Recently, I have become rather obsessed with Coconut water…enter stage left wholesome, hemp wearing yogi..or not. But it does taste really delicious and is unbelievably thirst quenching. And as it is only the water of the coconut, extremely healthy and virtually fat free (ok, boring! But just in case that were enough to sway you!) Unfortunately, it doesn’t come cheap. VitaCoco, the brand modelled by RiRi, is well expensive, but at any health shop/yoga centre/gym, the water sold to you will probably be just that. However, I have discovered at my favourite grocers down Electric Avenue, a vast array of the stuff, different makes and all sold at a fraction of the price. For less than a pound, you can buy what might otherwise be sold to you for well over two, and the taste is just as wonderful!
Now. What is the point of all this gabber, you might ask? Well, after a heavy weekend of excess food, drink and not enough sleep, I saw Monday night as my window of opportunity to do some therapeutic cooking, and healthy cooking at that. I walked home from work (Freezing. Oh England, when will you brighten up?) and nipped into the shop on the way. I gathered my ingredients, with the idea in mind that I wanted to create some kind of vegetarian, coconut based Thai curry, but thought upon using coconut water instead of milk. The result was surprisingly good. I wanted to make a sauce that enveloped the noodles, that was smooth but with a bit if variation in texture. The three main elements of the sauce were the coconut water, sweet potato and peppers….Here goes!
Ingredients for the curry sauce:
2 Sweet potatoes
1 Red Pepper and 1 yellow pepper
1 red onion and 1 white onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 chunk of ginger
1 red chilli
1 x 520ml can coconut water
1 chicken stock cube
½ a teaspoon Nam Pla fish sauce
Salt and pepper
A handful of chopped coriander
And to garnish:
Some okra, sliced and gently fried
1 chopped red chilli
Some toasted pumpkin seeds
Peel and roughly chop the sweet potato and place in a roasting dish. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Put in the over, temp 200oC and roast for around 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the roughly chopped onion, crushed garlic, chilli and ginger in a heavy based saucepan and gently fry in some olive oil. After about five minutes, add the coconut water and a stock cube and bring to a gentle simmer. Squeeze in the limes and then put them, rind and all, in the simmering concoction. Add the fish sauce.
When the sweet potato is done, add this and the coconut mix (limes removed) into a blender and process until smooth. Return to the pan and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the chunks of pepper and simmer until they are soft. Add some chopped coriander. Et voila! This is the sauce.
(I put themthe seeds and okra together, but when preparing, cook separetely, as the pumkin seeds are dry fried)
Now, chop the chilli and set aside. In a little olive oil, very quickly fry the okra, whilst at the same time in another frying pan, dry fry/toast the pumpkin seeds. Boil the noodles, and once drained, add the sauce and stir until well incorporated. Serve in a nice bowl and sprinkle on the garnish ingredients, along with a dash of lime and a sprig of coriander.
Let me know what you think!