Recipe From a Favourite Book

Authentic Curry Recipes to Make at Home
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Recipe From a Favourite Book

Growing up in the U.K., the nation that lists curry as one of their national dishes, is it any surprise that I have a real passion for cooking (and eating) authentic curries?

Left to my own devices I tend to lean toward my favoured spices and recipes, which is great as I know that I will like the dish, but it means that there are a lot of beautiful spices out there that I am missing out on. I don’t eat meat and at the start of 2017 I began the search for the ultimate vegetarian curry cookbook, the curry bible if you like, and boy did I find it in Curry Easy Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey. Packaged in a sparkling green cover this gem holds some of the most amazing vegetarian and vegan recipes and has now become my go-to curry cookbook.

For those who are not familiar with Madhur Jaffrey (CBE), let me share a little about this amazing lady.

  • Born in Bahadur, India in 1933 she is an actress, food and travel writer, as well as a television personality.
  • She is recognised for bringing Indian cuisine to the Americas
  • In 2004 she was named honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of her services to cultural relations between the U.K., India and the U.S. through her achievements in film, television and cookery.

If you’re a curry fan, I challenge you not to fall in love with this dish (and the book for that matter). It’s simple, fragrant and so fresh and one of the least complicated curry dishes I have ever made. Tip: curry always tastes better when the flavours have been allowed to develop and I find that making my curries in the morning, or even the night before delivers a much greater depth of flavour. Enjoy!


Black-eyed Peas with Coriander & Green Chillies

Serves 2 as a main dish when served with rice or bread, or 4 as an accompaniment to other curry dishes. Preparation 10 minutes. Cooking time 30 minutes (if using canned beans – dried beans will require much longer preparation and cooking)


  •    450g can black-eyed peas, well rinsed (you can use dried, but they need to be washed and soaked overnight)
  •    1/2 tsp salt
  •    50g fresh coriander tops, chopped
  •    2-4 fresh hot green chilli, chopped (I opted for 3 as the ones I have are very hot)
  •    1 tbsp tomato paste/puree
  •    2 tsp olive oil or peanut oil (I didn’t have peanut and went with my trusted olive oil)
  •    1 tsp whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin if you can’t get the whole seeds)
  •    1 dried hot chilli (or 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes if you don’t have whole chilli)
  •    1/2 medium onion, sliced into fine half-rings
  •    1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated (the recipe actually calls for a generous pinch of asafoetida, which unfortunately I was unable to find. If you can get it, go for it!)


Put 4 tbsp of water in a blender with the coriander, tomato paste and green chillies and blend thoroughly. You might need to push the ingredients down part way through blending or even add a little more water in order to ensure it blends smoothly.

Put the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and lightly cook the garlic, add the cumin and cook for a few seconds. Add the dried chilli (whole or flakes) and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Finally, add the onion and cook until softened and the onion takes on the reddish colour from the dried chilli.

Mash 2 tbsp of the black-eyed peas and add them, and the remaining whole peas, to the onion mixture. Finally, add the coriander and tomato paste and mix together and cook through for 15 minutes. Add more water to change the consistency of the dish based on your preference for dry or wet curries.


References & Acknowledgements:

Wikipedia – Madhur Jaffrey


Jacqui Hodges

With 30 years of general management experience in the global insurance industry and having lived in 4 countries, Jacqui now spends her time between London and New York where she continues to pursue her passion for writing, food, books and travel.

A Reiki practitioner, yogi and huge animal advocate, her home isn’t complete without a furbaby or three. In addition to being a BooknBrunch contributor, she writes for  industry publications.

Favourite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Favourite brunch dish: avocado toast with tomato and chilli


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