Creamy pistachio curry

Creamy pistachio curry

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

This is a lovely delicate, pale curry where you can taste all the vegetables but also the delicate mint and pistachios. You can use whichever vegetables you prefer, these are just a few I like to use. I tend to cook my vegetables before adding them to a sauce, so both sauce and vegetables retain their own characters. Serve with naan, paratha or a pilaf.

For the vegetables (around 350 g, use whichever you prefer)


Quantity Ingredient
100g butternut squash, cut into 3–4 cm cubes
100g cauliflower, cut into 3–4 cm florets
100g broccoli, cut into 3–4 cm florets
50g mangetout, trimmed

For the curry

Quantity Ingredient
60g pistachio nuts
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cloves
6 green cardamom pods
5cm cassia bark or cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 small-ish onion, finely chopped
1-2 green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
20g root ginger, grated, (peeled weight)
4 fat garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
5 tablespoons yogurt
large pinch freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons single cream
1 tablespoon good-quality dried mint, crumbled between your fingers, or to taste


  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and salt lightly. Add your vegetables in order of how long they take to cook. I add the starchier vegetables first (here the squash), then follow five minutes later with the cauliflower, then one to two minutes later with the broccoli and mangetout. Cook until they are ready, another two minutes or so. Check as you cook. Drain, but reserve the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, soak the pistachios for five minutes in boiling water Remove the skins; they peel off easily when rubbed in a clean tea towel. Roughly chop one-third of the nuts. Blend together the rest of the pistachios until smooth, adding a little water to help.
  3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan; add the cloves, cardamom, cassia and caraway seeds. Follow after 20 seconds with the onion and green chillies and cook until the onion is golden on the edges. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté gently for one to two minutes, or until the garlic is just golden.
  4. Add the ground cumin and coriander and the yogurt and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Continue to cook, stirring, until the masala thickens and releases oil back into the pan, around five to eight minutes. Taste; it should seem harmonious. If not, cook for another couple of minutes.
  5. Add the blanched vegetables, some of their cooking water, the pepper, cream and both blended and chopped pistachios. Cook for another two or three minutes for everything to come together. The sauce should be creamy and not too thick, so add water if necessary. Check the seasoning, adjust as necessary, crumble over the dried mint, then serve.
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