Why not create a Christmas curry ? The other day I found myself concocting spices and ingredients that would make for a wonderful festive curry. This is what I came up with – a huge success, as well as a finger-licking finish ! Grapes, jumbo raisins, ‘chicken’ and lentils, combined with cinnamon, star anise, curry, chilli, and all things nice. And then, to really make a sublime success of it, a creamy (nut) finish, that consolidates the flavours, and the sauce itself substitutes perfectly for the gravy in a traditional Christmas dish. All these qualities bring festive richness to this wondrous dish, filling you with warmth, and a whole load of Christmas cheer.
Serve with basmati rice, and crushed cardamom for garnishing, with some moist medool dates for the surround of the rice. Also popadoms, and some ready made chapatis are a great accompaniment, as is some plain vegan yogurt with dried mint, mixed together, as a nice relish to contrast the main dish. And feel free to use tofu instead of faux chicken, or chickpeas and spinach if you prefer no soya.
Happy Holidays to You All, and don’t forget to let me know how it went !
NOTE : This can be prepared a day ahead.
1 x 2 inch cinnamon stick, or a pinch of ground cinnamon
3 whole star anise
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil (available from here in the US, here in the UK)
½ cup (125 mL) water
2 Tbsp jumbo black raisins
1 tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cardamom granules or powder
1 tsp hot curry
½ tsp chilli powder
2 small chillies (not chopped)
¼ tsp asafoetida (you can get this from here in the US, or here in the UK)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of Himalayan salt to taste (you can get this from here in the US, or here in the UK)
3 Tbsp tomato pate
3 cups of faux ‘chicken’ pieces, or pre-fried tofu squares
the juice of an orange
1½ cups seedless sweet grapes (red are better)
1 clementine, sliced for decoration
a dash of maple syrup, or agave syrup
½ cup cashew nuts, liquidized in 1½ cups water into a rich, milky consistency
¾ cups precooked puy lentils
chopped coriander/cilantro, for garnishing with the clementine slices
- Fry your onions and garlic together in an ovenproof casserole dish (I use a Le Cresuet saucepan) on a low heat, making sure you don’t burn them.
- Place your spices in a bowl or mug, add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil, and mix thoroughly. Now pour this mixture over your onion mix, and continue to stir.
- Next, stir in your faux chicken pieces (I used mine from frozen), and let them get well coated with the spice mix. After a couple of minutes, stir in the tomato puree, and leave it on a low heat for 10 minutes (careful that it doesn’t stick).
- Make your cashew milk at this point.
- Now add your water, stir again, and add the remaining ingredients, except for the cashew milk. Always be sure to check for the salt and sweetness, it is designed to be a little sweet, and yet to have just enough savoury flavour from the salt, so go ahead and check that out.
- Now stir in your cashew milk in two stages, allowing it to thicken a little in between.
- Finish this off in a preheated medium hot (350ºF /175ºC) oven for half an hour or so, until rich, thick and creamy. Your sauce should have a nice thick gravy consistency (and there should be lots of it), and a lovely aroma. Bon Appetit !
NOTE : Keep a watch out for the cashew milk in the dish, as it has thickening qualities. The trick to this dish is the low heat and the stirring, so as not to allow it to stick or burn. Otherwise you will be happy with the results, if you ‘stay with it’, as it were.
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010
Hello Miriam! This curry looks (again!) like a truly delicious recipe. I made the “Orange & Chocolate Pumpkin Curry” from your book last night and it was sooo good. I am so going to make this recipe as well.
Just wanted to thank you for all the great recipes you have come up with. Keep up the good work! 🙂
Greetings from Germany!
Genevieve Hi there and so happy that you made the curry from my book. I look forward to your feedback on this. Also a note for your book if I have not told you already, double the quantity of agar powder for the cheddars and mozzarella, the reason being that the revised recipes did not reach my publishers in time. Enjoy and if you haven’t already, please drop an amazon cutomer review for me if you love the book, I would so appreciate it ! 🙂
I was wondering how many servings does the recipe make? And in general, for other recipes on the website? Thanks a lot!
Mona Hi there and welcome here. I am always hesitant to give serving portions as experience has taught me that appetites vary and some people love big portions, whilst others are small eaters. On average, I would say that this curry serves a good 3 portions – 4 for small eaters. So don’t hesitate to double the quantity for more people – the worse that can happen is that you won’t have to cook on boxing day ! 🙂
Thanks Miriam! I made it twice last week, it was a success.
Mona Hi, that’s awesome news ! Happy Christmas to you and your loved ones too and let me know what the others think if you’re sharing it with either (or both) friends and family ! 🙂
Oh my goodness, this was outstanding! I decided to do some pre-Christmas cooking and am so tickled with the way this dish turned out! My house smells divine! I thank you for sharing it!
Tomorrow I’ll be making the Magic Loaf, and Rose-Infused Blackberry & Apple Almond Christmas Crumble (although mine sadly will not be rose-infused since I couldn’t find rose water anywhere)! Hopefully it still tastes good!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Sounds great Kristina, and I hope you enjoy all your culinary preparations ! Kindest your way and of course Happy Holidays to you ! 🙂
OMG this is simply the most delicious curry I have made or eaten. Respect Miriam. Will try to make donation later to upkeep of this fantastic blog. You really are the best x
Hi Catherine and thanks for letting me know how the curry went, that is really awesome ! Thanks and best your way !
Made this as a New Year’s Day dinner today and it was amazing! Thanks so much!
So pleased you opted for this Morag, a wonderful change and treat for New Year’s Day ! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones too ! 🙂
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I made this fruity curry last week. It was delicious. I will make this again…soon 🙂
That’s great to know David, hope you try the other curries from my blog ! 🙂