Winter Curry


Winter Curry with Saffron Cinnamon Rice

Sophie Dahl
A warming winter dish that’s brim full
with spices and comforting flavours
This winter curry with cinnamon saffron rice is sweet and filled with flavour, and you can tailor your garam masala to your own tastes, adjusting as you like. The rice is pretty foolproof, the method taught to me by Peter Begg, a man who knows about food…

Serves 4-6
Preparation time:  10 minutes
Cooking time:  20 minutes

* 2 tbsp of safflower oil
* 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
* 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
* 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
* 1kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
* 400g can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
* 250ml cups of vegetable stock
* 400ml of coconut milk
* Salt
* 2 handfuls of mangetout
* A handful of fresh coriander/cilantro

For the garam masala:
* 1 tsp of cumin seeds
* 1 tsp of mustard seeds
* ½ tsp of cloves
* 1 tsp of ground turmeric
* 6 cardamom pods, seeds only

For the saffron cinnamon rice:
* 300g basmati rice
* 450ml water
* 1 large knob of butter
* A couple of cardamom pods
* A pinch of saffron
* 2 cinnamon sticks

In a pestle and mortar, make the garam masala by crushing up and grinding all your dry spices.

2. In a heavy-bottomed casserole or pan, heat the safflower oil and add the onions, sweating on a low heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir for another half a minute, taking care not to burn it.

3. Add to this mix the garam masala and chilli and coat the onions with it. Add the pumpkin and the chickpeas/garbanzo beans and then pour over the stock, followed by the coconut milk.

4. Season and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, add the mangetout, and cook for another five.

5. To make the saffron cinnamon rice, put the rice in a sieve and rinse until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a large saucepan with the water, the butter, cardamom, saffron and cinnamon.

6. Bring to a rolling boil, quickly turn the heat down, put a lid on the saucepan and then leave for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and take it to the table in the saucepan, because it looks like a painting.

7. Serve with handfuls of coriander/cilantro.

Photography by Jan Baldwin

Sophie Dahl

Sophie Dahl began her career as a fashion model. In 2003 she wrote 'The Man With The Dancing Eyes', followed by a novel in 2007, 'Playing With The Grownups'. She has written for US Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, The Observer, The Guardian and The Times and served as a Orange Prize For Fiction judge. A devoted home cook, she wrote 'Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights', in 2009 before writing/presenting 'The Delicious Miss Dahl' for BBC2. In 2011 she wrote and presented a BBC2 documentary about Isabella Beeton, shortly after 'From Season To Season' was published. In 2013 Dahl designed and modelled a capsule collection for Brora. Dahl lives in the English countryside with her husband and two daughters.

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