When I was sent a recipe for the Ultimate Cold-busting Curry at the onset of Sydney’s wintertime, I didn’t expect to use it. I needed another curry recipe like a hole in the head and I usually escape winter without so much of sniff or a snuffle, even when friends and colleagues are crashing around me like flu-ridden flies.
But on the tail-end of winter came almost two weeks of persistent, and often torrential, rain. Somewhere in the middle of it a head cold moved into our house, uninvited. It latched on to one of us, then the other and has proved difficult to shake. So Anjum Anand’s Ayurveda-inspired cold-busing curry is getting a workout this weekend.
I travelled to India with Anjum late last year. Her cold-busing curry recipe is perfect timing. I’ve just started experimenting with Ayurveda-inspired eating as I try to eradicate some dietary bad habits from our household. Ayurveda is believed to be the oldest and most holistic medicinal system on earth. It has its roots in India, Anjum’s homeland. I’m just starting to understand the basics, but it goes something like this:
Our bodies comprise three energies, or doshas. Each individual has their own unique ratio of doshas, but one typically dominates. Good health is achieved by keeping our doshas in balance, and this is accomplished by eating right for our body type. Certain foods or ingredients help balance our doshas, while others lead to an imbalance. So depending on your body type, certain foods are good for you and other foods should be avoided (or eaten sparingly). A dosha imbalance can result in ill-health or ailments such as tiredness, anxiety and stress.
Anjum’s book Eating Right For Your Body Type outlines the Ayurvedic philosophy, helps readers identify their body type (or dominant dosha), provides a food chart showing which foods you should eat or avoid, and showcases recipes that are best suited to each body type. As with the recipes in Anjum’s Quick & Easy Indian, the recipe for cold-busting curry is quick and easy to make and delivers toasty, spice-packed mouthfuls. The tomatoes add a light touch and the smidgen of cream rounds out the flavours nicely.
It’s a whole new way of thinking and eating. It’s food for thought, quite literally.
Ultimate Cold-Busting Curry
You will need two cups of the following vegetables:
Halved baby potatoes, quartered zucchini and aubergine, wedges of butternut squash, sliced carrots and green beans.
5tbsp vegetable oil
4-5 green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
15g peeled ginger (half julienned, half grated)
1-2 garlic cloves, squashed
2 large ripe tomatoes, quartered and blended until smooth
2tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed between your fingers
2 rounded tsp coriander powder
1tsp garam masala powder
1/2 small red pepper cut into strips
2tbsp single cream
handful fresh pomegranate kernels
salt to taste
Fry ginger and garlic in oil for one minute, add green chillies, tomatoes, coriander and garam masala powders and salt.
Simmer sauce until tomatoes have reduced down.
In a separate pan, cook vegetables in boiling water.
Add cooked vegetables to the sauce (adding starchiest vegetables first, such as potatoes), and stir.
Add red pepper, ginger, dried fenugreek leaves and 150ml of water into the sauce and bring back to the boil.
Add remaining ingredients and stir.
Garnish with pomegranate kernels and coriander leaves