There are two words that probably don’t come to mind when you think of curry: “bananas” and “coconut”. Well in my world they absolutely go together!
I grew up putting coconut and banana on curry in South Africa. It reminds me of church bazaars in the winter. And.It.Is.Delicious. I think this combination comes from Malaysian or Indonesian influences? A third addition, which I do not have, is usually a nice fruit chutney like Mrs. Ball’s. Remind me to pick up some Mrs. Ball’s chutney, okay?
The banana and coconut not only adds to the flavour of the dish, but serves as a neutralizer for the spices. I accidentally added too many red pepper flakes and found that the banana was wonderful for balancing out or eliminating the excess spiciness.
You know how adding a pinch of salt to cookies brings out the sweetness? Or how adding a little bit of sugar to a nice stew or bolognese sauce brings out the saltiness – this is the exact same thing. It’s almost like a science experiment with delicious results.
I had the pleasure of meeting Preena at a blogger brunch last fall and she was so generous to give all of us some of her curry and other Indian spice samples. For those who don’t know, Preena sells her own brand of Indian spices, Arvinda’s, and also offers Indian cooking classes.
I’ve been waiting to make something special with her curry powder and knew that this recipe would do the trick! And oh my, I was very impressed by this curry. It has a great depth to it. Preena, thanks so much for the samples! I still have some madras masala and garam masala to try out, so I will have to check out your website for recipe ideas!
So exactly what is in this curry, other than bananas and coconut?
- 1/2 tbs of EVOO
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 tbs salted butter
- 1 heaping tbs of yellow curry (I used Arvinda’s curry powder)
- 1/2 tsp of cumin
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like it)
- 1/2 cup of milk (or more if you need more sauce)
- 2 tbs of flour
- 1 can of chickpeas
- salt and pepper to taste
- rice (I prefer basmati rice)
- shredded, unsweetened coconut to taste
- sliced banana to taste
- Fry the onion and red pepper in a small pan with a splash of EVOO and set aside once the onions are golden.
- In a large saucepan, add the butter, curry powder, cumin, and turmeric, red pepper flakes, and mix together while frying.
- Add the flour and milk bit by bit, whisking continuously to prevent clumps from forming. This should form a nice thin paste.
- Add the previously fried onion and red pepper, as well as the chickpeas and more milk until you have sauce. Add more milk if you want more sauce.
- Keep the pot on low to medium heat to simmer the sauce and to cook the chickpeas.
- While the sauce and chickpeas are cooking, prepare your rice (let’s assume you know how to do that!).
- Serve with shredded coconut and banana to taste.
* You may choose to add chicken to this recipe. Fry the chicken with the onion and red pepper and add to the sauce.
So there you have it: another great winter dish! And as a bonus it is really healthy too.
Don’t be scared off by the bananas and coconut!
Let’s hear it! I know some people feel very strongly about fruit not belonging in their dinner. Where do you stand on this very important matter?