Comforting oil-free potato and pea curry.
I’m not an authentic food blogger. I know I sound crazy right now, but let me explain.
I’m more into food for its nutritional value rather than its looks and taste. Don’t get me wrong; taste is critical – I mean who wants to eat bland food all the time? And if the food doesn’t look appealing, I’m not very keen on eating on it.
Taste and looks are not the priority right anymore, functionality is.
Going forward, I will put more focus on the nutritional and health benefits of my recipes rather than the ‘story’ behind each recipe. The majority of you who read my blog do so mainly for health reasons, so I want to honour that.
If you have no interest in the health blurb, feel free to skip past the intro and go straight to the recipe (not that you need my permission).
Potatoes are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins B3, B5, B6, C, and potassium. They have a moderate amount of protein, averaging around 2.5g per medium potato. They are a good source of the essential amino acid lysine that grains lack.
It is important to note that most of the micronutrients and fibre in potatoes are found in the skin. It is worth eating your potatoes with their skins on to get the best from them.
Spuds are very low in calories. Pound for pound, they contain fewer calories than other popular starch sources. Also, they are more satiating than grains, pasta and bread.
It is true that potatoes can have a higher impact on blood sugar levels than grains like rice and corn. However, that depends on the variety of potato you choose. Maris Piper potatoes, which are typically used for making fries have the highest impact on blood sugar levels. This because they contain very high amounts of the easy-to-digest starch, amylopectin and meagre quantities of the more difficult-to-digest starch, amylose.
The easier it is to digest a starchy food, the higher the impact on your blood sugar and the quicker you get hungry after eating.
New potatoes like Charlotte have much higher quantities of amylose and lower quantities of amylopectin. As a result, they have a much smaller impact on blood sugar levels, and they can keep you feeling satiated for much longer.
New potatoes are also up to 50% richer in polyphenols (phytochemicals that boost our immunity and protect us from diseases) than other potato varieties. These polyphenols reside in their skins, so once again, it is worth eating potatoes with their skins intact.
You don’t need to confine yourself to eating only new potatoes. It is merely worth noting that they have a superior nutrient profile than other varieties.
Selecting and storing potatoes
Choose firm potatoes that display the characteristic features of their variety. Steer clear of wilted, leathery, sprouting or discoloured potatoes, especially those with a green tint. The green colouration on potatoes indicates that the toxic alkaloid solanine may be present.
Solanine affects the taste of the potatoes, and it can also cause headaches, diarrhoea and circulatory problems. Since new potatoes are harvested before full maturity, they are much more susceptible to solanine.
The best way to store potatoes is in a dark, dry place between 45-50ºF /7-10ºC. At higher temperatures, potatoes can sprout and dehydrate prematurely. These conditions may be difficult to achieve at home, so the next best option is to keep them in a perforated plastic bag to allow excess moisture escape. Don’t store potatoes next to onions because the gases they release can shorten the lifespan of your potatoes.
Iron-rich peas are a source of phytoalexins, antioxidants that can prevent the growth of bacteria that cause stomach ulcers and cancers. Peas are also a rich source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and minerals including phosphorus, manganese and magnesium.
Comforting vegan potato and pea curry
- 800g new potatoes, halved
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 3 fat garlic cloves, finely minced
- 250g frozen peas
- 3 tsp chilli powder (optional)
- ½-inch ginger, finely grated
- 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 250ml coconut milk
- Cauliflower rice or rice, to serve
- Handful coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped
- Black pepper, to taste
- Heat a small splash of water or oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over low-medium heat for 5 minutes until soft. Add the chilli powder, ginger, curry powder, coriander, turmeric, and fenugreek, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the potatoes, vegetable stock cubes, coriander stalks and around 250ml of water to the pan. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for around 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the sauce thickens.
- Add the peas and coconut milk and cook for five minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat, serve with cauliflower rice or regular rice, sprinkle with black pepper and coriander leaves.
You can swap peas for other legumes like kidney beans, chickpeas or black beans if you prefer. You can also add leafy greens like spinach or rainbow chard a few minutes before taking the pan off the heat. You can swap new potatoes with sweet potatoes, but adjust cooking times as needed.
Keywords: Potato, Peas, Curry