Inspired by… Coconut Curry

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In my Las Iguanas eating out review I raved about how delicious their coconut curry dish was, and I have to say I have recently become a little obsessed with coconut (I’m not only talking food but shower gels and perfumes). And so it wasn’t going to be long before I made my own inspired coconut curry.

The Ingredients (for three portions):

cocnut curry ingredients

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A large handful of washed and boiled kale
  • Three chopped chestnut mushrooms (or any type of mushroom)
  • Large handful of chopped green beans
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • A handful of chopped carrots (I used Chardonnay)
  • A handful of garden peas (frozen)
  • 1 chopped spring onion
  • Half a cup of cooked red split lentils
  • A dash of Turmeric
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • Half a can of coconut milk
  • Thai curry paste
  • A large spoonful of Greek yoghurt

Serving suggestion: Whole grain basmati rice

Pretty simple really, chop up the vegetables and then sautee  in a large pan in olive oil with the turmeric and curry paste. Then throw in the already washed, cooked and drained kale:

curry veg in panNext pour in the chopped tomatoes and the coconut milk and stir in. I also added in the peas at this point. Then add the lentils and then leave to simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes or so to thicken. Add the greek yoghurt during the simmering time and also prepare the rice:

Simmering away and making my kitchen smell oh so delicious:

curry in panAnd then ready to serve:

coconut curryTasty! And I love having leftovers, curry tastes even better the next day.

 

Eating Out Options: Tampopo

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So I went on another little shopping trip with my parents and we ate out at a restaurant my dad has been wanting me to try for a while because he knows my love for oriental food. Here is a little discussion of my experience with the East Asian restaurant Tampopo.

WP_20140511 3We actually had a long wait for food because we chose an unfortunately very busy time to go but I didn’t really mind the wait since we had ordered some Jasmine tea to drink whilst we chatted which came in this adorable teapot. And also had some Thai prawn crackers with chilli dipping sauce to keep the hunger at bay.

There is a range of food to choose from: curries to fried rice to soup noodles inspired by authentic dishes from across east Asia: Japan, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam to name a few. The menu can be found here, for reference.

I ordered the vegetarian Khao Pad which is a Thai fried rice dish with pineapple, crushed peanuts, green beans, mushroom and tofu (but you can choose Chicken or Prawn with a meat option). I was tempted by the vegetarian Monkfish Molee Curry but since it was a coconut based curry I dismissed it since it was too similar to my order from Las Iguanas and I like to vary it up. We also shared Wok Fried Greens in Tamarind sauce as a side.

WP_20140511The food was well prepared and of good portion sizes. I did really enjoy my dish but I think the tamarind sauce was the winner in the whole meal mmmm. My mum ordered the Yaki Udon which was her second time having and a definite winner with her and I actually cannot remember the dish my dad ordered but he also really enjoyed his. I started off eating my dish with chopsticks but soon realised I was absolutely failing and ashamedly finished the meal with a fork (though my dad powered on through until the end).

If you’re gluten or wheat free, like me, I think this is a good choice of place to eat out at if you like your oriental food. Although there is a fair amount of wheat noodle dishes there is a rather large choice on the menu with rice or rice noodles. If I was only wheat free and not also vegetarian I would have definitely been spoilt for choice.

However, combining the two meant that there wasn’t really a great deal of choice (though I guess this is something to be expected). Many of the dishes don’t have a vegetarian option and something to watch out for is one of the dishes had a vegetable option but this was not vegetarian (contains shrimp paste), though this was clearly labelled. I think if you are only vegetarian Wagamama has more choice as an equally good east Asian restaurant. Though I do think that it is good that nearly all of the vegetarian options were also vegan.

It is a shame I never have enough room for a main and dessert because the dessert menu did look extremely appealing. I am particularly drawn to the green tea and cinnamon ice cream.  My parents have opted for the Vietnamese fried banana dish before which looks interesting, though they did mention it was rather sickly. Maybe I shall go again some time for my pot of tea and some ice cream.

The service was very good, as I mentioned we had a long wait but the waitress was very apologetic about it and was both friendly and helpful.

Overall, I would recommend Tampopo for a visit but I would check their menu first to see the options if you do have dietary requirements.