When I came across a recipe which blended roasted peppers into a curry sauce, I knew I had to make a version of it. I am a sucker for sweet curries, probably having eaten a lot of restaurant and take-away curries in my youth which are notoriously full of sugar. I knew sweet roasted red peppers would add a base of sweetness that would be enhanced by roasted spices and fragrant coconut milk to make a curry that would outshine any of those sugar and fat laden curries of my past! I also use cherry tomatoes for extra sweetness, the riper the better.
I make curries weekly and love to experiment with spicing, which is not an easy feat. Sometimes, they just need 'something' and it can be really difficult to figure out what that is and to get the balance just right. Ready made curry powders generally taste stale and flavourless to me and curry pastes are great for quick meals but they do tend to be oily and still, never compare to freshly toasted spices which fill the home with an aroma that transports you to Indian spice markets.
It can be difficult to create really rich, comforting curries without the use of excess oil, creams, nuts and sugars which all lead to very high calorie dishes. This recipe however, is so perfectly balanced, rich, creamy, slightly sweet and warmly spiced that you won't miss the takeaway!
It pays to have a good blender for this recipe so that you can really blend the whole spices into the sauce for the best flavour and no nasty surprises for your teeth! I use my trusty Froothie Optimum 9200.
Check out the amazing nutritional benefits of this recipe;
- No cholesterol
- High in calcium
- High in dietary fiber
- High in iron
- High in manganese
- High in potassium
- Very high in vitamin A
- Very high in vitamin B6
- Very high in vitamin C
Ingredients: Serves 4Adapted from Spice Chronicles
- 1 (400g/14oz) jar or can roasted peppers in brine (or 2 large home roasted red peppers)
- 1 tbsp chopped chilli
- 8 cherry tomatoes (or 3 regular)
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 can light coconut milk (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp granulated stevia blend
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 6 cardamom pods
- 4 dried curry leaves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 450g firm tofu (my easy homemade tofu works great here), pressed of excess moisture
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 5 large mushrooms (about 250g)
- 1 1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
- Place the roasted peppers, chilli, tomatoes, garlic, coconut milk, salt, stevia and 1/2 tbsp of the fenugreek in a blender and set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the coriander and cumin seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves. Toast, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 5 minutes, being careful not to burn.
- Transfer the spices to a pestle and mortar and gently crush to release the oils and to split the cardamom pods and discard the casings. Add to the blender jar with the ginger and blend to a smooth sauce. If you don't have a pestle and mortar, you can open the cardamom by hand and add all the spices directly to the blender.
- Spray the pan with a little cooking spray and turn up the heat to get the pan really hot. Add the cubed tofu and leave for a few minutes before turning. Cook until golden all over then add the onion. After a few minutes when the onion starts to soften, add the roughly torn mushrooms.
- Once the mushrooms have softened and their juices have evaporated, add the sauce and the remaining fenugreek and stir well.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or so until the oils are released which streak the top of the sauce. Taste for salt and adjust as necessary then serve with rice.