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Steamed Vegetables with Curry Sauce

ingredients

4 leeks
2 waxy potatoes
2 courgettes
2 small turnips
2 large bulbs fennel
salt

for the curry sauce (makes 18 fl oz (500 ml):

9 oz (250 g) creamed coconut
1 large onion
1/2 green chilli pepper
3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
3 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) chickenstock
1 tbsp plain flour 1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 tbsp mild curry powder
2 tbsp cider vinegar or wine vinegar
approx. 1 tsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
salt and pepper

garnish with:

4 - 6 sprigs coriander

method

1. Make the coconut milk for the curry sauce: break up the block of creamed coconut into fairly small pieces and place in a large bowl; add 14 fl oz (400 ml) boiling water and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables, cut into fairly small pieces and arrange in the steamer. Strain through a clean linen napkin or two layers of muslin cloth, twisting the ends of the cloth round tightly to squeeze out all the moisture. Discard the solid material left inside the cloth and heat the coconut milk.

2. Chop the onion finely; do likewise with the chilli pepper, discarding the seeds. Cook the onion in the ghee over a low heat in a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan for 10 minutes while stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the chilli pepper and the ginger and continue frying gently for a further 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds; mix the curry powder with the vinegar and stir into the onion mixture. Start steaming the vegetables at this point; they will take approx. 12 - 15 minutes. Remove the curry mixture from the heat and pour in the scalding hot coconut milk all at once while beating continuously with a balloon whisk to prevent lumps forming. Return to a low heat, beat in the stock and keep beating as the mixture simmers until it acquires a velvety consistency.

4. Use a hand-held electric beater to beat the hot sauce until it is smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add a little lime juice or lemon juice to taste. Just before serving add the chopped coriander.

5. Transfer the steamed vegetables to heated plates, cover with the curry sauce and garnish each serving with a sprig of coriander.

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