For those Curry aficionados, and I count myself blessed to be one, there is a growing number of Nepalese Restaurants in the UK offering something different from the [ I think boring as hell!] usual fare of ‘Tikka Masala’ or ‘Bangalore Phal’ – hot as possible, cos I’m a REAL MAN!
To those who enjoy such bastardised dishes, fine. But they are a world away from the subtle spiced delights of the Asian Sub-Continent. This is a staple Nepali dish, fine as a main course for vegetarians, or as an accompaniment to Lamb or Goat dishes.
200 ml of organic Sheep or Goat’s Yoghurt; 400 g Bamboo Shoots [if you have a choice select those broader thick shoots, similar to thin leeks], cut to thin slices then cross-cut smaller if necessary; 400 g tin of Black-eyed peas or beans rinsed [or overnight soaked if dried]; 400 g tin of organic tomatoes, chopped; 1 lb potatoes [waxy new varieties if poss.] peeled and cut to about 1/2″ pieces; 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thinly; 2 fresh red chillies sliced into rounds, seeds and all!; 2 cloves garlic finely chopped; 1/2″ fresh ginger finely chopped; 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper; 1 tsp cumin powder; 1/2 tsp turmeric [or better still one short piece of fresh turmeric finely chopped]; 200 g thick yoghurt; 1/2 pint organic veg stock; handful of fresh, roughly chopped Coriander as garnish; 2 tbsp Rice oil.
Heat the oil in a deep fry pan, with a lid if possible. Throw in the red chillies and stir ’til darkened, then add the onion, garlic and ginger and stir fry ’til soft on a low heat. Turn the heat up slightly and add the spices stirring ’til incorporated into the mixture. Turn back down and then add the potatoes and saute for about 10 minutes covered, just checking that they don’t start to burn. Add the beans, bamboo shoots and tomatoes, stir and allow a few minutes to heat through.
Mix the yoghurt with about half of the warm veg stock. Add carefully as it will have a tendency to curdle if the stock is too hot. If it does use a fork and…..beat it within an inch of it’s life! Add to the curry and stir in well. Turn up the heat ’til you see it just beginning to boil then turn down and allow to low-simmer for about 20-25 mins. If the sauce gets too dry add a little at a time of your remaining stock. Then when the potatoes and beans are tender and ready, garnish with the coriander, and enjoy.
Naan bread or similar Roti are all you need to go with this.
I shall be following with reviews of two of my favourite Nepali restaurants, one in Edinburgh, and one in Spalding, Lincs. !!!!