This curry could be adapted to use any combination of vegetables, but to my personal taste, is enhanced if potato is included.
We had a surplus of zucchini and had to dispose of some tomato plants that weren’t surviving very well in the heat and dryness of our front porch – hence the green tomatoes. Ripe, red tomatoes would do just as well, as would using tofu in the mix.
The mix of vegetables in the curry is about 1/3 potatoes, 1/3 zucchini and 1/3 green tomatoes.
I served this curry with white Basmati rice and freshly-made Roti.
- Potatoes (a good floury variety)
- Green tomatoes
- Zucchini (starchy Costata Romanesco is ideal)
- 1 medium onion (finely sliced)
- Sunflower oil
- Freshly crushed garlic (2 or 3 cloves)
- Fresh chili to taste (I prefer Habanero)
- 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon juice (1/2 large or 1 smallish lemon)
Chilli, spices, garlic and onion
Finely chop the chilli, measure the spices, crush the garlic and slice the onion evenly, ahead of time. This will enable the curry to be cooked quickly, which is important if you wish to retain the best features of the ingredients.
Peel and dice about 3 medium sized potatoes and sauté them in a little oil until they are cooked through and have started to develop a crispy golden coating. Remove these from the pan and set aside.
Do the same with the zucchinis. Slice them into chunky pieces and sauté them in a little hot oil until they are ‘just’ beginning to cook through and have developed a golden colouring. Set these aside, also.
Peel and roughly chop the green tomatoes. They can be irregular in size as long as they aren’t too thick – they will soon soften once they are added to the curry.
Wipe out the pan, add a couple of tablespoons of oil and raise the heat. When it is good and hot, add about a tablespoon of black mustard seeds and heat them until they start to pop. Then add the turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds, chilli, ginger and lemon juice to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
Turn the heat down to less than half way and add the sliced onion. Gently cook this until it turns transparent, but don’t over-cook it – you want to still be able to see the slices in the curry. About half way through this cooking process, stir in the crushed garlic so that it has the chance to cook through.
When the onion is ready, add the potato, zucchini and green tomato. Stir these through carefully, mixing them in with the spices and onion but taking care to keep the pieces intact. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and turn the heat down to low.
Gently cook until the tomatoes have softened, and the zucchini and potatoes are well-heated, stirring from time to time. This should take no more than 20 minutes.
When the curry is cooked through, check for seasoning and serve.