Even though I am a cookbook hoarder, I am more than happy supporting our local libraries, especially as libraries all over the country are being threatened with closure and some have already sadly closed their doors.
Well the most recent cookbook to fall into my mitts is by Hemsley Hemsley. It's not a vegan or vegetarian cookbook, but it does have some stylish recipes that appeal to the eye. But the one that I chose to make was down to earth and homely. It was the Squash, Red Lentil and Coconut Curry. The other reason I wanted to make this was that I wanted to use my own home-made Malaysian spice mix. The recipe had been given to me by my Malaysian neighbours when I lived in Scotland. It's very similar to this one by A taste of memories - Echo's Kitchen.
Anyway, back to the cookbook, I have to admit I did not follow the original recipe as instructed. For a start the recipe in the cookbook uses 'bone broth' which is essentially old fashioned 'meat stock' dressed up in emperors new clothes. A recipe for this features in the cookbook, of course this can easily be substituted for vegetable stock, but once I started reading the recipe I decided to approach it the way I would do an Indian style vegan curry, sauteing the onion and garlic in vegetable oil, then adding in the spices. I have linked to the original recipe below, as well as my own adaptation.
It made for a nice, warming and filling dish. Even though the flavour of the star anise and fennel seeds (from the Malaysian spice mix) came through, D said it was one of 'the most curried dishes' that he had had in ages. This golden stew-like curry recipe makes a large portion, so we have been enjoying it over 3 days, first with rice, then crusty bread and today, rice again.
Malaysian Butternut Squash, Lentil and Coconut Curry
Serves 6 (eaten over 3 days)
For the Malaysian spice mix
Follow this recipe from A taste of memories - Echo's Kitchen and keep in a jar*.
fennel seeds, star anise, black pepper, coriander, cumin, cloves, chilli flakes, cardamon, cinnamon
For the pot
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
3 onions, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
small knob of ginger, peeled and grated
4 tablespoons of Malaysian spice mix (see above*)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite size chunks
400g red lentils, rinsed
700ml vegetable stock
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
Salt to taste
Chilli flakes to taste (optional)
Handful of parsley or coriander
Heat the oil in a wide pan, then add in the onions and saute until translucent, then stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until soft. Stir in the spices, then the butternut squash until well coated with the spicy onion mixture. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then stir in the lentils and reduce heat. Cook on medium heat for 20 - 30 minutes until the butternut squash is tender and the lentils well cooked and pulpy. Adjust seasoning if necessary, then finally stir in the coconut milk and herbs, bring to a light simmer. Then serve with rice, naan bread or crusty bread. Here is the link to the original recipe by Hemsley and Hemsley.