— Adapted from a recipe at www.jamaicans.com/cooking and served at March’s First Friday Social at the Custom House Maritime Museum
Martinique Sweet Potato Coconut Curry with Aubergine & Pineapple
Serves 4. Vegan and gluten-free.
For the Colombo spice mix:
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
3 tablespoons ground turmeric
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, toast all the whole spices (not the turmeric) until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 or 3 minutes. Don’t take your eyes off them, they will burn. Remove from the heat, and tip into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, and grind to a powder.
Toast the turmeric in the same pan over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Combine the turmeric with the rest of the spices, and store in an airtight container. Makes about 3/4 cup.
For the curry:
1 tablespoon Colombo powdered spice mix (see above)
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 small or one large scotch bonnet chilis, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large aubergine, cut into 2-centimeter cubes
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into 2-centimeter cubes
3 small green peppers (the long, small frying peppers), deseeded and 2-centimeters diced
1 tin coconut milk (400 milliliters)
400 milliliters vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 bay leaves
1/2 small pineapple, core removed, cut into 2-centimeter cubes
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped, plus leaves for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chili, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add in the aubergine and sweet potato cubes, and cook for about 4 minutes until just softening and turning golden brown.
Stir the spice mix through to coat all the vegetables, cook for a further 2 minutes and season with 1 teaspoon salt.