Curry of steamed spinach and courgette dumplings in a spiced, roasted red pepper base

8 May

Curry of steamed spinach and courgette dumplings in a spiced, roasted red pepper base

Curry of steamed spinach and courgette in a spiced roasted red pepper base

I woke today feeling disoriented, I picked up my phone to check the time. Of course I don’t have a clock in my room. In fact I don’t have any clocks at all in the house at all. The tick-tock feels bothersome and the passing of time and constant reminder, it just isn’t positive is it.

Oodles of notifications welcome me through bleary eyes. Emails to answer, reminders of things to do. ‘Mamma! Mamma!’ I send my well wishes out to friends via Facebook whilst in the bathroom. My apologies to those who didn’t know, but it is unglamorously true. Happy anniversary, happy birthday, congratulations on your new baby, well done on…I think of my cousin’s words, ‘I just do my likes all in one go’.

Then I sent my best friend a message on whatSapp, to see how she’s coping with the sleep deprivation. I must remember to message my dear pal to enquire about her health stuff. There is tugging on my trouser leg. I proceed to tell the postman off for blocking the drive; I am especially annoyed because I had to holler repeatedly for his attention whilst he was leaned back in his seat with feet up. Did he not know how many phone calls I need to make whilst my boy sleeps and clearly he is oblivious to the toilet roll that my toddler unfolded all over the kitchen floor and the four bananas he mashed into it whilst I was in the toilet. Going to the toilet is an offense in the tick-tock of the day.

My hairdresser came over that evening, I have known her for years.  I always learn something new from her and it’s rarely about hair. I talk about travels and food, she talks about her friends and family and how she only measures herself by her own smiles. She is just 27 so her revelation stunned me; she has no laptop, no ipad and has only recently been given a smart work by her employers. She doesn’t use any form of social media.

We fixed a date for seeing my best friend, I decided which film to see with my husband (it’s been a very long time). My boy cupped my face and said, ‘do you want to play?’ and when I said yes, he leaped around the room grabbing his cars. I asked him if he wanted to cook and he said, ‘yes, it’s like art and crafts’.

So we made this healthy and colourful dish together. The dumplings are a bit like vegetarian pakora, or perhaps spinach kofta but they aren’t crisp, they are silky in texture and carry similar flavours. They are juicy with moist courgette and spinach. The roasted red pepper is bold, sweet and smells fabulously sexy. It is way easier to put together than it looks, this is a qick and easy recipe that you can prepare in advance. This is a simple dish, but just look at it. No, just taste it.

Curry of steamed spinach and courgette in a spiced roasted red pepper base


For the dumplings

1 medium sized courgette, finely grated

One medium onion, finely diced

Salt to taste

1 tsp. coriander powder

200g gram flour

250g spinach leaves, finely shredded in the food processor

½ tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. cumin seeds

½ tsp. chilli powder

For the red pepper base

3 red peppers, roasted

½ can of tomatoes

2-3 green chillies

4-5 curry leaves

1 ½ tsp. paprika

250ml water

½ tsp. garam masala

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 tbsp. cooking oil

Salt to taste


  1. Start by combining the shredded spinach, onion and grated courgette and sprinkling in the cumin seeds, chilli powder, salt, coriander powder and garam masala and combine well.
  2. Add the gram flour gradually until the batter thickens to a loose, cake-mix type consistency. Use a single teaspoon full to transfer them into a steamer and then allow them to steam for approximately 20 minutes. Check that they are cooked by piercing them with a knife, when you remove the knife there should be no wet batter.
  3. Leave the dumplings to a side to cool whilst you prepare the red pepper base
  4. Blitz the roasted red pepper and tomatoes to a smooth consistency.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan and add the chillies, cumin and curry leaves and allow them to sizzle before adding the garlic. Sauté the garlic until it softens and then add the roasted red pepper and tomato sauce
  6. Add the salt, garam masala and bring it to a simmer. Gently drop in the dumplings and heat them through before serving.



24 Responses to “Curry of steamed spinach and courgette dumplings in a spiced, roasted red pepper base”

  1. HELEN May 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    your meals always look so lovely & bright & colourful! just delicious….

    • Deena Kakaya May 8, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks Helen, that’s very kind of you. I do like a colourful plate x

  2. apsara May 9, 2014 at 1:40 am #

    This is simply superb! It’s nice that the dumplings are steamed. I have never steamed a gram-based dumpling. Can a pressure cooker be used?

    • Deena Kakaya May 9, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks Apsara! (What a lovely name you have). I’ve never used a pressure cooker for them but it’s definitely worth a try x

  3. Poppy May 9, 2014 at 2:11 am #

    Wowww! That colour! Looks stunning, pinning for later 🙂 xo

    • Deena Kakaya May 9, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks so much Poppy, I really love roasted red peppers x

  4. deelightfullyveg May 9, 2014 at 5:07 am #

    Totally love it!! 🙂

  5. Keep Calm and Fanny On May 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Looks sensational and colourful as ever, but I need a wee lie down after the run down of your day… 😉

    • Deena Kakaya May 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      Thank you! Both for the kind words on the recipe and for understanding, sometimes I do think my head will pop 😉 x

  6. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche May 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Those dumplings look amaaaaazing!

    • Deena Kakaya May 9, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      Becca, it’s good to hear from you! How was your wedding? Honeymoon pic looked very lovely. The dumplings…oh yes they are 😉 x

  7. Claudia ~ Food with a View May 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    Another great curry recipe of yours – and wow, I love those colors!

    • Deena Kakaya May 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

      Thanks Claudia, I invented this one by lucky accident x

  8. duodishes May 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    Great colors. It’s also lovely to steam the dumplings. It makes the entire dish light and healthy.

    • Deena Kakaya May 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      Totally agree with you, all the same great flavours without the naughty stuff x

  9. Rhonda Sittig May 11, 2014 at 3:37 am #

    So vivid and bright– just invites you do dig in!

  10. kellie@foodtoglow May 12, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Beautifully colourful meal! The dumplings ‘pop’ in their pool of red pepper sauce. Bookmarking my lovely x

    • Deena Kakaya May 12, 2014 at 9:29 am #

      Lovely Kellie, thank you. I do love a pretty plate of food 😉 yes you could use dried curry leaves but chuck in a couple more because the dried ones don’t unleash as much aroma as the fresh ones xx

  11. kellie@foodtoglow May 12, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    PS Could I use dried curry leaves?

    • Deena Kakaya May 19, 2014 at 5:02 am #

      Hi Kellie, yes they’re easier to get hold of but don’t release aroma in the same way. Fresh better but if using dried leaves chuck in a couple extra. X

  12. coconutcraze May 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    Lovely dish. I would like to try this as the dumplings are steamed and the sauce is so good!

    • Deena Kakaya May 13, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

      I did consider frying the dumplings but resisted the temptation and I’m glad that I did…yes the curry gravy is really lovely, as can be expected from the trusty red pepper x

Let me know what you think about this recipe

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