curry

Week 68: Mama’s Curry & Spiced Cauliflower

Don’t worry, it’s not my mama (the poisoner).  That would be terrible, and probably contain a lot of bran.  No this mama belongs to a lady called Anjie Mosher in the second Hairy Bikers’ Best-Loved Recipes book, and it’s delicious. Also, this week is a bit of a two-for-one – they’re separate recipes that are delicious by themselves but go together really well. (more…)

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Week 51: Chicken Tikka (sort of)

So this week is a bit of double celebration – I’ve been making a new recipe pretty much every week for the last year (I started on Facebook then moved here later), and this week I had my 4000th viewer… They were probably disappointed that their search for “Nigella Breast” got my schnitzelly ravings.

This cheeky recipe caught me unawares, I was so busy being smug that I already had all the ingredients in the cupboard I didn’t notice that it needs to marinate overnight. So I started it off and then my lover whipped up an omelette.

This recipe comes from the Cupboard Love book, but is inspired by Vivek Singh’s Tikka recipe in ‘The Cinnamon Club Cookbook’ (which I’ve got my eye out for), and is a recipe I’ve had my eye on for most of the last year. What always worried me was having to make the masala, but I decided this time I would do without it.

To make Tikka for two you will need 2 boneless chicken breasts (book says skin on, but I could only get them skin off), half tsp salt, half tsp black pepper, 2 tbs lemon juice, 2cm fresh ginger (finely chopped), 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped), half tsp cumin seeds, half tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tbs yoghurt and 2 tbs olive oil.

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Firstly, with your trusty pestle and mortar grind up the cumin and coriander seeds, not too finely but it will smell amazing! Then chop up the garlic and ginger and add to the crushed seeds, then add the paprika.

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Pierce the chicken a few times and rub it all over with the salt and pepper. Toss into a bowl with the lemon juice, then add the crushed seeds, herbs, garlic and ginger, and then the olive oil and yoghurt and mix together with the chicken.  Cover the bowl and chill for at least 2 hours, but preferably over night.

When you’re ready to cook it crank your oven up as high as it will go, and heat a griddle to a medium high heat.  Line a roasting tin with parchment. Fry the chicken skin side down for 3 minutes, then the other side for 2 minutes (season the skin side with some extra salt). Any of the marinade left on the chicken falls off into the pan.

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Transfer the chicken to the tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.  Rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve with rice and chutney.

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It was delicious. I’m not just saying that. I loved the dry-ness of it too, I’m not the biggest fan of masala sauce so this was ideal. It went really well with the brown rice and some mango chutney I fould in the cupboard.

Next week a veritable feast for week 52. Hurrah!

 

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)

cupboard love

Week 34: Squash, Coconut, Chilli

I once knew a girl who spent time working at a butternut squash farm, and I’ve never been able to look at them without smirking ever since.  However, I was flicking through the books looking for something simple to cook and found this recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘Three Good Things on a Plate’ on the page after the lentil curry that stank my flat out (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/week-20-lentils-spinach-potato/).

It meant getting over my squash-giggles, but this week I bought my first ever butternut squash.  It’s surprisingly difficult to buy a small one – small being 1kg.  Who knew?

The recipe makes enough curry to serve 4, I would recommend making it in the same quantities as the recipe and freezing half if there’s only two of you (unless you have half a tin of coconut milk handy).  To make this curry you will need: A Squash (800g-1kg, either a Butternut, Kabocha or Crown Prince Squash), Sunflower Oil, 1 Onion, 2 Garlic Cloves, 2-4 Mild or Medium Red Chillies, curry powder/curry paste, Coconut Milk, a Lime or a Lemon, Salt and Pepper.

Since making this I have found out that you can buy prepared chunks of butternut squash, and vegetarians have lots of hacks to make the preparation of them much quicker.  I had no prior Squash-knowledge, and spent ages wrestling the squash into peeled and de-seeded bite-sized chunks with my battered old 50p peeler.  While you’re at it, thinly chop the onion, garlic and chillies, and lay them out on your board as if you’re a Blue Peter presenter (see above).

Heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a large saucepan, and gently cook the onion over a medium heat for 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and the chillies and after two more minutes stir in a tablespoon (or two) of curry powder/curry paste and cook for a few more minutes.

Toss in the squash, season with salt and pepper and stir it round for a minute or two to make sure the squash is covered in the rest of the mix:

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Pour in the coconut milk, stir, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  After 15 minutes I tossed in some fine beans like Hugh suggested.  Every so often I gently stirred it, as directed.

When the squash is tender, turn off the heat and stir in the juice of a lemon or a lime; I chose a lime.

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Just as I started cooking the squash my lover came up to me and asked if I thought butternut squashes were like pumpkins, which he is insanely allergic to… but what’s a meal without a spot of peril?

Luckily dinner didn’t kill him, and it has been requested again.  I put 2 chillies in but next time I’m going to put 4 in, or use stronger curry powder, or both.  A delicious curry which makes the flat smell lovely.

Yum!

 

Hugh’s Three Good Things on a Plate by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury 2012, ISBN 9781408828588)

three good things on a plate

Week 19: Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

The full title of this recipe is “Really simple Sri Lankan chicken curry with coconut milk & cashew nut rice” which is far too long to fit in a tweet…

I’ve heard warnings that you shouldn’t try new recipes out on guests, but it worked fine when I made the Curry in a Hurry for a visitor (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/week-8-curry-in-a-hurry/) I was maybe a bit bullish this time.  Silly boy.  This time I was cooking for two guests, and if truth be told I was secretly grateful that they got a bit drunk on the train.

Lorraine Pascale’s recipe uses cashew nuts, basmati rice, frozen peas and curry powder for the rice; and curry powder, garam masala,  cinnamon, ginger, chilli powder, vegetable oil, coconut milk, spring onions, garlic, coriander, and chicken breasts to cook the curry.  Because I was catering for guests I even bought the coriander.

It was all a bit of a panic making this, the first four steps were fine (even when one of my guests shouted “do I smell burning?” which she slightly could) but then the instructions turned over the page and I got pretty flustered.  For example, I completely missed Lorraine telling me to put oil into the pan after the spices had toasted which made the chicken get really really coated in the pretty burned spices and it looked really black.

The curry seemed to take forever to simmer down, and while I was waiting for it the rice over-cooked:

It was a lot pinker than has shown up on the picture, maybe Lorraine’s curry powder is yellower than mine?

Anyway, I plated the rice up while the chicken was finishing off and divvied the curry up between the four of us.  It didn’t look much like the picture in the book:

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I think the darker yellow smudges are the curry sauce.  I reckon if I’d put the oil in when I should have (ever) the curry would be the pleasing brown in the book, even if the rice looks egg fried from the takeaway.  It’s not quite one of those “nailed it” meme’s, but not far off haha.

Taste-wise it was good, but it wasn’t well cooked.  I lucked out though, my guests and my lover kept drinking while I was cooking and said it was delicious.

Shortly after one of my guests ate a dog biscuit and fell asleep.  Later in bed my lover said “that beef was really nice, but don’t do the rice again”

 

Fast Fresh and Easy Food by Lorraine Pascale (Harper Collins 2012 ISBN: 978-0-00-793482-9)