Afghan Kidney Bean Curry

We are always looking for new ways to eat beans. They are so good for us! An affordable and healthy source of protein and fibre. Good news is they are also great for the environment. Legume crops improve soil fertility naturally by working with bacteria to fix nitrogen into the soil.

So when we tried this delicious Afghan curry, we just had to share it! This is probably not an authentic recipe but it’s our quick and easy version. We love that the heat just comes from the generous use of black pepper. We’ll share the stuffed flatbreads recipe soon too. Watch this space!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 bottle of passata
  • 2 tins kidney beans
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • (drizzle of veg oil, sprinkle of salt, pepper & ground coriander to roast the onions & potatoes)
  • diced red onion, fresh coriander & mint to taste

Method

  1. Turn your oven to 200C. Chop the potatoes into bites sized pieces and the onions into slivers and toss in a roasting dish with a drizzle of oil and sprinkle of salt, pepper & ground coriander. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until soft while you make the curry sauce.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot & tip in the spices and seasoning. Stir fry in the oil until the spices are very fragrant and starting to darken.
  3. Pour in the passata and the drained and rinsed kidney beans & simmer for 10 minutes or so until the curry is rich and delicious.
  4. When the potatoes and onions are cooked through and starting to colour, scrape them into the curry and warm through.
  5. Serve in bowls topped with diced red onion and chopped mint and coriander. Scoop up with flatbreads or rice & enjoy!

Chickpea Tikka Masala

Our new range of curry spice sauces make it easy to put together a delicious dinner in minutes! We tested the Tikka Masala paste last night and it was so good. Here’s what we did but of course it’s totally flexible and you should use whatever vegetables you prefer or have in the house. We love the range of Bunalun organic tins too. So useful!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp tikka masala curry paste
  • 1/4 cauliflower, chopped
  • a couple of handfuls of diced butternut squash
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • rice and coriander to serve

Method

  1. Get your rice on to cook and find a large pot to cook the curry in.
  2. Fry the onion in the oil over a medium-high heat until it softens and starts to turn golden brown.
  3. Then add the curry paste and chopped vegetables and stir until fragrant.
  4. Pour in the tin of tomatoes and a half tin of water (swirl to get all the tomatoey juices out of the tin). Then add the chickpeas and simmer until the butternut squash is soft.
  5. Add the tin of coconut milk and warm through. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with salt and pepper. Then serve over rice with some fresh coriander.

Banana Skin Recipes

Are these bananas over-ripe? Or are they perfectly ripe?

Who knew you could eat the skins of a banana? It’s amazing what we have been conditioned into discarding as not edible isn’t it? The amount of delicious and healthy fruit and vegetable offcuts – skins, leaves, stalks…that we just throw away is actually quite shocking. We could make our weekly food shop go so much further if we re-learn what is edible and what isn’t. Lack of dietary fibre is a big health issue here in the west. It’s so important to eat enough roughage to help your digestive system move, for bowel health, and to balance your blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Dietary fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Eating banana skins is not just about increasing your fibre intake. Banana skins are rich in potassium (amazing for your heart health), magnesium (helps your muscles and nerves work properly, maintains protein, bone and DNA, levels blood sugar and pressure), B6 (which improves your sleep) and B12 (keeps your blood and nerve cells happy, helps make DNA), Vitamin A (great for eyesight), antioxidants (lowers cancer risk) and more!

So here are a couple of ways to cook banana skins. Always choose organic to avoid nasty pesticides/herbicides and give your bananas a good rinse. Riper banana skins are softer and sweeter. If you don’t fancy making a meal out of banana skins, you can always blend some into your smoothie or next batch of banana bread too.

Liz x

Save Your Banana Skin ‘Bacon’

Rescue your ripe banana skins from heading to the bin by putting them in a box in the fridge to add to smoothies – or make this vegan bacon. Yes, this recipe is a bit of a gimmick, but it is surprisingly delicious. It’s all about the smokey bacon marinade of course (which you can use to marinade strips of aubergine, mushrooms, courgette, carrots etc to make whatever plant-based bacon you desire). Banana skins bring a light banana flavour to the party along with a deliciously chewy texture. Definitely worth a go!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp garlic granules/powder
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3-4 ripe banana skins, washed

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients (except for the banana skins) in a container that will hold 3 or 4 banana skins. I use a sandwich box with a lid.
  2. Chop the tough ends off of 3-4 banana skins and tear them into strips (a banana skin should naturally tear into 3 or 4 strips). Use a spoon to scrape off the phloem bundles – that’s the name for the soft, stringy bits of banana stuck to the inside of the skins. These can be added to smoothies or banana bread.
  3. Place the scraped banana skins into the marinade and mix well ensuring each piece is coated in the marinade. Leave to soak up the flavour for at least 20 minutes. You can even prepare this the night before and pop in the fridge, then cook the bacon for breakfast in the morning.
  4. Fry the strips of banana skin with a little oil in a medium-high frying pan on both sides until sizzling and crispy. Enjoy as a side of your cooked breakfast plate or in a sandwich. Crumble over pasta or eat wherever you would like a sweet and salty, smokey bacon-like flavour.

Whole Banana & Coconut Curry

You need to really like banana to like this curry. It’s sweet, creamy, mild and absolutely delicious! I like it just as it is so I can really enjoy the flavour and texture of the banana skin and flesh with some simple rice, chilli flakes and coriander. But I often bulk it out with roasted cauliflower or squash or a drained tin of chickpeas too.

Ingredients (per person)

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • a pinch of fresh curry leaves will take this curry to the next level
  • 1/2 a white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 tsp ground/grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground/grated turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt – or to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tin coconut milk
  • rice, fresh coriander, chilli flakes, lime wedges to serve

Method

  1. Get your rice on to cook then heat up a pan with your vegetable oil to medium-high. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and cook them until they start to crackle and pop. They should get very fragrant. If you can get fresh curry leaves where you are, add a pinch of them now too and swoon at the gorgeous fragrance.
  2. Then add the sliced onion with a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and starting to turn golden brown. Add the sliced garlic and stir for a couple of minutes.
  3. While the onions and garlic cook, slice the tough ends off your banana and peel it. Cut the skin widthways into three roughly pinky-finger length chunks, then cut those chunks lengthways into nice thin strips. Add the banana skin to the pan and stir.
  4. Add the turmeric, ginger and curry powder and stir well. The curry will be quite dry now so add a splash or two of water and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly and adding more water as needed until the banana skins have softened.
  5. Slice the banana flesh into thin, diagonal ovals and add them to the pan with the salt and pepper. Stir gently for a couple of minutes to warm up the banana, add another splash of water if needed.
  6. Add the coconut milk and turn the heat down to simmer. Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or a squeeze of lime if acidity is called for.
  7. Serve piled next to rice. Add a sprinkle of fresh coriander and some chilli flakes/slices for heat if you wish and enjoy!

Pumpkin Dal

A simple and soothing red lentil dal is a staple in our house. It’s a winner on so many fronts from the cheap, nutritious ingredients to the ease of the recipe. We love how flexible dals can be and how delicious they always are. There’s something textural about red lentils that makes every spoonful a delight.

This recipe is very flexible so please feel encouraged to make it your own. Sometimes we make it with a tangy tin of tomatoes, sometimes with a rich and creamy tin of coconut milk, depending on our mood. But we always have some fresh, seasonal, Irish, organic vegetables simmered in with the lentils! This week we used delicious kuri squash pumpkins which are back in stock now (as of when this blog was written) but you can use whatever veg you fancy. Some of our other favourites for dal are cauliflower, aubergine, sweet potato and carrots. Share your favourite variations with us in the comments or over on our facebook community group. We love swapping recipes over there.

Don’t forget to order your organic fruit, veg and groceries here, we deliver nationwide.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 a squash/pumpkin (like butternut or kuri squash), diced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • an optional tin of chickpeas, drained
  • a small mug of red lentils, rinsed
  • salt, pepper & chilli to taste
  • rice, lime & coriander to serve

Method

  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pan, sauté the onion and garlic with the oil until soft and golden brown. Over a medium high heat this should take around 10 minutes.
  2. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir fry for around 3 minutes to toast them and bring out their flavour before adding liquid.
  3. Now add the diced squash, rinsed lentils, tin of tomatoes, (optional tin of chickpeas), turmeric and ginger. Fill the tomato tin up with water twice, emptying it into the pot.
  4. Season well with salt and pepper then simmer, stirring often until the lentils are cooked through. You will probably need to add some more water as the lentils soak up the liquid.
  5. When the lentils and squash are cooked through (after around 20 minutes) and beautifully soft, taste and adjust the seasoning if you like with more salt. Add a squeeze of lime for acidity and some chilli flakes for heat if you like.
  6. Serve in bowls with rice (and optional other curries – we had a sort of lazy saag alloo which was just roasted potatoes with curry powder and some wilted spinach folded through) or just as it is with some bread. It’s delicious loosened into a soup too!

Butter Tofu – Curry

This is one of our favourite twists on an Indian takeaway. The traditional North Indian dish is ‘butter chicken’ and it’s all about that rich, creamy and buttery tomato gravy. It’s mildly spicy and savoury, popular with the whole family. This is the perfect store-cupboard supper too, just the thing for those days when you’re running low on fresh ingredients.

We have replaced the dairy in the traditional recipe with Naturli butter and creamy coconut milk. And in place of chicken, our extra firm blocks of organic tofu. We also love this recipe with cauliflower, chickpeas or chunks of aubergine or mushrooms in place of the tofu. Whatever you decide to cook and fold through this mouthwatering sauce, you are guaranteed to lick your plate clean. It’s that good!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

Sauce

Tofu

  • 6 heaped tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 600g extra firm tofu, drained and cubed (or sub with cooked chickpeas, cauliflower florets or cubed aubergine or mushrooms)
  • 50g butter

Method

  1. Start with the sauce. Put the onion, garlic, spices and seasoning into a blender and blend into a thick paste. Fry the paste in a heavy bottomed, deep saucepan with the butter for 10 minutes or until dark brown and very fragrant.
  2. Empty the two tins of tomatoes into the blender and blend them until smooth too. Add to the curry paste and simmer and stir for a further 10 minutes until the sauce is rich and slightly reduced.
  3. Add the tin of coconut milk, stir and taste for seasoning. Keep the sauce warm while you cook the rice and tofu.
  4. Drain your blocks of extra firm tofu and cut into bite sized cubes. If you are subbing with vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces and dunk in milk. In a wide bowl, mix the cornstarch, turmeric, salt and pepper. Tumble the tofu into the bowl and use your hands to mix well and ensure each piece is coated in the seasoning. (If you are using vegetables, dunk the veg in the milk first then roll in the seasoned cornstarch).
  5. Heat up a large frying pan (or two) and add the butter. When it starts to melt, add the coated tofu (or vegetables) and cook on a medium-high heat until crispy and golden on the bottom. Then carefully turn the pieces to cook on the other side. Keep turning and cooking until the tofu (or vegetables) is golden brown, hot and crispy.
  6. Fold the cooked tofu (or vegetables) through the warm curry sauce and serve with basmati rice and chopped coriander.

Quick Cabbage & Potato Curry

For a warming bowl of hearty food in a hurry, try this quick curry. Cabbage and potato are made for each other aren’t they? With the addition of some warming curry spices and creamy coconut milk, these humble ingredients can really sing! Of course you can tweak the recipe as you like with the addition of cooked chickpeas and some cauliflower/romanesco florets etc. Let us know if you tried it in the comments or over on our community facebook group.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 8 small/medium potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 a savoy cabbage, sliced
  • fresh chilli to taste, sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp each: brown mustard seeds, turmeric, curry powder, salt and black pepper
  • 1 400g tin coconut milk
  • *optional extras* – cooked chickpeas, cauliflower/romanesco florets…
  • Indian chutneys and natural yoghurt to serve

Method

  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pan (which has a lid), fry the onion and garlic with the vegetable oil until golden and soft.
  2. Add the potatoes, spices and seasoning and sauté until fragrant. Add a small glass of water then put the lid on and allow the potatoes to steam cook for 8 minutes or until tender. Test with a knife.
  3. Then add the cabbage, coconut milk and chilli to the pan, return the lid and let the cabbage wilt for 3 minutes. (Here’s where you can add the cooked chickpeas if using.)
  4. Then stir the vegetables together, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt/pepper, return the lid one last time for a further 3 minutes and your curry is done!
  5. Serve in warm bowls with Indian chutneys and natural yoghurt. Enjoy!

Tomato & Greens Chickpea Curry

This simple curry is a brilliant way to pack in all those gorgeous seasonal greens we have been harvesting at the farm recently. It works equally well with spinach, chard, kale or even spring green cabbages. It’s a regular feature on our mid-week menu at home. Gotta love a simple meal that can be thrown together from a few affordable ingredients – which is also such a flavour bomb! Tweak the spices to suit your taste.

Serve it with wholesome brown rice to make it a meal. Our bulk bags of rice come in compostable bags, why not add some to your next fruit and veg order?

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4 generously)

  • 1 tbsp vegetable/coconut oil
  • 1 diced white onion
  • 4 cloves of diced garlic
  • 3 tbsp curry powder (or use a mix of your favourite curry spices)
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
  • red chillies to taste, chopped
  • 2 tins of chopped tomato
  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 200g or more of spinach/chard/spring greens
  • cooked rice, lime wedges and fresh coriander to serve.

Method

  1. In a large pan/pot, sauté the diced onion and garlic in the oil over a medium/high heat for about 10 minutes – or until they start to caramelise, soften and turn golden brown.
  2. Add the fresh ginger, curry spices and chilli and stir to quickly toast them before adding any liquid.
  3. Add the two tins of tomatoes and the drained chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and simmer together until rich and delicious.
  4. About 5-10 minutes before serving, rinse and chop the greens then fold them into the curry. Once they are sufficiently wilted, serve in bowls with rice and lime and coriander to lift and brighten the curry.

Swede, Kale & Coconut Dal with Curried Parsnip Fritters

A page from my illustrated cookbook, available to buy from Green Earth Organics shop here.

Dal and fritters are staples in our house. The dal is especially useful to have in your repertoire for those days when you are low on fresh veg just before your next veg box arrives. And of course bulking out a dal with whatever seasonal veg you have is always a good idea. I like to make it with a tin of coconut some days, usually in winter when the weather calls for something rich and creamy, and with a tin of tomato on other days when I want it lighter and tangy (as in the recipe illustration from my book above).

My fritters are not dissimilar to onion bhajis. Here with curry spices in the gram flour batter they go particularly well with the dal and you can add whatever shredded veg you have around – cauliflower, squash, carrot etc. Fritters also make great sandwich fillers or burger patty alternatives and of course they don’t have to be curry flavoured, add whatever herbs and spices you like to make them your own. I love courgette fritters with fresh herbs in the summer, squash chilli and sage in autumn, celeriac, preserved lemon and parsley…the possibilities are endless.

As always, let us know in the comments or over on our community Facebook group if you make this recipe. We love to see our recipes leave the screen. Don’t forget to share this blog with your friends and family.

Happy cooking! Liz x

Ingredients for the Dal

  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • an onion or leek
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp each: brown mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, fenugreek, salt and chilli flakes or chopped green finger chilli to taste
  • 1 mug red split lentils
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • curry leaves (if you can get them fresh/frozen that’s best, if not dried is fine)
  • 1/2 a swede
  • a few handfuls of kale
  • lemon/lime juice

Ingredients for the Parsnip Fritters

  • 2 mugs of gram flour
  • 2 mugs of water
  • 1 tsp each: salt, pepper, nigella seeds, turmeric, curry leaves and chilli to taste
  • 3 parsnips
  • vegetable oil for frying

Method

Dice the onion or leek and soften it in a large pan on a medium high heat with the oil.

Add the cumin and mustard seeds and stir to toast them until fragrant. Then add the ground turmeric, ginger and fenugreek and stir to briefly toast for just a few seconds.

Add the mug of red lentils and the diced swede and stir to coat them in the spices. Then add the tin of coconut milk and two tins of water to the pan.

Season with salt and pepper and add the curry leaves (if you have them – buy online or at specialist Asian shops) and chilli flakes or chopped green finger chilli to infuse while the lentils and swede cook.

Bring the pot up to boil then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the lentils and swede are cooked through.

Meanwhile get the fritter mix ready. Whisk the gram flour, spices and water together into a smooth batter. Then grate the parsnips and add them to the batter. Stir well to coat all the grated parsnip with the batter.

Heat a frying pan with a generous slick of vegetable oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and fry whatever sized dollops of the fritter mix in the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown on the outside and cooked through. It’s better to cook them slowly if they are large so that they don’t end up burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. Raw gram flour batter can be a little bitter.

Stir chopped and rinsed kale through the dal about 10 minutes before serving. Serve the dal and fritters in bowls with Indian chutneys and optional rice, popadoms etc.