I was excited about Dale Pinnock’s The Medicinal Chef from the moment it landed on my desk – the idea of food that not only tasted beautifully, but that boosted the immune system, kickstarted digestion and gave you oodles of energy. So I finally got round to cooking one of the recipes on a recent freezing cold evening. It was the “immune-boosting king prawn curry” .
Now, a Tuesday night post-office, when one should be getting the kids to bed early is not generally one I would select for trying out a full-on cookbook recipe, but this was pretty straightforward so I made a trip to the shops en route home. The ingredient list was simple – prawns, onion, garlic, chilli, a few Indian spices (some I already had, some needed purchasing, but nothing scary and no need for heading to specialty shops), cherry tomatoes, yoghurt … I added some Asian veg (baby corn, sugar snap peas) for some added crunch and health benefits too.
I set to work as soon as I got in the door. The most complicated step? Puréeing the onion, garlic and chilli (yep, not complicated).
The sauce tasted quite bitter at one point so I let it simmer away for a while. Just at the end, I added the cinnamon and it really calmed the dish down. I included the “optional” fresh corriander just before serving and, honestly, you need it. While the curry was truly tasty, it just needed something – and the corriander was it. Also added a sinful dollop of mango chutney for sweetness.
Would I make it again? Absolutely – because it was quick, easy and different from the usual curries made in our house (and I’m assuming more healthy!). Maybe cook the onion purée a little longer at the start – that might have helped the bitterness more.
By Meg Walker, Deputy Editor of IMAGE Magazine
Test drive more recipes from The Medicinal Chef: Eat Your Way to Better Health by Dale Pinnock (Quadrille, approx €22)- they’re featured in the March issue of IMAGE.