Go as spicy as you dare with this curry recipe and work on your rotis – once you’ve got them right this is the bomb to serve any of your mates who are unsure about the veggie-vegan thing.
– 200g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
– ½ tsp fine salt
– 2 tsp black or brown sesame seeds
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
– 3 white potatoes, peeled and cubed
– 200g baby aubergines or 1 large, sliced
– 3 tbsp olive oil
– 3 shallots, sliced
– 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
– 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
– 3 garlic cloves, sliced
– 1 Scotch bonnet chilli, halved
– 1 tsp allspice
– 1 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp ground coriander
– 2 x 400g tins full-fat coconut milk
– ½ small pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
– 3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
– Juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges to serve
– Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
– 50g coconut flakes, toasted
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare the roti. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and add the sesame seeds. Make a well in the centre and pour in the vegetable oil with 130ml warm water.
2. Stir together, tip onto a clean work surface and knead for a few minutes or until smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 25–30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, start on the curry. Preheat the oven to 180oC/fan 160 oC/gas 4. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
4. Place the aubergines on a roasting tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss together. Cook in the oven for 15–20 minutes or until soft.
5. In a casserole pot, heat the remaining oil over a medium heat.
6. Add the shallots to the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic and chilli to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
7. Stir through the spices and cook for a final minute. Add the potatoes and aubergines to the pan and pour over the coconut milk. Slowly, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
8. Remove the chilli halves, then stir through the pineapple, peanut butter, lime juice and coriander. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
9. Divide the roti dough in to 8 pieces and roll out into rounds on a lightly floured surface.
10. Heat a non-stick griddle pan over a medium heat until almost smoking.
11. Add the floured roti to the pan, one at a time. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until puffed up and slightly charred.
In 2015, DIY SOS star Nick Knowles was feeling unhealthy, out of shape and on the verge of burning out. Determined to change his lifestyle, he travelled to Thailand with a camera crew and fellow DIY SOS stars Billy Byrne and Julian Perryman for a detox, involving a week-long fast followed by a purely vegan diet. A year on, Nick eats a vegan or vegetarian diet, with the odd day off, and is slimmer, healthier and fitter than ever. Now, he is on a mission to help everyone discover the joy in a meat-free meal without having to give up a Sunday Roast at the in-laws or a bacon buttie at the footie. Proper Healthy Food is packed with 100 mouth-watering and surprisingly easy recipes.
Extracted from Proper Healthy Food by Nick Knowles (BBC Books, Paperback, £14.99). Photography by Andrew Burton.