Cape Malay Curry with Turmeric Cinnamon Rice

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The other day I was doing research for an article on how to cook with African flavors. That’s one of the hot food trends this year and I couldn’t be more excited. I love the bold flavors of African cuisine and it’s so diverse from region to region, that I know there are a lot of new and delicious recipes coming!

So far, I think the only African recipe on the blog is my Ethiopian Beans, Greens and Quinoa Stew so it’s time to get busy and add some more. I’m starting with this Cape Malay Curry with Turmeric Cinnamon Rice which is a South African recipe.

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Southern African cuisine is known as “rainbow cuisine” because it is a blend of many cultures and their influences. When slaves from India and Indonesia were brought to Cape Town, South Africa in the 17th-century, their influence resulted in curry dishes that combine sweet flavors of dried fruits (especially apricots), cinnamon and ginger with spicier garlic, onions and chiles. These are now known as Cape Malay Curry dishes.

Usually, this stew is made with meat – lamb, mutton or beef. My compassionate version uses Butler Foods Soy Curls but you could use tofu or seitan to make it. Or keep it all veggies – whatever you choose. The sauce is the star here.

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The spice blend is filled with bold flavors but it’s not really spicy. If you want it spicier, add some cayenne to it or use a spicy curry powder. I needed to keep it on the mild/medium side for everyone to enjoy it. You could also add fresh chiles to the veggies. Another spicy option is to add something spicy to the soy curls but I like to keep them somewhat neutral so the sauce is the center of flavor.

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The stew can have whatever veggies you want. I’ve seen the recipes with just peppers and onions and with potatoes. I added green beans because I always need to up the green factor.

The seasoning blend brings for the spice, the vinegar brings the acid and the apricots and apricot preserves brings the sweet for a perfect balance of flavors.

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Even though it’s all going down over the rice, lately I can’t leave the rice plain. It needs to have its own flavor. I added turmeric and cinnamon to the brown rice and it was so delicious, I could have just eaten a bowl of that alone.

The Cape Malay Curry with Turmeric Cinnamon Rice was amazing. Spicy, sweet and filled with soy curls. Warm and comforting for a perfect winter’s meal. What more could you want?

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This was a fun trip to South Africa and I’m excited to keep traveling to other African regions without ever leaving my kitchen. Enjoy!

Cape Malay Curry with Turmeric Cinnamon Rice

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GF

For the spice blend:

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. ground coriander

2 tsp. chile powder

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. turmeric

¼ tsp. black pepper

 

For the rice:

2 cups brown rice

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. ground turmeric

3 ½ cups water

 

For the soy curls:

1 bag Butler Soy Curls

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

2 Tbs. vegetable or coconut oil

 

For the stew:

1 Tbs. vegetable or coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1-inch fresh ginger, grated

2 bell peppers, chopped

2 potatoes, chopped

½ lb. green beans, chopped

1 ½ cups diced tomatoes

1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped

½ cup apricot preserves

1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

2-3 cups vegetable broth

2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

 

To make the spice blend: combine all spices in a bowl, mix well and set aside.

To make the rice: add the rice to a small saucepan. Mix in the turmeric, cinnamon and salt. Add the water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, uncover the pan, stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low and put the cover back on. Let the rice cook for 40 minutes until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir. Taste for seasoning adjustments.

To make the soy curls: empty the bag into a large bowl and cover the soy curls with hot water or broth. Let sit for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Drain and gently squeeze all the liquid out of the soy curls. Pat dry and toss the soy curls in the seasoning.

Heat a deep saute pan over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of the oil. Add the soy curls in a single layer and let cook for at least 5 minutes before flipping. You want them to get brown and crisp. Then flip and continue cooking, up to 10 minutes or until the soy curls are all brown and crisp. Add more oil if you need it. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Try not to munch on too many. Good luck with that.

To make the stew: in the same pan, heat the oil and saute the onion until softened and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and toss to coat the onions. Add the bell peppers, potatoes and green beans and cook until the veggies are softened, about 8 minutes or so. Sprinkle in the spice blend and toss to coat all the veggies.

When the veggies are tender, stir in the diced tomatoes and the dried apricots. Add the soy curls back into the pan and toss. Stir in the apricot preserves and red wine vinegar.

Add the broth, enough to cover everything (you want to use more than you need because soy curls absorb it quickly) and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the stew simmer for about 15 minutes until all the veggies are cooked and the flavors have married. If you need more liquid, add more broth or water.

Taste for seasoning adjustments. Serve over the rice and garnish with parsley, if desired.

Cape Malay Curry (31)

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

Cape Malay Curry with Turmeric Cinnamon Rice
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree; Stew
Cuisine: South African
 
Instructions
  1. To make the spice blend:
  2. combine all spices in a bowl, mix well and set aside.
  3. To make the rice:
  4. add the rice to a small saucepan. Mix in the turmeric, cinnamon and salt. Add the water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, uncover the pan, stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low and put the cover back on. Let the rice cook for 40 minutes until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir. Taste for seasoning adjustments.
  5. To make the soy curls:
  6. empty the bag into a large bowl and cover the soy curls with hot water or broth. Let sit for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Drain and gently squeeze all the liquid out of the soy curls. Pat dry and toss the soy curls in the seasoning.
  7. Heat a deep saute pan over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of the oil. Add the soy curls in a single layer and let cook for at least 5 minutes before flipping. You want them to get brown and crisp. Then flip and continue cooking, up to 10 minutes or until the soy curls are all brown and crisp. Add more oil if you need it. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Try not to munch on too many.
  8. To make the stew:
  9. in the same pan, heat the oil and saute the onion until softened and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and toss to coat the onions. Add the bell peppers, potatoes and green beans and cook until the veggies are softened, about 8 minutes or so. Sprinkle in the spice blend and toss to coat all the veggies.
  10. When the veggies are tender, stir in the diced tomatoes and the dried apricots. Add the soy curls back into the pan and toss. Stir in the apricot preserves and red wine vinegar. Add the broth, enough to cover everything (you want to use more than you need because soy curls absorb it quickly) and bring it to a boil.
  11. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the stew simmer for about 15 minutes until all the veggies are cooked and the flavors have married. If you need more liquid, add more broth or water. Taste for seasoning adjustments. Serve over the rice and garnish with parsley, if desired.

 

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