Roasted Sweet Potato & Cashew Korma

Korma is a curry that is often dismissed by many as the chilli-hater’s get-out option, but it’s so much more than that. It’s anything but bland – the sweet, nutty almonds blended with the delicate balance of spices creates something utterly beautiful. In this version, the sweet potato adds another layer of sweetness, which is in turn balanced out by the bitter toasted cashews. It’s a meal to be enjoyed slowly at a weekend, and is excellent comfort food to boot.

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Ingredients (serves 4):
– 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
– 10 cardamom pods, crushed, husks discarded
– 2 tsp cumin seeds
– 1 onion, roughly chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, grated
– thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
– 1 green chilli, chopped
– 2 peppers, deseeded and sliced (I use 1 red and 1 yellow)
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 3 tsp garam masala
– ½ tsp grated nutmeg
– 4 tbsp ground almonds
– pinch of saffron
– 2 tins coconut milk
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 vegetable stock cube
– 150g green beans, topped, tailed and halved
– 75g cashew kernels
– handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Put the sweet potato into a large roasting dish, then drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir to coat, then put into the oven for 45 minutes, stirring half way through.

2. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or wok. Add the cardamom and cumin seeds; cook until beginning to pop, then add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook on a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes, until starting to colour.

3. Stir in the peppers and cook for a further 8 minutes before adding the turmeric, garam masala, nutmeg and almonds. Stir through the spices and cook for a further minute or so, then add the saffron, coconut milk, bay leaf and stock cube. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, adding the green beans 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

4. While the curry is simmering, put the cashews into a dry frying pan on a low-medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent them burning; cook until lightly toasted. Add ⅔ of the cashews to the curry, along with the roasted sweet potatoes.

5. To finish, stir through the fresh coriander. Serve with rice, and sprinkle the remaining cashews over the top.

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