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Vegetarian Keralan Curry

Asked by mamacarole. Answered on 7th June 2014

Full question

My husband is a vegetarian so I was wondering if I can make Nigella's Keralan Fish Curry with just veggies. What veggies would you suggest? I'd like to make the dish for my non veggie guests.

Our answer

Nigella's Keralan Fish Curry (from Nigella Summer and on the Nigella website) is a coconut-based curry sauce. Fish is added at the end but this can be easily substituted with vegetables. In Keralan cuisine plantain is quite popular in vegetable curries and this could be used if you think that your husband would like it. It may help to fry the plantains for 1 to 2 minutes on each side before adding them to the curry.

Pumpkin is also often used in Kerala, though you may find it easier to use the more readily available butternut squash. Cauliflower is also popular in curries as it aborbs the flavour of the spices well and you can cook small florets fairly quickly. Green beans can also be used for a little colour. If you are using a mixture of vegetables you will need to consider the cooking times and add the vegetables at appropriate times. Small cubes of butternut squash will take about 20 minutes to cook whereas small cauliflower florets and beans will take 5 to 8 minutes to cook. If the sauce is becoming too thick with the slightly longer cooking times then add a splash of water to the pan. Once the curry has cooked you could remove a vegetarian portion for your husband and stir through some cooked prawns (shrimp) for the non-vegetarian guests.

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