pea, prawn and potato curry

i’ve been feeling a bit uninspired recently and decided and that the best way to get myself out of the pasta rut i’ve settled into was to shake up my shopping. so, instead of getting my usual vegetable order or visiting borough market for a few treats i headed into china town. i picked things up randomly but focussed on ginger, galangal, lemongrass, chillies, herbs and a few chinese greens.

i was expecting to make something with asian flavours but somehow got diverted towards india instead with this gently spiced curry. the colouring is a bit lurid and i’d have liked my peas to stay green (next time i’ll cook them separately and add them at the end) but the taste was delicious. the coconut milk adds richness, the spicing is quite mild and the lime and coriander which is added at the end really lifts things. it reminded me a bit of the nigel slater chickpea and pumpkin curry, even though it lacks the lemongrass which makes nigel’s dish work so beautifully.

pea, prawn and potato curry (serves 4-6)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 teaspoons mustard seeds – i used a mix of yellow and brown

1 cinnamon stick

2 red onions, thinly sliced

2 green chillies, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

seeds from 4 cardamom pods

2 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons coriander powder

2 teaspoons cumin powder

400ml coconut milk

250ml water

300g small potatoes, cut so they are all a similar size

300g tomatoes – i used halved cherry tomatoes

salt & pepper

200g peas, cooked

300g raw prawns, shells removed and deveined

zest and juice of a lime

a handful of chopped coriander leaves

heat the oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds and cinnamon stick. when the mustard seeds start to pop add the onions, chillies, garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes over quite a high heat until the onions start to soften. go back to a medium heat and add the spices. cook for at least 5 minutes, stirring regularly – i like to let the onions soften fully but you might find your mix is too dry for this to happen.

add the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. add the potatoes and tomatoes and simmer until the potatoes have cooked through. season to taste. if you’re making the dish in advance stop at this stage.

add the peas and prawns simmer until the prawns are cooked through. add the lime and coriander and serve with basmati rice or indian breads.