Hard to believe that 50 years on, Australia is yet again in the grip of Beatles mania. I'm pretty sure all four would have enjoyed this fabulous vegetarian curry from my latest book, The Cook's Garden - the photo was taken by Andrew Payne at our family farm, Bend of the River, in the lush Tallebudgera Valley. As Paul said in a recent interview: "I've been a vegetarian for a long time now and over the years I've seen how attitudes have changed around the world, so I'm not surprised when I see new research that shows more and more people are increasingly adopting 'meat free eating'. Even 20 years ago, it could sometimes be difficult to find vegetarian options in good restaurants. Now it's great to see more and more choice with some brilliant creative dishes in restaurants, cafés and supermarkets. There is definitely now an overall greater acceptance of being vegetarian."
"It's a good one to have on hand for the vegetarians in your family. This style of curry comes from Kolkotta (north-east India) where the food is not as rich or creamy as that from other parts of India. It's also quite mild — just add more chopped hot chillies if you like it hotter. It's even better with dhal spooned over the top.
- vegetable oil - 200 ml (6½ oz)
- 4 large onions, peeled and sliced
- fresh ginger - 2.5-cm (1-in) knob
- grated 2 cloves garlic
- ground turmeric - 1 tablespoon
- ground coriander (cilantro) - 1 tablespoon
- garam masala - 2 teaspoons
- large hot green chillies - 2 - chopped
- 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- carrots, scraped and diced - 500 g (1 lb)
- ½ small cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 small head broccoli, broken into florets
- green stringless beans, halved - 200 g (6½ oz)
- tomato paste - 2 teaspoons
- sliced zucchini (courgettes) - 400 g (13 oz)
- snow peas (mangetout) - 60 g (2 oz)
- toasted slivered almonds freshly chopped coriander (cilantro)
Serves 6 -8
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot and brown the onions over high heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes.
Make a paste of the ginger and garlic with a mortar and pestle, though it’s easier to do this in a blender — adding a little water as necessary. Add the paste to the onions. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Then add the spices and chillies. Stir-fry for 3 minutes on low heat. Stir in the tomatoes. Throw in the potatoes and add water to cover.
Cook on medium heat until the potatoes are half-cooked, and then add the carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, beans and tomato paste. Add water to cover and salt to taste. Simmer the curry until the vegetables are almost cooked.
Throw in the zucchini and snow peas and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with the almonds and coriander. Serve with steamed basmati rice and dhal.