Culinary + Fashion

Nasturtium Leaf Curry | Kitchen Witch

by | Feb 14, 2018

There is an affectionately scribbled list of plants in my mind, that – seen in no particular order but close enough to each other -means I’m home. Eucalyptus, jacaranda, flame tree, frangipani, bottlebrush, morton bay fig, lemon, paper-bark tree and the bright welcome of the nasturtium plant.

Taking a long summer break with my family in Australia can feel like swimming in the water of my soul, pouring time back into what feels most like myself – foraging and walking, taking in the world step-by-step instead of racing by in a car.

The delicate, peppery nasturtium leaves, huddled by the glowing blooms that seem only to be found while wandering back lanes hemmed with dry grasses and over-hanging mulberry trees, are a dream. When picking nasturtiums, use an empty hat instead of a bag to keep the petals from bruising. Nasturtium is a genus of roughly 80 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants, which are edible.

Dry Spices

2 green cardamom pods

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

Toast in a dry pan on low until fragrant, about two minutes

Nasturtium Leaf Curry Paste (4 servings)

2 shallots, minced

3 dates, pitted and minced

1 tbsp ginger, grated

4 tbsp lemongrass, white stalk only, grated

3 cilantro roots, minced

3 makrut lime leaves, finely sliced

1 green birds eye chili, seeds removed, minced

1 tbsp nasturtium leaves, torn

juice of 1 lime, lime peels reserved

2-3 big pinches of salt

Add to food processor along with toasted dry spices. Process until very smooth, makes about 1 cup


Around this time, throw on 1 cup of brown or white jasmine rice (serves 2). Prepare according to package.

Prepare the Curry

4 small Japanese/Thai eggplants

1 ripe pineapple, cut into chunks

1 cup organic non GMO firm tofu, cut into chunks

1 stalk lemongrass, cut lengthwise and bruised with the blunt of the knife

1 makrut lime leaf (1 tsp lime zest substitute)

lime peels from one lime

2 cans of organic coconut milk

2 tbsp neutral oil (unrefined coconut oil)

salt/tamari to taste

Slice the eggplant lengthwise and chop on the diagonal into bite-size chunks. Salt generously and set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse off the salt and pat dry.

In a saucepan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp neutral oil, add 1/4 prepared curry paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly

Add eggplant, pineapple, tofu, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass stalk, let the flavors mingle for a few minutes then add your coconut milk and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Serve with rice, finely shredded makrut lime leaf or lime zest.