Sunday, February 9, 2014

Butternut curry and the benefits of turmeric

The more I read about turmeric lately the more amazed I am at its load of uses and benefits I really wanted to post about it. Luckily being born in South Africa our food is influenced by Durban curries and Cape Malay all using different blends of curry spices all with one of the main ingredients being turmeric.

The main active component in turmeric is curcumin which can help prevent Alzheimer's proven with India's low rate of illness and is a strong cancer fighter. It is an age old remedy for inflammation or sore muscles and joints as well as easing pain just as well as an Ibuprofen, it will also keep your bones strong warding off osteoporosis. Cardamon reduces blood pressure a spice also found in curry mixes. Coriander amazingly prevents food borne bacteria which will prevent food poisoning. I always prefer eating the right food over buying vitamins but turmeric does also come in pill form but may easily be added to your smoothies and hidden in other foods even when not making curry. 

This recipe is dairy, wheat and meat free so enjoy it anytime but especially tomorrow for meat free Monday.

Butternut Curry and all the trimmings
Serves 2
1 cup brown rice
1 medium butternut, peeled, seeded and cubed
20ml sunflower oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small piece of ginger, peeled, chopped or grated
1 chilli, chopped
100g fine green beans, top and tail and cut in half
1 large baby marrow, chunky cubes
8ml curry powder (the turmeric is already in this mix)
4ml cumin
4ml coriander spice
4ml garam masala
1ml cinnamon
20ml peanut butter
20ml chutney
20ml lemon juice
1 tin 150ml coconut milk
few sprigs fresh coriander, chopped
salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to the boil (1lt) add the rice and 1 tsp salt, allow to simmer for 30-35 minutes then strain.
I steamed my butternut in a bamboo steamer above the rice while it boiled and was ready in 20 minutes.
In another pan heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger.
Mix the spices together and add to the frying pan. Add 300ml water and the peanut butter, bring to the boil. Add chutney and lemon juice.
Add the vegetables and coconut milk, cook for 20 minutes on low, stir occasionally.
Season, add fresh coriander and thicken if necessary with some cornflour.
Serve with the brown rice and tomato salsa, chutney, sliced bananas, naan bread, poppadoms and yoghurt, what a feast.

Tomato salsa
serves 2
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 onion, diced
10ml white vinegar
5ml olive oil
chopped fresh herbs, coriander or parsley
salt and pepper

Mix together and season

Recipe and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells

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