Sunday, 21 July 2013

Tomato & Pea Curry with Lemon Coconut Rice

This is a very simple meal - based on recipes featured in Nigella’s Kitchen but with various amendments and additions - which packs a punch in terms of flavours, aromas and textures: tartness of tomato, sweetness of peas, bitterness from the methi leaves, and the creaminess of the rice.

Visually it also helps that it is vividly, prettily pleasing.

I used Piccolo cherry tomatoes which have an intense tart sweetness but most decent, ripe, cherry tomatoes will do. In fact, if for whatever reason cherry tomatoes are lacking, larger tomatoes chopped up will also do the trick: particularly if there is a garden glut at the end of the summer (wishful thinking?).

The methi (which I have discussed previously here) gives a unique flavour to the curry: you can play around with the quantities (indeed that stands with any of the spices really) or consider it completely optional and leave it out. I’m sure it will taste good regardless.

A quick note about salt: here the quantities are for sea salt flakes. If you use free flowing / table salt halve the quantity used.

Tomato & Pea Curry with Methi
Serves 2

2 tsp rapeseed oil
pinch of asafoetida
½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
½ tsp sea salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp english mustard powder
½ tsp hot chilli powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
75ml water
120g frozen peas
1 tbsp methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
125ml milk

Heat the oil in a lidded wide casserole or sauté pan and when hot add the asafoetida, followed by the mustard seeds and then cumin.

When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the chopped onions, sprinkled with salt, and cook over a low to medium heat for at least 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions are golden brown.

Stir in the chopped garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the halved tomatoes and remaining spices. Stir it all together before adding the water, putting the lid on and cooking over a low heat for 20 minutes.

Cook the peas in a separate pan of boiling salted water then drain and add to the tomato curry with the methi & milk for the last 5 minutes of cooking time with the lid off.

Serve with the lemon coconut rice (as below) and chopped coriander leaves scattered over.

Lemon Coconut Rice
Serves 2

1 ½ tsp garlic infused olive oil
2 spring onions (finely sliced)
1 tsp nigella seeds
3 curry leaves
150 grams basmati rice
200ml can light coconut milk
300ml freshly boiled water
½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
zest & juice of 1 lemon

Warm the oil in a saucepan that has a closely fitting lid and add the spring onions and nigella seeds. Cook for a minute or so, stirring.

Stir in the rice, making it sure it gets coated in the oil and that the spring onion and nigella are all evenly mixed in. Stir in the curry leaves.

Pour the coconut milk and boiling water in and add the salt.

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to very low. Place a piece of kitchen towel on top of the pan and then put the lid on so that the kitchen towel is forming a seal, and cook for 15 minutes.

Stir through the lemon zest and squeeze in the juice to taste, fluffing up the grains as you go. Divide between two plates or bowls and top with the curry, scattering chopped coriander over.


  1. This sounds yum! I recently made lime coconut rice which is delish. The citrus really lifts up the flavour!

    1. A bit of a revelation for me - will definitely be cooking rice this way more often!