We got a little peckish while at Kew Gardens (so beautiful!) recently and headed to the Pavilion expecting to tuck into one of their summer favourites from the grill and barbecue. But despite the warm English sunshine there was sadly no barbecue. We didn’t go hungry though: Peyton and Byrne’s indoor restaurant was serving. I went for the Indian veggie curry, which was really quite delicious and inspired me to try out my own. My version has more of a Thai than Indian influence, but its quick and easy to make. I’ll have to go back for the Full of Spice festival for further inspiration!
As well as being beautiful and great for picnics in this weather, there is also lots of fun for the kids. Following lunch we wandered along the Xstrata Treetop Walkway to view all the trees from above. A small warning: the walkway does sway quite a bit in the breeze so probably best avoided by those with Acrophobia! Next we headed to the Treehouse Towers playground: Lentil had a swell time climbing, sliding, walking ropes and of course getting very dirty in the process. Thank goodness for washing machines!
Anyway, back to the curry……here is my veggie version:
400g chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
400ml coconut milk
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1cm ginger, finely chopped
For the Riata:
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 slice pineapple, chopped
4 tbsp natural / greek style yoghurt
1/4 tsp of ground cumin (optional)
a handful of mint, finely chopped
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and saute the cumin seeds, onion and garlic for a minute. Then add the remaining spices except the turmeric and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, turmeric and sweet potato, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked. Add the chickpeas, peas and okra and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked, but still have a bite to them.
To make the Riata:
Put the cucumber, pineapple and mint in a food processor and pulse a couple of times so you have small chunks. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the yoghurt and cumin.
Serve the curry and Riata with some rice. I used brown basmati and wild rice, which works well, but any rice will do.