If you’re ever in Bristol, England, there’s a local chain of authentic curry houses you simply must visit. The Thali Café, of which there are four, has been featured here before, as the subject of my one and only restaurant review. Of course, it received rather high praise and one of its current specials was my main source of inspiration for this dish. Armed with the knowledge that the curry contained cream, ground almonds and cardamom I set about my business. Though, the original concept was changed slightly, with chicken being replaced by the thoroughly autumnal sweet potato.
It is music to my ears that my repertoire of curries and other roughly-Indian cuisine is rapidly expanding. The realisation that ground almonds, one of my favourite ingredients, is an accepted ingredient in a number of curries, set my considerable culinary imagination wild. When used, ground almonds always succeed in imparting a truly special quality that is never immediately obvious. However, on closer inspection, it is difficult to overestimate the richness and luxurious texture they bring. Happily, this recipe deserves to be counted among my very best and is certainly on-par with my beef curry and fragrant chicken curry.
This post marks my last before FrugalFeeding’s first foray into truly vegan bloggery. Fear not, I shall forever be a proponent of the meat eater’s creed – I’ve simply consented to take part in the Virtual Vegan Potluck (VVP). According to my good food-blogger friend Somer, I have the ability to create some seriously good vegan munch. Of course, such a compliment could not go unrewarded, so I acquiesced to her request to join the VVP. In true VVP style, my post shall, for now, remain strictly confidential, but I know you’ll adore it when it goes live on the very first minute of next month. Farewell for the time being, my friends, I promise to never fully forsake meat!
Sweet Potato and Almond Curry
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 1 knob of ginger, thumb-sized
• A handful of fresh coriander
• The juice of 1 lime
• 2 green chillies
• 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
• 1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
• 6-7 cardamom pods
• ½ tsp turmeric
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• Water, as indicated in the recipe
• 150ml single cream
• 3 heaped tbsp ground almonds
• Salt & pepper
1. Throw the garlic, fresh coriander, whole chillies, lime juice and ginger into a food processor and reduce to a paste. Gently toast the whole spices, grind with a pestle and mortar and add to the turmeric. Start frying the onion in a generous splosh of oil, preferably sunflower or similar, before adding the spices, then the paste. Cook on a very low heat, adding a little water occasionally to stop it drying up.
2. Cube the sweet potatoes and bung them in the oven with a little oil at 180C for 10-15 minutes, until just browning. When done, stir them into the curry sauce. Add 300ml water, the cream and almonds. Season to taste and simmer for a further 5 minutes – the curry shouldn’t be too wet.
3. Serve with chapatis and fresh coriander. This curry will keep very well for a few days, so make in advance to save time.
Cost: Sweet potatoes are exceedingly cheap at this time of year and generally cost far less than chicken. As such, though this curry contains single cream (50-60p) and ground almonds (40-50p), it is very thrifty. Indeed, the entire curry, enough for four, set us back a very frugal £2.50. At that price, it is very difficult to go wrong!