Posts tagged ‘curry’

June 6, 2012

Last night’s dinner: Egg curry

I suppose it doesn’t sound particularly wonderful. A simple egg; that generic, catch-all term ‘curry’. Hmm.

My desire to make an egg curry, however, goes back to the mid ’90s when I received a ‘curry’ recipe book that featured one. I have no idea why I never got round to making it. And the book? I’ve no idea where it is.

Which means I had to make up a recipe for this protein rich, filling dish. The ‘curry’ is in fact a basic dhal that we then perked up with some extra ingredients on top. For our basic dhal recipe, see here.

I think dhal plus a boiled egg could be a little cloying on its own, so to balance the flavours we added some tangy sweetness in the shape of some cherry tomatoes, and some savouriness in the form of crispy fried onions. The eggs were boiled, straightforwardly, and have of them added to the dhal, half reserved for the top. The dish is finished with a little chopped coriander.

It’s the balance of those added extras that makes this work. And, after 17 years of waiting, I really rather enjoyed it.

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August 21, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Marrow, Tomato and Chickpea Massala

Tuesday 9 August

What to do with a marrow, those overgrown courgettes of delicate flesh and almost no flavour. Hmmm. We’d never cooked one before but inherited one from our neighbour. An internet search brought up a Southeast Asian recipe from Simon Hopkinson. It’s made with cherry tomatoes. Yeah, it shouldn’t work, should it?! But it does.

Except, we added some chickpeas and a little chilli. But apart from that followed the recipe, here.

It’s really good: the marrow flesh falling-apart soft, the tomatoes tangy and a warm zip of spices. It’s not often we make something that’s basically, er, ‘Indian’, but that isn’t like anything we’ve tasted before. And it really didn’t sound promising.

Nice one Simon.

July 2, 2011

Recipe: Anjum Anand’s Bengali butternut squash with chickpeas

Saturday morning and we just watched Anjum Anand cook Bengali butternut squash with chickpeas on one of the repeat sections on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. It’s been a while since we used butternut squash in a curry. Maybe it’s time to put that right.

The recipe is here.

June 21, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Moong dhal with browned onion with chickpea flour pancakes


Wednesday 8 June

For my birthday last month, lovely cousin Ruth got me a selection ‘East End’ treats for the kitchen. These included some amazing dried chillis, an assortment of spices, a rather lovely pan and the 100 Essential Curries book by Madhur Jaffrey (you can order it here). I’d really rather forgotten about Madhur Jaffrey – it seems an age since she was the only person cooking non-European food on TV in the UK. The little book is really rather good. We fancied a dhal and something to go with it. As I had half a bag of chickpea (gram) flour in the cupboard these pancakes (properly known as tameta kandana poora – chickpea flour panckakes with tomato and onion) really fit the bill. Really easy to make – like all pancakes – and a nice change from rice or bread. No recipe – as it’s not mine you’ll need to buy the book. There’s meat in the book, but plenty of vegetarian options. Worth it.

June 7, 2011

Sweet pea season

Fresh peas, picked from the garden, breaking open the pod, scraping out the peas, stuffing them in your mouth, chewing he sweet juice from the pod… nothing better.

Too often bagged supermarket fresh peas are old and bitter and, while they’re okay for Muttar Paneer, frozen peas just aren’t the same taste of early summer.

I don’t think many people would associate London-based chef and restaurateur Mark Hix with lovely spring veg – I mean, he might cook it, but only alongside the meaty surf and turf that he normally dishes up. And yet, there he is in the Independent with some rather lovely recipes for chilled pea and fennel soup, an amazing sounding deep-fried pea pods with minted pea mayonnaise, and a must-try pea and spinach curry. Go see here. And if you try it out, let us know how it goes.

April 18, 2011

Filling a hole

Regular visitors to this blog will have spotted that we don’t post our ‘Last Night’s Dinner’ entries each and every day. This isn’t because we haven’t had dinner, or because what we cooked ended up in the bin. No no no.

It’s just that sometimes, for example, we eat out. Luckily, while we’re here in the City of London, we can grab Bangladeshi, Italian, Vietnamese, Mexican, Japanese – even Portuguese – around the corner. Not that we’re always so cosmopolitan – we’ve also been known to grab a bag of chips from Whitecross Street.

Usually however, and more prosaically too, it’s that we either forget to take a picture or that what we’ve eaten closely resembles something that’s been posted before. Or that it’s leftovers from the previous night.

Such was the case with this Monday and Tuesday’s dinner of a Cauliflower curry spiced with lots of chilli, cumin, cardamom and fennel seeds. It was pretty good on Monday and even better on Tuesday – a thoroughly enjoyable two days of eating, all made in one big pot. That kind of thing is standard issue at ETP Towers. It fills a hole and it’s just the kind of thing that we’re eating in the holes where Last Night’s Dinner doesn’t appear.

March 21, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Chickpea and vegetable curry

Sunday 20 March

Sometimes we make creamy curries with coconut milk or yoghurt, sometimes tomatoey ones with a hint of sweet and sour, and sometimes this type, which uses a spicing mix that, if it were a wine, I’d describe as ‘dry’. There’s lots of chilli, then ground turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander seed, yellow mustard seed, grated fresh ginger, cardomom and rather a lot of fennel seeds. You’ll notice I don’t like to give accurate measurements for spices very often. Why? Well, I think it’s a question of taste. However, I never trust those recipes that state that 1/4 or 1/2 a teaspoon of a spice is enough. In my experience, it really isn’t. As a starting point I’d suggest about a good teaspoon for each of the above, then experiment.

The spices get fried off with an onion and then I blend that with a little sunflower oil and a drizzle of water to get the curry sauce base. In the meantime, start to cook some red lentils in another pan. When they’re soft and saucy, add the spice mixture.

You can add whatever veg you like really. I chose a tin of chickpeas, some boiled new potatoes, plus a lightly fried courgette. Carrots, cauliflower and green beans are also good. I tend to avoid aubergine with this recipe as its smoky creaminess somehow doesn’t suit. Anyway, when the veg is cooked, tip in into the pot and mix. Finally chop two cloves of garlic, place them into the bowl of a metal ladle, pour a little oil over the top and then heat the bottom of the ladle over a flame until the oil bubbles and the garlic starts to turn light gold in colour. Add to the pan, mix and serve.

N.B. This is a curry that invariably tastes better a day later, so make enough to leave some over.