Cinnamon

Fragrant Coconut Curry

It's been a long time since our last post, but we're back! Back to this transformed yet familiar space, with a new intention to create, learn and share. The blog's new name 'Putumayo Kitchen' was inspired from our magical time in Colombia... a year of adventure and change. Putumayo is a Quechua word and translates to 'the opening of a river', with 'putu' meaning 'spring forth'. 

Another thing that inspired us about Colombia was the availability of coconuts! It was amazing being able to get cheap fresh coconut from the market and we used it all the time to make curries, milk, stir fries and smoothies. This is a curry recipe we've been working on back at home which works great with either fresh or dessicated coconut.  The flavours are quite subtle and its deliciously sweet and aromatic. Aside from the curry paste it's easy to adapt with whatever ingredients you have, and the level of spiciness is totally up to you! 

Fragrant Coconut Curry

Ingredients (Serves 4 as a main meal with rice)

For the Curry Paste:
1 cup of unsweetened dessicated coconut
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped  
1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped  
3 heaped tsps of ground almonds
3 tsps of coriander seeds
1 tsp of brown mustard seeds
2 small cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp of fennel
12 black peppercorns
6 cardamom pods
3 cloves
1 large pinch of sea salt

Other Ingredients:
1/2 a tin of coconut milk
Most vegetables would work in this curry. Feel free to use whatever you like/have! 
We used- 
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 courgette, cut into strips
1 large carrot, cut into strips
1 green chilli (optional)
salt, to taste
fresh coriander, to serve

1. In a frying pan, lightly toast the ground almonds until golden. Place in a bowl and set aside to cool. Now time to make the rest of the curry paste. 
2. Fry all of the spices in coconut oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the mustard seeds begin to crackle. 
3. Add the chopped onion and fry until lightly golden. Then add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the dessicated coconut to the pan, and stir fry for a few minutes until golden. 
5. Let the mixture cool slightly, before adding to a food processor or blender along with the ground almonds, salt to taste and enough water to grind everything into a smooth paste. (We used around 1.5 cups of water, but feel free to add more if you need to). 
6. For the vegetables, fry an onion until soft (with the chilli if using), then add the pepper and continue to fry for a few minutes. Add in the carrot and courgette and stirfry until cooked. If the vegetables begin to stick to the pan, add a few teaspoons of water. 
7. Once the vegetables are cooked, mix in the coconut paste and cook for a few minutes. Finish with the coconut milk and lots of fresh coriander. Serve and enjoy! 

Fragrant Coconut Curry

3 Pulse Stew with Sumac and Thyme

I remember when I first stopped eating meat, everyone under the sun wanted to know where I was getting all my protein, calcium, iron and all that jazz.

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Despite all the doubts for my survival, 5 years later I’m still breathing – and we both genuinely feel healthier and brighter with this conscious way of eating. Luckily for us, plant-based food has become more and more popular over the past few years. The raised eyebrows and invasive questions are less frequent occurrences, but we’re also quicker in our responses. And more importantly, in tune with what our bodies are in need of.

So in search of a dish that is high in protein but also incredibly delicious, Joe spontaneously created this fragrant 3 pulse stew with sumac, thyme and a precious mix of spices. With chickpeas and two types of lentils, this dish is perfectly rich and fulfilling for even the strictest of meat eaters. But it’s the blend of flavours that transform the stew into something special; with dried herbs, sweet cinnamon and lemony sumac combining to create a nourishing bowl of mini-heaven!

Ingredients

2 Medium Onions (Sliced)
5 Tomatoes (Diced)
2 sticks of celery (finely chopped)
200g of dried chickpeas (can be substituted with 1 tin of chickpeas – however these should be added in after the dish has been simmering for roughly 1 hour, or else they may break too easily)
3 tablespoons of split red lentils
3 tablespoons of whole green or brown lentils
5 gloves of garlic, crushed and chopped

A bundle or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of sumac
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 All spice berries
Sea salt to taste
Fresh Parsley to garnish

 Instructions 

1. If using dried chickpeas, soak them in water overnight with half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.

2.In a large saucepan, cook down the onion and celery in plenty of olive oil or coconut oil. When the onions are just beginning to turn brown, add the spices to the pan and fry for roughly one minute.

3.Next, add the tomatoes, garlic and a large pinch of sea salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

4. Add your chickpeas and lentils to the pan, stirring well. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours with the lid on.

5.**While cooking, you will occasionally need to add more water to the pan as it gets absorbed by the lentils. We normally let the water cook off so that the stew catches slightly on the bottom of the pan, and then add in the extra water. We find this process really enhances the richness of the dish. **

6..The stew will be ready once the chickpeas become tender and you can mash them with a fork. The final dish should be saucy, but not with too much liquid. By now, it will smell amazing!

7. Before serving, garnish with a little dried oregano and plenty of fresh parsley.

8.Enjoy! We love to eat ours with polenta and dark greens. 

A Simple Cacao Smoothie with Spices

Following on from our post all about chocolate last week, here’s one of our favourite ways to use cacao powder: a rich, delicious chocolate smoothie with spices.

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This is a really simple recipe if you’re new to cacao powder and have a slight sweet tooth. Remember that chocolate milk you’re left with after eating a bowl of Coco pops? This is kind of like that, but much tastier, nourishing and good for both body and the soul. This is such a good drink for satisfying any sugar cravings and is also really filling and creamy from the avocado.  The cinnamon/nutmeg also helps to balance blood sugar levels and aid digestion, as well as being so tasty!

We love using coconut milk in our smoothies, but this can easily be made with just water (or another kind of milk) and it will be just as delicious.

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A Simple Coconut Cacao Smoothie with Spices (Serves 2)

  • 2 Tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 250ml of water
  • 250ml of coconut milk (or more water/ other nut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 large, ripe banana (frozen can be used)
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • 2 dates (or a teaspoon of honey)
  • Top with: a grating of nutmeg

1)Combine ingredients in a blender and blitz for 1 minute.

2) Pour into glasses, top with grated nutmeg and enjoy!