CARROTS WITH CARDAMON, CREAM AND CASHEWS
When it comes time to finishing off this dish, you can successfully add the cream while the stew is simmering, but it is crucial to remove it from the heat before stirring in the yoghurt. To do so while the dish is bubbling, even slightly, risks the sauce curdling. Serve with rice and if you need a contrasting vegetable any cruciferous vegetable will do, as will spinach.
Serves 4 as a main dish.
2 medium onions
3 tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
2 cloves garlic
75g roasted and salted cashews
12 green cardamons
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground mild chilli powder
¼ tsp black pepper
750ml vegetable stock
1 stick cinnamon
15g coriander leaves
3 tbsp double cream
3 tbsp natural yoghurt
Steamed rice to serve
Peel and roughly chop the onions. Warm the olive oil or butter in a large, deep pan over a moderate heat – I use a heavy, enamelled pan, 24cm in diameter – then add the onions. Peel and grate the ginger on the coarse side of a grater, then add to the pan. Peel and finely slice the garlic, then add to the onions and continue cooking, stirring regularly for 10-12 minutes until the onions have softened to a translucent, pale gold.
While the onions cook, open the cardamon pods and scrape out the seeds. Then using a spice mill or pestle and mortar, grind them to a gritty powder with the cumin and coriander seeds. Stir into the golden onions, then add the ground turmeric, chilli and black pepper. Let the spices toast fragrantly for a minute or two, stirring occasionally and taking care they don’t burn. Finely chop the cashews and add half to the mixture. Reserve the other half.
Halve the carrots lengthways, then chop into 4-5cm lengths. Once the onion, spice and nut mixture is nicely toasted, stir in the carrots and let them cook for a minute or two before pouring in the stock. Add the cinnamon stick, a generous seasoning of salt and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, partially cover with a lid, then simmer for 25 minutes or until the carrots are just tender.
Stir in the cream and when the sauce is back up to temperature, remove from the heat and stir in the yoghurt, reserved cashews and roughly chopped coriander. Serve with steamed rice.