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The Weed Forager's Handbook: A Guide to Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Australia

Category: recipes (page 1 of 3)

Pumpkin Mallow Curry

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of turmeric
2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup red lentils
1 litre of stock (or 1 tablespoon of stock powder plus water)
About 600 grams of pumpkin
4 cups of firmly-compressed mallow leaves
an egg-sized piece of fresh ginger
2/3 cup of coconut cream.

mallow leaf

1.     Chop the onion and garlic. Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and fry the onion, garlic and spices.
2.     Chop your pumpkin into 3cm chunks. Wash the mallow leaves, then chop roughly. Add both to the pot along with the lentils, stock and salt. Cover and simmer until the mallow, pumpkin and lentils are all tender.
3.     Stir in the finely chopped ginger, plus the coconut cream, and simmer, uncovered, for a further 5 minutes. Serve with pickle, a dollop of yoghurt and naan bread, or on basmati rice.

Nettle Saag Paneer

Serves 2

2 cups of blanched nettle (approx. 1 huge bunch fresh)
2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
pepper
200 g paneer cheese cut into 2 cm cubes
A medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 heaped tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 large green chilli, finely chopped – serrano is the classic; remove the seeds if you want less heat
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ cup coconut cream

1.     Using a glove one hand and scissors in the other, chop the leaves and tips off the nettle stalks (thin young stems are fine to keep). Put the nettle in a bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover them, give them a stir for 30 seconds, then drain (reserve a little of this ‘nettle tea’ to add back in later). Pour cold water over the nettle to refresh, then drain again. Chop finely.

2.     Pre-chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli.
3.     Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan along with the cayenne, turmeric and salt, and fry the paneer briefly until golden on all sides. Remove the paneer from the oil.
4.     Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli into the hot oil in the pan. Fry gently until deep caramel-brown, stirring all the while, and adding a drizzle of your reserved nettle tea as needed when the pan becomes too dry. Add the garam masala, cumin, and coriander, and stir until the smell becomes harmonious.
5.     Add in the nettle and coconut cream and cook gently for a further 5 minutes.
6.     Add the paneer cubes back into the saag for a final warming, and serve on basmati rice or naan bread with a dollop of yoghurt (the rice shown here is made with lightly toasted mustard seeds and shredded coconut).

Weedy Green Smoothie

Serves 2

This may be the healthiest thing you can eat. Ever. Call it Monster Powers Juice and it is a brilliant way to get kids to eat masses of greens. For the slightly more mature amongst us it also seems to do a quite nice job on a mild hangover. Mix it up by adding grated ginger or chopped mint.

1 medium and properly ripe banana (frozen is especially nice)
1 medium orange or half a mango – or use a whole mango and skip the banana
1 cup water
½ to 1 cup, depending on preference, of mixed weeds. Cleavers, dandelion (keep this one minimal if you dislike bitter flavours), sow thistle, chickweed, nettle, plantain, and mallow all work well). Avoid fennel, nasturtium and more than a skerrick of purslane in this context, as their strong flavours will really take over.

  1. Wash and de-stem all weeds, and chop across the grain. Peel and slice orange, removing any pips, and break banana into chunks.
  2. Place all ingredients into a blender and whizz until smooth.

Notes: It really helps to have a powerful blender or you’ll never get it all nice and creamy. If you don’t want to spend the family inheritance on the industry go-to Vitamix, check out something like their cheaper rivals Optimum, Omniblend or Logik Octablend. There will be compromises with longevity, but the blend is good with any of these.

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