This post is sponsored by Hello Fresh.
Back in my college days, my roommate used to make a fruity banana curry. It was a bit of a signature dish and we had it quite often – after all it was delicious, easy and most of all cheap. All big pluses when you are a student, especially the cheap part.
I hadn’t thought of this curry in years, not until Hello Fresh asked me to recreate one of their recipes – a spicy plantain curry.
What is Hello Fresh?
Unless you have been living under a rock, chances are you have heard of Hello Fresh. They provide recipe boxes which include all the ingredients and instructions to try new and exciting meals every week.
Simply select the recipes that take take your fancy, indicate how many servings you need and you will be sent a box with fresh quality ingredients all measured out.
Recipe cards walk you through the instructions step-by-step, so that even a total novice can create impressively tasty, healthy meals. An excellent solution for busy professionals who have no time to shop – and there’s zero food wastage.
What are plantains?
Plantains look very much like bananas and belong in the same family, but they are more starchy and less sweet and need to be cooked before eating. In fact they are sometimes referred to as ‘cooking bananas’.
Plantains are staples in Caribbean, South American and African cuisines and the are cooked in many different ways including frying, steaming, boiling and baking.
When still green they are very firm and starchy; as they ripen and turn yellow, the starch turns into sugar and they can be eaten raw.
In this Caribbean-inspired curry I used just-ripe plantains as I wanted a bit of their sweetness to come through in the dish. Lucky for me, plantains are very easy to source in my area of South East London!
What are the ingredients of this Caribbean plantain curry?
Let’s start with the obvious: plantains! I used 3 medium sized yellow plantains and they tasted just a little bit sweet and totally yummy.
This vegan curry also uses chickpeas and black eyed beans, peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes and stock. If you like your curry HOT, and for an authentic version, you should also use a Scotch bonnet chilli.
I am a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to really hot flavours so I used a much milder red jalapeño chilli. Use whichever you prefer, taking care to wear gloves if you handle a really hot chilli. I can’t count the number of times I have rubbed my eyes after handling chillies – you want to avoid that at all costs!
This curry is naturally vegan, nut-free and gluten-free, easy on the purse and very filling. If you use a mild chilli (or none at all) then it’s a really tasty way to introduce curries to younger children.
How to make Caribbean plantain curry
You can easily make this recipe on your stovetop – simply follow the step by step illustrated instructions on Hello Fresh site. Since it is super-speedy to make in a pressure cooker – about 10 minutes active cooking time – and you know what a big fan I am, I had to try this method!
Step 1. Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker using the Sauté function (on normal) and fry the onions and spices for a couple of minutes.
Step 2. Add the garlic, chilli, garlic, peppers and plantains. Cook for a further two minutes.
Step 3. Stir in the black eyed beans, chickpeas, thyme and stock. Cover the pot, set vent to sealing and on cook on high pressure for four minutes.
Step 4. Manually release the pressure – this will take about 5 minutes. Serve over steamed or coconut rice – check out this quick recipe for pressure cooker coconut rice.
If you like this recipe from Hello Fresh make sure you check their other vegan and vegetarian recipes
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 red pepper seeded and sliced
- 1 orange pepper seeded and sliced
- 1 red chilli seeded and sliced (see notes)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 3 medium plantains sliced
- 400 g | 14oz black-eyed beans drained and rinsed
- 400 g | 14oz chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 230 ml | 1 cup hot vegetable stock
- 4 large tomatoes seeded and diced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme finely chopped
- 1 lime juice only
- Pinch dried chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper to season
Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker using the Sauté function (on normal) and fry the onions for a couple of minutes.
Add the spices, garlic, chilli, garlic, peppers, tomatoes and plantains. Cook for a further two minutes.
Add the black eyed beans, chickpeas, thyme and stock. Cover the pot, set vent to sealing and on cook on high pressure for four minutes.
Manually release the pressure - it will take about 5 minutes.
Taste and season if needed. Serve over steamed or coconut rice with a pinch of dried chilli flakes.
For an authentic Caribbean version you should use one Scotch bonnet chilli - beware it is very hot. Use gloves when handling! If you prefer a milder version use a red jalapeño chilli, seeds removed.