In case you didn’t know yet, India has a special place in our hearts. As the founding sisters of Oh Lily, we not only have Indian names - which are Dewi and Govinda - but our family has cultivated a deep bond with the South-Asian subcontinent for decades.
Curious to know why? Well, let us tell you a quick story.
Our father is a real French man. He was born in Normandy and of course he loves his Camembert. By the time our father was 20 years old, he was a real hippy and his rebellious nature and adventurous spirit were calling him to new frontiers. He had always felt attracted to Mother India because of the Beatles and so decided he would go on the adventure of a lifetime: He packed up his backpack, told his family he would be away for some time (there was no internet at the time, just letters and telegrams!), and he embarked on a journey that would change his life.
He walked all the way to India by foot, starting from the South of France and crossing countries, mountains, rivers, cities and the vast nature that lies in between. From the South of France to Italy, Venice to Turkey, all the way to the door to the Eastern world, and later Afghanistan and India. One of his favourite memories is sharing a warm soup and fresh bread with a farmer in Iran.
After his first trip he went back at least 20 times, even burning his passport once so he would never have to go home again. One of the highlights of his stories is when he hitchhiked from Nainital in North India to Kanyakumari, the very Southern tip of India, sometimes sitting on the top of an old lorry holding on tight for his life.
So it’s no surprise that we ended up with Indian names and a deep love for Indian traditions, culture, and of course food - right?
Sometimes people assume we are actually Indian because we have Indian names but we actually have zero Indian heritage. In fact, our mother is Indonesian! (Yes, now you understand why we bring together so many international flavours - it’s baked into our identity! :))
So back to our love for Indian food...
One of the staples of Indian cuisine is the Indian curry. It typically consists of a combination of spices or herbs such as ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and fresh or dried chillies. Turmeric as the main spice in curry is the ingredient that gives it its yellow colour - the one you know from the typical store-bought curry powder (which isn’t what we mean when we talk about curry!).
“Each spice has a special day to it. For turmeric it is Sunday, when light drips fat and butter-colored into the bins to be soaked up glowing, when you pray to the nine planets for love and luck.”
In case you didn’t know yet: Turmeric is not only a popular spice, it is potent medicine! The compound that gives turmeric its superpowers is called curcumin and it has many health benefits. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and helps fight free radicals, who are responsible for aging. It can improve brain function and help prevent heart disease. It has even been studied as a medicinal herb in cancer treatment and been found to positively affect cancer growth and development. It’s as effective in fighting inflammation as many over the counter meds and it has zero side effects. Okay - we’re gonna stop raving about it now but no wonder it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and holistic wellbeing for thousands of years.
In a nutshell: If you are taking steps to more wellbeing in your life, it’s a great place to start adding turmeric to your dishes.
So let’s start with a curry, shall we?
By the way, you can add any of or all your favourite vegetables to this delicious curry paste recipe. Whether you like potatoes, peas, capsicum, or more exotic veggies like okra or eggplant, the most important thing here is getting the base ingredients in your curry paste right. Because these are the champions of real flavour!
Let’s go - for this curry paste recipe you will need the following ingredients:
KERALAN CURRY PASTE RECIPE
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 handful dried curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon ginger - finely chopped
- 1 fresh chilli finely cut (this is optional - if you and your guests like it hot, then go for it!)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 bunch fresh coriander to sprinkle before serving
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or any other oil)
Heat up oil in the pan and throw all spices into the mix. Fry in the oil for 2 minutes, then add the ginger for another 2 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, stir in and let it all cook for 3 minutes on low heat.
Next, add your veggies and cook them covered until they have the right consistency.
Tip: Make sure you are adding the veggies that need the most cooking first so they get a little extra cooking time e.g. potatoes will take longer to cook than tomatoes, which already have a softer consistency. Alternatively, you can chop the harder veggies that need more cooking into smaller pieces so they need less cooking time.
If a lot of the liquid in the pan has evaporated already, you can add a bit of water as you go.
By the way, coconut oil is a great oil for cooking and frying as it doesn’t develop any harmful toxins when heated at high temperatures. Oil derived from coconuts has a number of benefits for your health such as being a healthy fat, good for your heart, your brain and your (good) cholesterol. It’s best to choose organic, virgin coconut oil rather than refined oils.
Don’t forget the final step: Sprinkle with fresh coriander before serving. And of course - we recommend a garnish of Indian Gold Lily Pops… for the extra crunch and the extra dose of LOVE, our favourite ingredient - sent to you straight from Oh Lily Headquarters.
Okay, now you’re almost ready to dive in... This dish is best served with rice and…. your loved ones around you!
We always end up making enough to feed friends and family no matter who shows up at the table. :)
Ready to make your first home-made curry paste?
PS: If you create this dish or choose to take some inspiration from it into your kitchen, don’t forget to tag us - we’d love to see your creations and reshare them to our stories and feed. @teamlilypop