British veg patch meets Indian flavours for a fusion curry with a taste of mellow sunshine
A celebration of early autumn’s harvest. Use fresh, seasonal veg from your patch or local farm shop for this delicious veg patch curry.
1kg fresh tomatoes
1 bulb of garlic
4 bay leaves
5cm piece of ginger
2 red chillies
1 star anise
200g coconut milk
small pumpkin or squash
handful of French or runner beans
2 courgettes or yellow summer squash
freshly ground pepper
1 corn on the cob
2 tsp fennel seeds
handful of fresh coriander or parsley
1 Preheat your oven to 200C/Fan 180/400F.
2 Halve the tomatoes – or quarter them if you’re using bigger ones. Peel and chop the onions into halves or quarters. Tumble everything into a large roasting tin.
3 Slice 1cm from the pointy tip of your garlic. Put it into the tin, still whole, with the bay leaves. Roast for 30 mins or until the tomatoes have a golden edge to them.
4 Remove the bulb of garlic and bay leaves. Tip tomatoes and onions into a food processor or blender. Squeeze in the garlic cloves from the bulb.
5 Peel and roughly chop the ginger. Thinly slice the chillies. Grind the star anise to a powder. Add the ginger, a good pinch of the chilli and the star anise, plus the coconut milk, to the tomato-and-onion mixture. Blend until smooth.
6 Gently simmer the sauce on the hob while you cook the veg.
7 Cut pumpkin (or squash), beans and courgette into bite-sized hunks. Peel the summer squash if you like. The skin is edible if it’s not too thick.
8 Season the vegetables and toss with a little oil. Grill your veg on the barbecue until it’s lightly charred all over. Or if you prefer, set a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the veg to the pan in a single layer when it’s smoking hot – don’t add any oil to the pan. Cook the veg in batches until it’s tender and lightly charred all over. To get the pumpkin and squash soft, you may have to add a few splashes of water. Put the veg in a low oven or next to the barbecue to keep it warm. 9 Cut the corn kernels from the cob. Fry the sweetcorn, remaining chilli pieces and fennel seeds in a little oil until fragrant and a little crisp around the edges.
10 Spoon the simmered curry sauce into a large bowl or platter. Arrange the grilled or griddled veg on top. Finish with the sizzled and spiced sweetcorn and some fresh herbs.
Turn to page 24 of September's The Simple Things for the rest of this Indian summer menu, including Saffron G&Ts, Herb & spiced lamb lollies with cardamom yoghurt, Golden roti, Thyme and griddled spring onion rice, and Rosy apple tarts.