Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Korma
A beautiful, fragrant vegetable chickpea curry with korma spices, made creamy with rich coconut cream and perfectly roasted pumpkin pieces. Served with saffron-scented rice, this is a mellow-spiced and vibrantly coloured dish perfect for the whole family.
1 cup roasted sweet red pepper, cut into small dice
Pinch sea salt
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric
¼ to ½ tsp mild curry powder
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch (2 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tsp shoyu or tamari
1¼ cups unsweetened coconut cream
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp regular or smoked paprika
1½ cups cooked chickpeas (see page 81)
2 tsp ume paste
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp kuzu, dissolved in 2 tbsp filtered water
1 bunch watercress, leaves only, chopped
¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped
In a heavy-based pan, warm a splash or two of filtered water. Add the red pepper, sea salt, cumin seeds, turmeric, and mild curry powder, along with the onion, garlic, ginger and shoyu. Cook over low-medium flame for 5–8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender along with the coconut cream, nutritional yeast and paprika. Blend to a cream.
Transfer the mixture back to the pan and add the chickpeas and ume paste. Mix well, cover and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat. Add the kuzu and stir continuously until the mixture thickens. Stir in the lime juice and watercress. Garnish with fresh coriander. Makes 4–6 servings. Serve with white fluffy basmati rice and a choice of side dishes if desired.
To cook the rice
2 cups organic basmati rice
3 cups boiling filtered water
¼ tsp sea salt
8–10 saffron threads
Using a strainer, rinse the rice under cold running water. Soak in a large bowl of filtered water for 1 hour. Drain and transfer to a heavy-based pot and add the salt. Pour 3 cups of boiling filtered water over the rice. Spread the saffron threads on top and cook over a medium-high heat. When the water starts boiling and steaming, cover the pot tightly with a heavy lid so that no steam escapes. Turn down the heat to just above its lowest setting, and let the rice cook for 15 minutes undisturbed. I like to use my flame spreader for even heat distribution. Allow the rice to stay covered for another 5 minutes before removing the lid. Transfer to a large bowl. Fluff the rice and serve. Makes 4–6 servings.
Top tips for perfect rice – Use the best quality organic basmati rice you can find. Rinsing the rice well helps get rid of starch that can make your rice sticky. Adding salt to the rice in the pot before pouring in the water helps the salt absorb into the grains. Using a tight-fitting cover lets the rice steam perfectly. This method consistently yields long, separate, perfectly steamed fluffy grains of rice.
Note – Roasted chopped sweet red peppers are available in jars – I use them often for quickness. We prefer a mild heat so adjust to your preference. I used ¼ tsp mild curry powder, which is hot enough for us.