Peanut butter in a curry – weird, or totally normal, what do you think? I’m in the ‘normal’ camp – it just works so well that it’d be cruel to say that it’s anything short of wonderful.
I actually didn’t like peanut butter as a child, and I’ve only recently come to appreciate it. I know, I was a terrible child – no peanut butter sandwiches for me. In fact, even now, I have some slight issues with it. It can be a bit claggy (you know how it sticks to the roof of your mouth, and gets all in between your teeth? I hate that) – so, turning it into a sauce is the perfect way to combat this! All of the delicious, rich flavour, but none of the stickiness. A squeeze of lemon and plenty of fresh coriander also help to cut through the heaviness.
I find that dishes like this are best made in a large, deep saucepan – it means you’ve got plenty of surface area to cook off your vegetables, but you’ve also got the depth to add your sauce right to the same pan. One pan = less washing up (always a plus!). I used a pan that I recently got from Delimano. It was wonderfully non-stick, and the large size meant it was perfect for this recipe. It was also seriously easy to clean afterwards!! I wasn’t hugely familiar with Delimano until I got this pan, but I’ll definitely be taking a look at some of their other stuff now that I know how easy it was to use!
By the way, if you’re not into spicy foods, don’t be put off by the fact that I’ve called this a ‘curry’. It’s not particularly hot – it’s just a beautifully creamy mixture that seemed to suit the word. Who knew that peanut butter could complete transform a dish so easily, with just a couple of spoonfuls of the stuff?
Oh, one more plus for adding peanut butter to your curries: it give an extra hit of protein, and it’s packed with healthy monounsaturated fat. So you don’t even need to feel guilty about it – not even when you’re licking the spoon.
- 100g sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1tbsp oil
- 2 mild red chillis, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- ½ red pepper, cut into strips
- ½ green pepper, cut into strips
- 100g white mushrooms, diced
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 200g tinned tomatoes (half a tin)
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained (240g when drained)
- 150ml vegetable stock
- 2tbsp (heaped) smooth peanut butter
- 1tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3tbsp fresh coriander, chopped, plus more for garnish
- Brown rice, to serve
- Parboil the sugar snap peas for a few minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan or wok, and add the chilli, garlic and spring onions. Cook over a medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, until fragrant. Add the parboiled sugar snap peas and strips of pepper, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.
- Add the cumin, tomatoes, chickpeas, stock and peanut butter, and mix gently until the peanut butter has completely melted into the liquid. Simmer gently for 5-10 more minutes, until the chickpeas are hot.
- Add the lemon juice and chopped coriander, and mix well. Serve with rice, topped with more fresh coriander.