Wild garlic and white bean curry

Wild garlic and white bean curry

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

The beauty and subtlety of wild garlic makes this dish very appealing, and fresh curry leaves add a fragrance that is quite seductive. During the summer months we pod fresh coco beans and cook them directly in the curry until soft. In winter we soak dried cannellini beans overnight and precook them in water for an hour or so over a gentle heat, with one or two herbs added for flavour. I like to serve this curry just as it is, but you could add chunks of white fish to it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g podded fresh coco beans, or cooked dried cannellini beans, (see above)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
5 cardamom pods, seeds
3 red chillies (or more if you like heat), sliced, (deseeded if you prefer less heat)
12 fresh curry leaves
6 kaffir lime leaves
small handful coriander roots, washed and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons palm sugar
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 x 340g jars (or tinned) good-quality peeled plum tomatoes
200ml coconut milk
300g wild garlic leaves

Method

  1. Have the beans ready podded, or cooked if using dried beans. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat and sweat the onions until soft and translucent.
  2. In a separate pan, warm all the spice seeds until they release their fragrance and just begin to jump in the pan. Tip into a mortar and grind with the pestle while still warm.
  3. Add the warm ground spices to the softened onions along with the chillies, curry leaves, lime leaves and chopped coriander root. Cook for a further 5 minutes over a fairly low heat, then add the crushed garlic, palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stir well and cook for a further 10 minutes, then add the fresh or cooked dried beans and coconut milk. Cook gently for 10–15 minutes (or until the beans are tender if cooking fresh).
  5. While the curry is cooking, wash the wild garlic very well, picking over each leaf thoroughly for they can carry little stones.
  6. A couple of minutes before serving the curry, add the wild garlic and cook until it is just wilted and soft. Don’t overcook it – wild garlic should be bright and vibrant. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. This curry should be soft, fragrant, gently sweet, sharp and salty, with just enough heat to warm you…
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