This weekend I am so happy that despite the cold chill, is a lovely blue sky. Just as well I happen to be sitting outside listening to some Anna Coffman, the native birds from their nearby sanctuary chiming in with a chorus of playful melodies. I have injured my knee, and thus am writing this morning as opposed to running & admiring the view of Rangitoto in Auckland’s Eastern bays. Nice to be lazy but I am going to struggle with no exercise for six weeks. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.
Orange Curry One
As promised, after hearing some more feedback its apparent that of my three options, most want to learn how to make a delicious curry. This is a variation from the “Free Range Cook” by Annabel Langbein. If anyone is going to get done for plagiarism it would be me, only I am banking on the fact that I am a walking, talking advertisement for her recipes. When I made this I wanted to romance my man with a home cooked meal and some bubbly, it went down a treat – the same quality as my favourite Thai takeout but only fresher and less oily.
Romantic Curry Dinner Set Up
I have named my variation Orange Curry, because I omitted the coriander leaves which would have made the paste green, though coriander root and turmeric root is more flavourful. I also went easy on the amount of onions and garlic, so you can double those if you like. Though the original recipe called for pumpkin, eggplant and potatoes, I just used extra beans, kumara and carrots instead. Moral of the story is that anything goes as long as it’s in season -even left over leek tops!
Orange Curry Vegetables

Orange Curry Paste

2 onions
5 inches of ginger or more
8 garlic cloves
1 small hot red chilli or 2 green chillies
3 Kaffir lime leaves or extra zest of two limes
2 cups of coriander leaves
Or one cup of coriander roots & stalks (frozen from summer)
1 inch turmeric root
1 cup grapeseed or rice bran oil
2 tsp dried shrimp paste
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp coriander seeds
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbs fish sauce
Orange Curry Cooking

Vegetable Curry

250g pumpkin, peeled and cubed OR 3 carrots, peeled and cut in sticks
250g gold kumara/sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 red onion, cut in wedges
1 sliced orange capsicum or which is in season
1 eggplant if in season, cubed OR
400g green beans, topped and cut in half/1 cup peas
2 leeks, just the green, use white for soups or sautéed leeks as a side
1 can coconut milk or cream
2 cups basmati rice
2 bay leaves
Sea salt
Peanuts or cashews, chopped roughly
Coriander or basil leaves, to serve


1. Prepare onions, garlic and ginger for paste. Peel and chop roughly. Discard seeds from chillies, finely chop. Destem Kaffir lime leaves and finely chop (otherwise they will make the paste bitter).
2. Put all in a food processor, ad blend into a paste, a little bit of texture is totally fine as long as the mixture is relatively homogenous. I’m sorry to say that a mortar and pestle would be unrealistic unless it was for about ¼ the amount. Better made the day before, will keep for 3-4 weeks or frozen.
3. Rinse rice in a bowl three times, draining off misty water. Turn hot water jug on.
4. Gently fry 2 cups of the above curry base in a pot for 5-10 minutes. I just used the whole lot. Stir in one can of coconut milk or cream. Add the diced pumpkin and kumara if using, red onions, capsicum & eggplant if using, simmer for 25-30 minutes in a deep pan.
5. While waiting, place rice in pot and cover with the instructed amount of boiling water for absorption method, place in bay leaves and salt.
6. Add 1 cup of peas or beans and any other greens and cook a further 5 mins. Serve on rice and top with peanuts and coriander, and/or basil leaves.
Curry Tray Presentation
I might try experiment a little more on my own recipes now my weekends are not filled with yoga & running. It is my new goal though to make every second post about wine, this passion needs some fuel probably because I am talking about it all day long. Who could possibly thing you could ever get sick of it? After all I think its only true that:
The Answer is Wine
So folks, wine with your curry? A predictable Gewurztraminer (say Gi-Wvurtz-tra-mee-ner) to compliment the spicy tones? But recently I have been getting into my other whites. Esk Valley Verdelho has a perfumed, orange blossom nose, an almost Pinot Gris like fruit –citrus tones and warm viscosity on the finish perfect for this Curry. We had Prosecco, Italian bubbly which was divine- the mineral freshness really striking through even over the taste of the spice, making the dish sing.
Orange Curry Two
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