I won't kid you, this is a very rich dish. You could cut the heaviness a bit by using a lighter milk (soy, rice or oat) or just using water or vegetable stock in the gravy. Personally I just make sure I've got a lot of salad on my plate, too.
Coconut Korma with Split Pea Fritters
Split Pea Fritters
2 cups split peas (yellow or green; I like green because when fried they get all golden on the outside but stay bright green in the middle, which is funny to me)
3 cloves garlic
2" inch hunk of fresh ginger, peeled
1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves, washed, stems removed
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
vegetable oil for frying
Place split peas in a container and cover with water. Let soak for at least three hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Mince the onion, garlic, ginger and coriander. Stir together with the lemon zest and seasonings.
Place soaked split peas in your food processor and pulse until they are a coarse meal. Scoop out about half of the ground peas, and puree what remains. Add all peas to the onion mixture and stir well.
Pour oil 3 inches deep in a wok or heavy pot, and heat to 350F. Use two tablespoons to portion out the pea fritters. Carefully slide them a few at a time (no crowding) in the hot oil and cook until golden, about 3 - 4 minutes, turning as neccessary to ensure even browning. Remove from the oil and let drain on a rack over a baking sheet. Repeat until all fritters are cooked.
These are good as-is. I like to sprinkle them with a little extra salt and some lemon juice and just munch on them as a snack.
2 - 4 heaping tablespoons of Indian red curry paste (this is available pre-made in stores, or see below for how to make your own)
1 can (about 1 1/2 cups) coconut milk
up to 1 cup vegetable stock or water
3 tbsp flour (any kind - I used corn flour aka masa harina)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (optional - adds a nice umami dimension to the flavours)
Put the flour in a liquid measuring cup. Add just enough coconut milk to make a paste, then slowly whisk in the rest of the milk, making sure there are no lumps.
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet on medium. Add a splash of vegetable oil. Add the red curry paste and fry for a few minutes, until it begins to really sizzle and becomes very aromatic. Whisk in the coconut milk/flour mixture, stirring the whole time. As it cooks it will thicken. Begin whisking in the water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the gravy is the consistency you desire. Whisk in the nutritional yeast, if you like. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for five minutes.
This gravy is good with all sorts of things mixed into it - cooked chickpeas, cubes of tofu, lightly steamed veggies.
Add your cooked fritters to the sauce, and gently stir to make sure they are all well-coated. Remove from the heat and serve over cooked rice or with roti.
Serves 4 - 6.
DIY Red Curry Paste
Adjust the amount of chili to your liking.
8 - 10 dried red chili peppers
zest of 2 limes or lemons
2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled
2 tsp coriander seeds (whole)
2 tsp cumin seeds (whole)
1/2 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
You might want to wear gloves as you prepare this.
Split the dried chilis open. Remove the seeds. (If you leave them in, HOO MAMA, this'll be a hot paste). Place chilis in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let them soak until they are softened - about 20 minutes. While you're waiting, toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry skillet for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drain the chili peppers well, and coarsely chop them, along with the onion, ginger, and garlic. Make a mound of all these ingredients, and place the zest and coriander on top. Keep chopping, re-mounding them, and chopping more, until everything is a very fine, wet mass. Place this in your blender or food processor and add the toasted spices. Begin blending, and slowly pour in the vegetable oil while doing so. Pause to scrape down the sides frequently. When it seems it is smooth, transfer it to a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.
Yields about 1/2 a cup.