels across India.

Jersey royal and green bean istoo with tamarind shallots

Prep 15 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 4

For the tamarind shallots
1½ tsp rapeseed oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
5 curry leaves
8 shallots, peeled and cut lengthways into quarters
200g vine tomatoes (ie, 2 medium ones), chopped
1 green chilli, very finely chopped
1-1½ tsp tamarind paste
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground turmeric

For the potato istoo
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
10 curry leaves
4cm cinnamon stick, broken in two
1 medium white onion, peeled and sliced
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 green finger chilli, slit
650g small jersey royal potatoes, quartered
1 tsp each salt and black pepper
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
250g green beans, tailed and halved

For the shallots, heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium flame. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and, when the seeds pop and the leaves crackle, lay in the shallots cut side down and leave to cook for five minutes, until browned. Now stir the shallots, encouraging the “petals” to break loose, and cook for another five minutes or so, until soft enough to cut with a wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes, chilli and two tablespoons of water, and cook until the tomatoes go jammy and break down into a paste (you may need to add more water). Add the tamarind, salt and turmeric, cook for two minutes, then take off the heat and set aside.

In a casserole dish for which you have a lid, heat the oil for the istoo on a medium flame and, once hot, add the curry leaves, cinnamon and onion. Cook for eight to 10 minutes, until the onion is as soft as possible without colouring, then stir in the ginger, garlic and chilli, and cook for two minutes. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper, stir in the coconut milk, then fill the empty tin with 100ml water, swirl it around and add to the casserole – you want just to cover the potatoes, so add more water, if need be. Bring to a boil on a medium heat, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the beans, cover with the lid and simmer until both the beans and potatoes are tender – around five to six minutes (longer, if you prefer your beans soft).

Gently reheat the shallots, transfer, with the curry, to big bowls, and serve with basmati rice or appams.

Source link

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *