Today I’m speaking about a recipe inspired by the Antilles. I would like to thank “Épices du Monde” that offered me an amazing mixture of spices that allows, me to discover it with you. I admit that I was really surprised by the flavors that I found in this dish. And when it mentions to be ‘a cousin of curry’, it is not a lie. Do not expect it to be the taste of a Tikka Massala, but in terms of texture and flavour, it’s close. Below I copy the description from the original website that describes it very well.
The colombo mixture
The Colombo powder is a mixture of spices that is mainly used in a more West Indian cuisine and is also the name of a particular dish. As ‘a cousin of Curry’, its name comes from the capital of Sri Lanka. The composition [Epices Du Monde] offers contains coriander, turmeric, corn starch, rice starch, hot pepper, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, salt and pepper. Depending on the region in which the Colombo is made, cinnamon, saffron, mustard, pepper or tamarind are added.
This blend of spices was created by the coolies (= immigrants from the East Indies to the West Indies from 1862 to provide labor in the sugar cane plantations after the abolition of slavery). The colombo spice blend is the essential element of the Colombo dish itself. It can also be used to perfume fish or poultry dishes and to give them a beautiful color. It also can accompany vegetables such as sweet potatoes, cassava or plantains.
(Extract from the Spices of the World website, own translation)”
Let’s go to the kitchen :
Colombo with lentils and vegetables
- 300 gr coral lentils
- 2 sweet potatoes +/- 500 gr
- 3 large turnips +/- 750 gr
- 200 gr kale
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 yellow onion
- 400 ml coconut milk 1 can
- 3 tbsp colombo mixture
- 1 tsp. grounded cumin
- 1/2 tsp. grounded cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne according to taste
- 1 tbsp powdered vegetable broth
- fresh coriander optional as decoration
- Cut the sweet potatoes, dice the turnips in cubes or quarters. Clean and cut the kale in a similar way. Put everything on the side.
- Peel the onion and garlic. Chop the onion (fine) and mash the garlic.
- Put 1 tsp of coconut milk with crushed garlic and finely chopped onion in the casserole and heat it up for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Add the spices and mix well.
- Add the sweet potato and turnip to the casserole. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the lentils and the rest of the coconut.
- Fill the can of coconut milk with water and pour it into the casserole. (It avoids wasting the coconut milk on the edges.)
- Add the kale. Cover the casserole and let it simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Stir from time to time to check if it does not stick to the casserole and if there is no lack of liquid elements. If necessary add more water or coconut milk (according to taste). If too liquid, do not hesitate to remove the lid of the casserole dish to allow evaporated steam to escape.
- Now the only thing left is to serve the meal once the vegetables are fully cooked and the lentils are slightly decomposing.
The values are calculated with an online calculator and are used as a reference. They may vary according to the products you’re using.