Indian Feast Part 1: Coconut Mixed Veg Curry with Gluten Free Vegan Garlic Naan

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For a 22 year old I have travelled a fair bit, and I believe this has definitely influenced my love of food and flavours. My mind is constantly travelling to different countries (even when I am not physically) and is always exploring the different ways various cultures cook and celebrate food. Food is so powerful. It brings us together - families, friends, colleagues and strangers. In times of crisis and in times of celebration we get together and we share food. Last year on one of my many adventures I was lucky enough to go to South America. I stayed in Buenos Aires in Argentina where my father was working at the time. My mind was completely blown away by this culture. It was as if there was no rules, and the day completely evolved around food and sitting down for meals together. Definitely my kind of place! At 10PM when we would normally be tucking ourselves into bed, the Argentinians were just going out - the streets would literally be filled, restaurants packed with families and friends sitting and sharing a meal together. So wonderful!
 
Though this recipe is not South American, it came from my trip to South America. One night whilst sitting in the apartment deciding where to go for dinner we got a knock on the door. An Indian man my dad was working with had brought us down an array of curries his wife had made. The first thing that captivated me was the smell, it filled the apartment instantly. It was amazing. Next was the taste - oh boy. I cannot even express how amazing the taste was of these curries. Every single taste bud came alive. The spices, the brilliant balance of flavours and tastes I had never experienced before. It was truly inspiring.
 
Being the food obsessed person I am, I could not leave without getting the recipes and so the lady was kind enough to pass on all her secret recipes to me. My mind still explodes at the simplicity but the insane flavours of these curries. Trust me, these absolutely blow your normal indian take away out of the park. They are in a whole new league. So I present to you part one of this indian feast - one of my favourite curries she made us that night, and also a recipe for gluten free vegan naan bread which hands down is one of my ultimate GF favourites. 

Ingredients
 
 Serves 5-6
 
 For the curry:
 
3 cups paneer cheese or firm tofu
1/2 cup beans
1 carrot
1 potato or sweet potato
1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup sultanas
1 cup spinach
1 onion
1 cup coconut powder
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic ginger paste
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups water
 
For the naan:
 
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
2 tsps dry yeast
1/2 cup rice/almond milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tsp guar gum
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax meal - 6t tbsp water)
 
 To serve:
 
1/4 cup coconut cream
green chillies sliced
chopped coriander
misc fried dried fruits
 
 
First thing we want to do is get our naan dough made ready for proving. To begin, mix the water, rice malt syrup, yeast and whisk until frothy. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. If mixture does not froth up, ditch and start again. 

Next in a separate jug, mix the milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside for 15 minutes to curdle.   
 
In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, starches, guar gum, salt, baking powder and mix together with a wooden spoon. Next mix in all your liquid mixtures into the dry and combine. The mixture should end up looking a bit like mash potato. Cover bowl with cling film and sit in a warm place for around 20 minutes. 
 
Next on to the curry! In a large saucepan, add in the coconut powder and poppy seeds and toss in pan until warm and light brown. Add in the water to make a paste. Then add the oil and sauté the onion in the garlic ginger paste, turmeric, salt and chilli. Once onions are translucent add in all chopped vegetables and paneer/tofu. Let simmer until vegetables are tender and throw in your sultanas.
 
Back onto the naan. Get the risen dough and shape into flat naan bread shapes (around 1cm thick).  Cook one-two at a time on non stick pan over a medium heat. You can grease the pan with coconut oil if required!
 
Serve curry with some brown rice and naan immediately after they have all been fried.
 
Just try and not tuck in!

   Photography by  Elisa Watson .

Photography by Elisa Watson.

Kate Bradley2 Comments