Sunday, February 6, 2011

February C of cooking - Spicy Butter Bean Curry with Perch filets

Here is the recipe to go with the macro butter bean shots.

Spicy Butter Bean Curry

I used dried butter beans, soaked overnight in cold water, then cooked for an hour; but you can use tinned beans which are obviously ready to use.

This is another one pot recipe so grab a large heavy bottomed pan with a lid.

serves 4

2 cups of rehydrated and cooked dried beans or large tin (400g) of butter beans
2 cups of frozen green beans
1 large onion sliced
1 small red chili chopped finely
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon tumeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
15 curry leaves or if you don't have curry leaves you could use 3 tablespoons of curry powder
2 tablespoons of a garam masala spice mix
1 tablespoon of coconut oil if you have it
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil not olive
1 small carton of coconut milk
1 cup of water
Salt and pepper to season

Fry the mustard seeds until they start to pop in the veg oil, then add the onions and chili and leave to saute over a gentle heat until the onions are transparent and soft. Then increased the heat and fry the chili.

Because I am lazy and never fancy doing loads of washing up, if I can get away with it I will just add the spices to the pan rather than creating a separate spice mix in another bowl.

Stir in the coconut oil if you have it - this is just for authenticity and is not required so if you don't have it don't stress, add the spices to the pan and fry off gently for a few minutes.
Then add the cup of water and the beans, cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk, bring to the boil, season, then reduce to a simmer for another 15 minutes.  I know this means that the beans are a bit overcooked but in my mind for a curry the veg should be soft and not al dente as you might expect when serving as side dishes.

To continue with the 'new' theme - as well as cooking this recipe for the first time, we are eating it alongside a 'new' fish for us.  
Perch is often on sale here on the poissonerie, but it is not a fish we have ever tried before, so I grabbed a couple of large filets, and just used one to serve 3 people.

Cut into 3 generous filets, I seasoned them in a large oven dish, added a splash of water covered with tin foil and left to cook for 20 minutes.

I decided against adding the fish to the curry because I wanted to sample the flavour of the curry without being overwhelmed by the fish, and for the same reason I cooked the fish separately.  It has a good firm meaty texture, but is not at all 'fishy' in smell or flavour.  Very good in fact so that can go on the shopping list for the future.

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