Sweet & Spicy
Creamy, mildly spicy and subtly, but pleasingly sweet – the Infamous Apple Curry! If you have never tried an apple curry, it might take some imagination to find the idea appealing. We have tried it, and found the dish we made up so very appealing it has already earned a legendary status. We even made a crazy joke of a documentary film about its creation. ;-) (Soon to be published and linked here, keep an eye out!) You might see how this dish came to be known as nothing less than the Infamous Apple Curry.
Apples are most often found in sweet dishes, such as a classic apple crumble, apple strudel, apple pie… So many countries have a traditional apple dish. They are great for snacking on, as our Crispy and Chewy Spiced Apple Rings recipe proves, and with so many delicious varieties there’s nothing like a bite in to a raw, crisp apple. But how often have you tried mixing apples with spices other than cinnamon, cloves, or cardamom? In a salty and savoury combination of flavours?
In various world cuisines like Indian, Japanese or African, apples in a curry are more common than in European cooking. So, technically we did not invent the apple curry. However, this one is one of the recipes that we did absolutely no research on before trying it. We are proud to claim it as a true original recipe creation.
The Origin of the Infamous Apple Curry
It all began on our first ever roadtrip in our campervan Ronnie. Somewhere in the north of Italy, we purchased a big bag of apples. Wherever we are on the road, we try to buy fruit and veg as regional as possible. We were very pleased with ourselves when we bought the only kind of apple they had in the local supermarket that had not crossed at least one ocean to get there. We were ever the more displeased to find that the two kilograms of apples were absolutely flavourless. The super good value should have been a warning sign.
So there we were, with two kilos of apples we did not want to eat. What to do with them? Bin them? No way! We hate food waste! They might have been tasteless, but otherwise perfectly alright. So we said, “Let’s cook!” And that’s what we did, in our tiny campervan kitchen with all its limited space, facilities and ingredient range.
Whenever we are trying out a new idea and recipe from scratch, the enthusiasm that gets you started turns into a bit of shakiness and self-doubt along the way. “What if it turns out to be completely inedible?”
With this one, we need not have worried. Far from that! Inedible? More like, InCRedible! All our doubts vanished with the first bite. The flavourless apples still gave a lovely, subtle sweetness to the curry that served as a perfect bed for the spices and vegetable flavour. Even the apples themselves were more tasty once they were cooked. The curry also went great with the garlic bread we toasted in our tiny campervan grill. The world’s most untasty apples turned into the world’s best curry!
Ok, there might be slight exaggeration and a bit of drama in the last paragraph, but I can’t point out enough that the Infamous Apple Curry is such a tasty thing and you should definitely try it! Especially if you have got some leftover apples.
You made my mouth water – let’s get started!
The recipe featured here is a slight adaption of our original creation, but no bit less tasty! It’s probably even an improvement, if that’s even possible. In the campervan, we were limited to our stocked ingredients at the time, featuring our staple coconut milk powder (great for anything from cereals to pancakes and curry!).
This time, we had to make do with whatever was available to us while doing our Food Waste Challenge. The recipe below is what we ended up with, using seasonal vegetables, aduki beans and soy cream. For substitutions, see recipe notes below! Just try to keep the ratio of apples to vegetables at around 1:1 for the real apple effect.
One last thing to say – The lessons we’ve learnt here: Be brave, be curious, try unusual things! Be bold and imaginative! Try something that has never been done before (as far as you know)! You might sometimes take a bad turn in a recipe, yes. But never stop experimenting! Have love. Have peace. Now, go and cook that apple curry!
Paul & Sophie
Infamous Apple Curry
- 650 g apples
- 200 g potatoes
- 200 g courgette
- 200 g squash, butternut or hokkaido
- 2 medium onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 300 g cooked aduki beans
- 3 tbsp coconut fat
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp tandoori masala
- 3 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 250 ml soy cream for cooking 1 pack
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 250 – 500 ml water
- Wash all vegetables, peel if necessary. Remove core and seeds from apples and squash.
- Cut apples and rest of the vegetables into bite-sized cubes.
- Half or quarter the onions, then slice.
- Crush garlic cloves with the blade of a knife. Cut off ends, peel, and chop finely.
- Get your spices ready.
- On high heat, heat up the oil or fat in a big frying pan or sauce pan.
- Add the onions, turn heat down a tiny bit. Stir regularly.
- When onions are nicely fried and starting to brown, add garlic.
- Add the spices: 2 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp tandoori masala, 3 tsp curry powder.
Stir them in, and fry for 1 min. Watch out so they don’t catch on the bottom!
- Add ALL the apples and vegetable cubes. Stir well to coat with the spices. Stir regularly and keep things from catching.
- After a few minutes of frying the vegetables, add the soy cream and enough water to just cover everything (about 250 ml).
- Add 1 tsp salt and stir in 1 tbsp peanut butter. Bring to boil.
- Let simmer with the lid on, low heat, for about 20-25 min, or until the potatoes are cooked through and tender. Stir every 5 minutes, add a bit more liquid if necessary. To speed this up, see note on pressure cooking.
- While you wait for the curry to simmer, this would be your perfect chance to prepare your preferred side dish.
- Five minutes before the end, add the cooked aduki beans or chickpeas.
Don’t add any dry beans. They won’t be done even if you add them earlier.
- When the potatoes are done, so is the curry! Let cool down a bit and enjoy!Serve with rice, garlic bread, naan, papa dums, noodles…
No need to peel potatoes. All the good stuff is right under the skin! Just wash or scrub off any dirt, cut away any green or sprouting bits.
And if you DO peel them – why not try some of these potato peel crisps? When it comes to squash, whether to peel or not is depending on the kind of squash. As a general rule, summer squashes like butternut and red kuri (hokkaido) don’t need peeling as their thin skin softens when cooked and adds another interesting texture. A winter squash tends to need peeling. Do your research on the kind of squash you got if in doubt! Pressure cooking:
If using a pressure cooker, just add in the beans in with the other ingredients before closing the lid. Wait for the pressure to build up (and the vent to seal), turn the heat down and cook for 5 minutes. Let the contents of the pressure cooker naturally cool down to ensure the veg is done. Substitutions:
- Vegetables: You can substitute any of the vegetables with whatever you like. Sweet potato makes a good squash replacement. We like to keep it local and seasonal! Keep a 1:1 ratio of about the same amount apples to vegetables.
- Soy Cream: Coconut Milk! We are definitely going to try that. Adjust the water amount.
- Coconut fat: Really, probably any regular vegetable oil will do. In Indian cooking, spices are often fried in Ghee (Butter Fat), so coconut fat is the closest we can get without using the ecologically questionable palm oil, which usually makes up ‘vegetable ghee’.
- Spices: This calls for individualisation of your own Apple Curry. Try a combination of your favourite spice blends, or whatever you have at home!
Have you ever tried apples in a savoury dish? Let us know, in the comments below! :-)