Atul Kochhar grew up eating mango curries, but he says this version is “very special” to him.
“The recipe was given to me by a young Cambodian chef who worked for me at Tamarind, in London’s Mayfair, when I was awarded my first Michelin star. It’s the curry paste that elevates this dish to a higher level, with richness from the candlenuts.”
1tbsp sunflower oil
2 mangoes, halved, stoned and flesh cut away in cubes
2tbsp palm or light brown sugar
500g tempeh or seitan, cut into bite-sized cubes
400ml coconut milk
8 baby tomatoes, quartered
Spring onions, chopped, to garnish
For the curry paste:
4–6 candlenuts or macadamia nuts
2 fresh red bird’s-eye chillies, coarsely chopped
3 shallots, chopped
2 thick lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed and the stalks bashed and chopped
1 long, thin green chilli, coarsely chopped
1. First, make the curry paste. Put all the paste ingredients in a food processor and process until a fine paste forms, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. Alternatively, you can use a pestle and mortar.
2. Heat a large wok over a high heat. Add the oil and swirl it around. Reduce the heat slightly, add the curry paste and stir-fry until it is lightly coloured. It’s important to cook the shallots at this point, and don’t stop stirring, because the paste can quickly burn.
3. Add the mangoes and stir until all the pieces are coated in the paste. Stir in the water, sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer just until the mangoes begin to soften.
4. Add the tempeh, coconut milk and tomatoes, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further five to seven minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down and the flavours blend. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary. Garnish with spring onions and serve.
Curry Everyday by Atul Kochhar is published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £26. Photography by Mike Cooper. Available now.
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