Jamie’s Christmas curry for an endorphin boost this Christmas

Food & Drink

To offset any stress this festive season, get those happy hormones firing by rustling up a spicy Christmas curry courtesy of Jamie Oliver. Chillis are the ultimate feel-good ingredient. As the body defends itself against the heat of a hot chilli, it releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers! “It’ll put fire in your belly and tick all the boxes on the pure enjoyment front, which is exactly what you want! ” says Jamie. Read on for Jamie’s Christmas curry recipe…

Ingredients for Jamie’s Christmas curry

1½ teaspoons fennel seeds
1½ teaspoons coriander seeds
1 tesapoon chilli flakes
1 medium cauliflower
groundnut oil
15cm piece of ginger
9 cloves of garlic
20 finger aubergines
3 medium onions
2-3 fresh green chillies
1 kg ripe tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
150 g cashews
100 g coconut shavings
1 pomegranate

SPICE BLEND
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
3 dried Kashmiri red chillies
7 cloves
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

INDIAN TEMPEH
3 cloves of garlic
1 small handful of fresh curry leaves
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds

Method

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.

Using a pestle and mortar, grind the fennel and coriander seeds, and chilli flakes until fine.

Place the cauliflower on a sheet of tin foil, rub in half of the ground spices and 1 tablespoon of oil, and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Wrap the cauliflower in the foil, pop it on a roasting tray and bake for 30 minutes, or until tender, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes to give it a gnarly crust. Remove and set aside.

Peel and finely grate the ginger and 6 cloves of garlic. In a bowl, combine two-thirds of the ginger, the grated garlic and the remaining half of the spice mixture.

Make an incision in each aubergine with a small sharp knife, then rub the ginger mixture into each one, along with a drizzle of oil.

Place the aubergines in a small roasting tray and cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened and starting to split. Set aside.

Make your spice blend. Split the cardamom pods, add the seeds to a mortar with all the other ingredients, then grind well.

Peel and finely chop the onions, then deseed and roughly chop the chillies and tomatoes, keeping them separate. Peel and finely slice the remaining 3 cloves of garlic.

Place a large pan over a medium heat and toast the ground spices for 1 minute, or until aromatic.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of oil, followed by the onions, green chillies, sliced garlic, and the remaining ginger. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the onion and garlic are softened and coloured.

Add the tomatoes, cinnamon stick and 200ml of water and let it simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.

In a blender, blitz the cashews with 4 tablespoons of water until you have a smooth paste, then stir this into your curry. Cook for 5 minutes, or until thick and fragrant.

For the tempeh, peel and finely slice the garlic, then add to a frying pan over a medium heat with a splash of oil, the curry leaves and mustard seeds.

Fry for 1 minute, or until crisp, then drain on kitchen paper.

Chop the roasted cauliflower into florets and stir into the curry along with the aubergines.

Top the curry with the tempeh and shaved coconut. Halve the pomegranate and bash it, cut side down, with a wooden spoon so the seeds come tumbling out. Scatter the seeds over the curry, then serve with chapatis on the side.

Recipe and image source – jamieoliver.com

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