Cardamom & coconut butternut curry

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This is my favourite curry recipe. Not because it’s authentic or a specific recipe, but because it’s one of those I think I’ve perfected over time. A sauce that combines my favourite flavours, sweet and spicy, and is versatile enough for chicken, prawns, or even sturdy squash- the recipe I’ve chosen tonight.

It’s a sauce that isn’t pretending to be anything other than delicious. Coconut cream, fruity hot scotch bonnets fresh tomatoes and – importantly and surprisingly- no fresh herbs. There is no place for coriander here. Just a sprinkle of toasted almonds and a few spring onions complete the sauce. Nothing else is needed. In fact, I suggest serving with just plain brown rice or plain naan- no chutneys needed. Enjoy on a Friday night, when you’re home and dry. :-D

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You will need:

2 small white onions
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
6 small tomatoes, quartered
12 cardamom pods
1 Tspn coriander seed
1/2 Tspn cumin seed
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
5 garlic cloves
2-3 scotch bonnets, de-seeded (to your taste)
1 heaped Tspn ground ginger
1 heaped Tspn turmeric
1 heaped Tspn garam masala
1 carton coconut cream
600-700ml chicken stock
Handful of toasted almonds, to serve
1 finely sliced spring onion, to serve
Salt
Groundnut oil

Method:

1 – Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and add the onions and cinnamon stick; cook slowly whilst you toast the whole spices (cloves, cardamom, cumin, coriander)
2 – Grind the spices (remove cardamom skins) and add to the onions, along with the garlic, chilli, garam masala, ginger and turmeric; cook for a few minutes until the onions are brown and soft
3 – Add the squash and coat the pieces in the mushy onions; tip in the tomatoes and season, then add the hot stock
4 – Simmer for 45 minutes until the squash is soft and the sauce thickened; discard any tomato skins and cinnamon stick before stirring in the coconut cream and serving topped with the almonds and spring onions

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