One of my rules is to get 30 different fruits, vegetables and herbs into my diet each week. It really helps to support your digestive system and add an extra boost of fibre and digestive enzymes to your gut. When I’m passing an International store I always take a look to see what different veg I can buy. Last week they had some beautiful ripe plantains in the store I visit most often on the way into Leicester. PAK foods is packed with things I’ve never even heard of and you’ll often find me googling ingredients to see what I can make before I buy it. I almost got caught out with the bitter gourds I picked up – no matter how many recipes I looked at there wasn’t anyone suggesting a way to eradicate the bitterness so they stayed on the shelf!
Here I’ve simmered plantains in a rich and creamy peanut butter sauce and served with smoky tofu cubes to make this a gorgeous curry. This is loaded with flavour and you can add any vegetables you have in the fridge to the plantains adding an extra dimension to it each time you make it.
For the Curry
· 1 tablespoon coconut oil
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 3 garlic cloves, chopped
· 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
· 2 teaspoons curry powder – I used medium but adjust to your hotness
· 1 teaspoon ground cumin
· Pinch cayenne pepper
· 250ml vegetable stock
· 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
· 3 tablespoons tomato puree
· 4 tablespoons peanut butter – I used Pip and Nut
· 200g spinach washed
· 200g vegetable of your choice – broccoli spears, green beans, carrots etc
· 2 ripe plantains, sliced (1/2 inch thick)
· Salt to taste
· 1 200g pack firm smoked tofu – pressed for 30 mins to remove excess liquid
· Cooked brown basmati rice
· Fresh coriander
· Chopped toasted peanuts
- Begin by making the curry. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Do not allow it to burn.
- Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. Sauté for 1 minute until very fragrant. The house will smell delicious by this point!
- Stir in the vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and peanut butter. Turn up the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir in the plantains.
- Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until it's thick and the plantains are softening. You can add a little extra water if it gets too thick during simmering.
- Add the rest of the vegetables, except the spinach, and allow to cook on a simmer – approx. 15 mins depending on what you’ve added.
- While the curry simmers, slice the tofu into 2cm squares and set aside.
- Add the tofu 5 minutes from the end of cooking and allow to warm through in the sauce.
- As you’re about to serve add in the spinach and allow it to wilt into the sauce.
- When the curry has finished simmering, remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over rice and top with coriander and toasted peanuts.