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.
- 100 g sugar snap peas trimmed
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 mild red chillis finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 spring onions chopped
- 1/2 red pepper cut into strips
- 1/2 green pepper cut into strips
- 100 g white mushrooms diced
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 200 g tinned tomatoes half a tin
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas 240g when drained, drained
- 150 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter heaped
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tbsp 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.