Tag Archives: coconut

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry

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Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry Brad and I have considered Indian food to be our comfort food for ages. Although we are both of European decent somehow the taste of warm and slightly spicy curries make us feel at home. It’s no wonder we eat them regularly, especially since we moved to Britain where it’s basically a national dish. There are not too many things that are better than a good curry coupled with crispy poppadums dipped in mango chutney and lime chilli pickle! Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry
I get so many requests to post a curry recipe which tells me you guys love Indian food too! I am not claiming to be an expert so what I am sharing today is something I cook often and is loved by everyone in my family. It’s a vegetarian curry and so delicious you won’t miss meat! This particular curry is called Korma which is a blend of aromatic spices like ginger and coriander and yogurt.  If you are not familiar with Indian food it’s an excellent one to start with because of its creamy consistency and mild taste, even kids will love it. Traditionally, korma is cooked with meat but this version is meat free.

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry

Many people are very hesitant to venture out in the world of Indian cuisine. Rightly so, as the ingredient list is long enough to intimidate the most experienced cook!  Cooking is fun for me and the more complicated the recipe the better, so I usually have all the right spices on hand. However when we moved to England almost 3 years ago I had to get rid of my very large collection of spices and still haven’t replaced all of them. Since then I’ve discovered Patak’s Curry Pastes which I use almost exclusively for my curries. The taste is excellent and the variety is immense. Why worry about making it from scratch when someone has already put in all the hard work for you!
Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry
Ingredients: {Serves 6-8}

  • Oil-1 tbs.
  • Onion, chopped-2 medium
  • Garlic, chopped – 3-4 cloves
  • Cilantro, chopped (stalks and leaves separated, stalks reserved)- 1 bunch
  • Butternut Squash, diced- 1 medium
  • Chickpeas- 1 can
  • Patak’s Korma Paste or any other curry paste  (not cooking sauce)- 2 tbsp.
  • Coconut Milk- 1 can
  • Water- 2 cups
  • Spinach- 100 gr
  • Frozen Peas- 1/2 cup
  • Desiccated unsweetened coconut (optional)- 2 tbsp.
  • Salt- to taste
  • Basmati Rice- 2 cups

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry

Method:

1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large and deep pan and cook chopped onions, garlic and cilantro stalks over low heat for 10 minutes until soft and slightly coloured.

2.  Meanwhile dice your butternut squash to match the size of chickpeas.  I leave the skin on as I discovered it cooks very nicely and eliminates a lot of unnecessary work. When the onions are tender add the curry paste and cook for a minute or so stirring the whole time, then add your squash, chickpeas, coconut milk, desiccated coconut, water and a pinch of salt,  bring it to a boil by turning the heat up, then turn the heat down to a low-medium and simmer it covered for 35-40 minutes.  Stir it occasionally to prevent from burning and add a few splashes of water if it gets too dry.

3. Start on the rice. Cook your rice in the rice cooker according to the manufacture’s instructions.

4.  Test the butternut squash, it should be fork tender by this point but not falling apart. Your curry should be thick so if it’s too runny, uncover and let the liquid cook down for a few more minutes. When you are satisfied with the consistency of the curry stir in peas, spinach and cilantro leaves, cover with a lid and take off the heat.

5. Serve with steaming hot basmati rice. We love having  naan bread or chapattis and various Indian pickles and chutney with our curries. My children go crazy for crunchy poppadums!

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry

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Spiced Rum White Chocolate and Coconut Truffles

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Spice Rum White Chocolate Truffles
I love chocolate truffles…I love  them in a very deep and real way. Seriously.  Appropriate for any food-related love, of course! Last year I pined for French truffles we used to buy every Christmas while still in Canada. Yet I have never tried to make them myself. How those two things are reconciled is beyond me! I guess I had a silly idea that they would be difficult and fiddly to make, and boy oh boy, was I ever wrong! Truffle making must be one of the most enjoyable activities ever and shouldn’t even be classified as cooking but rather a craft because it’s that simple and fun! So gather up your little ones, put lovely Christmas tunes on and get to it! If you make only one thing this Christmas let it be these White Chocolate and Coconut Truffles.

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Ingredients:

For 25-30 truffles

250 gr good-quality white chocolate choppedmelted truffles

100 ml whipping cream/double cream

25 gr soft unsalted butter

Spiced Rum or any other liqueur of your choice-a splash (optional)

For the coating:

200 gr good-quality chocolate, melted and slightly cooled ( I used vanilla bean white chocolate from Marks and Spencer)

100 gr shredded or desiccated coconut

Method:

Put the white chocolate, cream and butter in a pan over a low heat and stir until melted and combined, add a splash of Spiced Rum for a more complex flavour. Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the fridge for 4 hours or until firm. (Go read a book while it’s chilling or do something else fun!)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. truffles 1

Scoop out a small amount of the mixture and roll it into a ball using a spoon or your hands. I opted for the latter as I wanted mine to be perfectly round. I found I had to wipe my hands between rolling each truffle because the creamy filling made them too slippery to be effective! Transfer the truffle balls to a plate and chill for 1 hour to firm up.

Once they are firm enough to handle drop them in the melted chocolate for a quick swim and pull them out with a fork, then repeat the same with the shredded coconut. I left a few of mine coconut-free as my son claims coconut to be his latest dislike! I am curious to see how true that is in the face of temptation!

You are done! Do you see how easy that is?! I am pretty sure I will be experimenting with dark chocolate very soon.

I am very weary to compare these amazing truffles with anything but if you insisted I would say they taste like a better version of Ferrero Raffaello chocolates. Oh gasp.

Serve these delightful morsels at your next Christmas party paired with a glass of bubbly and you will surely be the most popular and sought after hostess!

Spiced Rum White Chocolate Truffles

Or give them as a clever Christmas gift to your friends although I am warning you they will be very tough to part with!

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* The recipe was adapted from Sainsbury’s Magazine December 2012