- Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan and gently fry the onion for 7–8 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic and curry paste, and cook for a further 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juice and simmer for 10 minutes or until fairly thick. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Add the chopped coriander, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
- To make the pilaf, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the cauliflower florets and cook over a moderate heat for 1–2 minutes, stirring frequently, until just beginning to colour. Stir in the chilli, cinnamon stick, cloves and bay leaf, and cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Add the rice and stir well to mix with the vegetables and spices. Pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the peas, cover the pan again and cook for a further 7–10 minutes or until the rice is tender and all the stock has been absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- While the pilaf is cooking, hard-boil the eggs. Put them into a saucepan and cover with tepid water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove the eggs with a draining spoon and place in a bowl of cold water. When they are cool enough to handle, peel off their shells and cut them in half lengthways.
- Arrange the egg halves on warmed serving plates and spoon over the coconut sauce. Serve with the pilaf, removing the bay leaf and whole spices first, if preferred. Garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander.
Iron is found in ground spices such as cumin, cardamom and turmeric. The amount is small, but if spices are used regularly in cooking, the iron intake can start to add up. * Canned tomatoes are a very useful and nutritious item for the storecupboard. The antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes is enhanced by cooking, so processed products such as canned tomatoes, tomato purée and ketchup are better sources than fresh tomatoes.
Some more ideas
Use quail's eggs, allowing 5 per person. Cooking time is 1–2 minutes. Increase the peas in the pilaf to 250 g (8½ oz). * For quick creamy curried eggs, heat 1 tsp sunflower oil in a small saucepan and stir in 1 tbsp curry paste. Cook for 1 minute, then stir in 115 g (4 oz) curd cheese, 6 tbsp coconut milk and 1 tbsp smooth mango chutney. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and hot, then add 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over the halved hard-boiled eggs and serve with plain boiled basmati rice or warm naan bread.
Each serving provides
A, B12 * B2, C, E, folate, niacin, iron, zinc * B1, B6, calcium, copper, potassium, selenium