Walking the dog today we saw all the squash & pumpkins growing, a sure sign its Autumn, and we still have a huge amount of our own Scotch Bonnet chillis in the freezer so I decided to make a Caribbean dish (Scotch Bonnets are used in the Caribbean) which uses these ingredients. Luckily my local Mercadona sells plantain which is really surprising so I was all set..
First make the Roti dough. For some reason I don’t like to eat rice with curries so I have tried lots of different bread recipes from Indian Puris to Middle Eastern flatbreads. This was the first time I had tried to make rotis and they turned out surprisingly well (no dramas). They are my favourite bread so far, really delicious with this curry and easy to make..
Roti Bread Recipe
Makes 8 Rotis Vegetarian
- 5oo gr plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 165 gr butter diced
- about 160 ml water
- veg oil for frying
Sieve together the flour, baking powder & salt in to a large bowl. Add the diced butter and rub it into the flour mixture with you fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs (you can do this in a food processor on slow). Slowly add the water bit by bit and mix together with you hands to form a ball of dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 2 or 3 minutes then put it in a bowl covered with a clean tea towel and leave it for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the curry don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients if you don’t have everything it’s still going to be gorgeous. The flavour combinations that make it uniquely Caribbean are the fresh thyme, oregano, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice (if you have it I don’t).
Caribbean Squash & Plantain Curry Recipe
Serves 4 Vegetarian
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1kg squash or pumpkin peeled, deseeded & chopped into 2 cm cubes
- 1 plantain peeled & sliced into diagonal 1cm coins
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 red pepper deseeded & chopped into rough squares
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 scotch bonnet chilli chopped (You can use any fresh chilli)
- 1 tbsp ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 tbsp curry paste (whatever you have)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- a pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- the zest of 1/2 lime
- 300 ml veg stock (you may want to use more)
- 1/2 tin coconut milk about 2oo ml ( You can use more if you like)
- lime juice to taste 1/2 to 1 whole lime
- a handful of fresh coriander chopped plus extra for garnish
- salt & black pepper
Heat the oil in a large sauce pan add the onion and saute for 2 minutes over a medium heat until softened then add the garlic, ginger & chilli. Add the sliced plantain and fry for a minute. Add the curry paste, tomato paste and the rest of the herbs & spices, apart from the lime juice & fresh coriander, stirring constantly. Then add the squash, red pepper & fresh tomato and pour over the stock & coconut milk, Turn up the heat & bring to the boil seasoning generously with salt & black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes until the pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally.
While the curry is cooking, go back to you roti dough, knead it again & cut it into quarters, then into eighths and roll them into balls. Flour the work surface and the rolling pin and start rolling out your rotis as thinly as possible (really thin). They don’t have to be a perfect circle that’s part of the charm. Make a pile of rotis flouring well in between each one so they don’t stick together.
Brush a large frying pan with oil, heat it up until hot and cook the rotis for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. They should bubble up & brown slightly. Brush the pan with oil in between each one. Cover the cooked rotis with a tea towel while you cook the rest.
Stand back & admire your rotis don’t they look lovely…
By now your curry should be ready, the squash cooked and the plantain kind of melted into the sauce. Add the lime juice & fresh coriander and taste for seasoning. You may need more salt or you might want to add more veg stock if you like it more liquidy. Serve the curry garnished with fresh coriander, lime wedges and the warm, folded rotis on the side. Who cares if it’s raining outside…..