As you may have noticed, my favourite weeknight meals are the kind that can be made in one pot. Something that simmers away on the hob for a while whilst I change into my pyjamas, finish off the last few emails and check the TV guide. The current polar vortex that has descended upon London is making me want to hibernate as much as possible and, try as I might, I have never been somebody who is good at extreme healthy eating during a cold snap. Vegan or not.
I did hesitate a little before posting the recipe for yet another vegan curry, and then decided that it’s exactly what you need right now, for nobody really wants to eat a salad when it’s -3 outside and you’ve had to fight your way home on the tube.
Aloo gobi translates literally, and quite unappetisingly, as ‘potato cauliflower’ and can be anything from a dry spiced vegetable dish, to a full vegetable-based curry. My recipe uses ground almonds, sultanas and coconut milk to push it well into the latter category – in many ways it is similar to a vegetable korma. That way you can serve it up with rice, naan and whichever chutneys and pickles you have in the fridge to make it a whole meal. You can even eat it in front of the television, if nobody’s watching.
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, thickly sliced
½ tsp chilli flakes
Thumb-sized piece of root ginger, finely grated
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
1½ tsp hot curry powder
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp black onion seeds
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
4 tbsp ground almonds
4 tbsp sultanas
1 small cauliflower, broken into florets
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
150g frozen peas
Juice of ½ a lemon
Handful finely chopped coriander
Desiccated coconut, for garnish
Heat the oil in a very large saucepan and cook the onions and carrots over a medium heat until the onions are soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chilli flakes, ginger, garlic, curry powder, turmeric and onion seeds and cook for a further two minutes.
Add the potato and ground almonds and stir until the potato is well coated in the spice mixture. Turn up the heat and add 500ml water and the sultanas. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the cauliflower and coconut milk and cook for a further 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Remove from the heat and stir in the peas, lemon juice and most of the coriander, reserving a little for garnish. Check seasoning and add salt if necessary. Garnish with the remaining coriander and a little desiccated coconut.
Serves four. Adapted from a recipe from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes.