Here I’ve set out a couple of simple recipes which I’ve been making for some time now. It can be tricky to make a meal completely zero waste, so I’ve also given some ideas on how to avoid as much packaging as possible!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 1-2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry paste (from a glass jar)
- 1 coconut (bought loose)
- 1-2 tablespoons of plain flour (from a zero waste supermarket or in a paper bag)
- 2 courgettes (bought loose)
- 2 aubergines (bought loose)
- 2 sweet potatoes (bought loose)
- 1 litre water (from vegetables which you have recently boiled or steamed)
This recipe works well with an alternative to vegetable stock which often comes in plastic packaging. I tend to make it in bulk, and use water which I’ve boiled or steamed other vegetables in that day instead of vegetable stock cubes bought from a supermarket. Not only does this avoid the packaging, but also takes the nutrients from the vegetable water and put them back into another meal instead of tipping the water away.
Put 1-2 tablespoons of plain flour into a jug. Take the hot vegetable water, and slowly pour it into the flour, while stirring to make sure lumps in the mixture don’t appear.
Break the coconut in half, and pour the coconut milk in a jug. Scoop out the white flesh, and put it in a blender, small amounts at a time. Gradually add the rest of the coconut flesh, and blend until it’s thick and creamy.
Take a large saucepan, and add 1-2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry paste. Add the coconut and coconut milk, and the vegetable water to the pan. Stir to mix it all together, and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
Peel the sweet potatoes, and set the peelings to one side. They can be used to make chips (or crisps if you’re in the UK) – more on this later!
Chop the potatoes into small chunks. After the curry base has been simmering for 5-10 minutes, put the potatoes into the saucepan, and leave to simmer for another 5 minutes.
While this is simmering, cut the courgettes and aubergines into small to medium sized chunks. When you cut the ends off the vegetables, I’d recommend putting them into a compost bin, or a food waste bin to avoid sending them to landfill.
Add the remaining vegetables to the saucepan, and turn the heat down. Leave to cook for another 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Stir occasionally.
Whilst the curry is cooking, the poppadoms can be made.
Time needed: 15-20 minutes
- 200g / 8 oz gram flour (from a zero waste supermarket or in a paper bag)
- 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin (in a glass jar with metal lid from a supermarket)
- Pinch salt and black pepper (optional)
- 500ml water
- Coconut or vegetable oil (in a glass jar or bottle)
Sift the flour and ground cumin into a large bowl, and mix together. Add the salt and pepper if you wish to. Gradually add the water to the flour mixture, and mix together until a dough is formed.
Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes to make the it light and airy. Sprinkle flour onto the work surface and the rolling pin. Take a small amount of the dough, and roll it into a ball with your hands. Then roll out the dough, turning it around several times, so it doesn’t stick to the work surface. For best results, roll it out until it is very thin. Repeat these steps until all of the dough has been used.
Take a small skillet (frying pan), and add enough oil to fill the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil, and then add a poppadom to the pan. Use a spatula to make sure the top of the poppadom is covered with oil. After a few seconds, turn it over. Cook it until it’s brown on both sides. Take it out of the pan and put it onto a tea towel to soak up any excess oil. Repeat these steps until all of the poppadoms are cooked.
By the time this is done, the curry should be cooked, and your meal should be ready!
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