Indian Munching

simple curry, for simple people

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mmcurry

When you work long days, which in affect turn into long, stressful weeks, sometimes the last thing you want to do is cook. Even I, who adores the kitchen (and the eating) often finds myself losing energy and just wanting to curl up on the sofa and be served my dinner.

So before you grab the laptop and search Hungry House or Just Eat for that yummy, warm takeaway, why not try this really simple curry dish. It literally is like a good old English stew – brown the meat, chuck in everything else and eat.

It was in fact my boyfriend who gave me this recipe, so I cannot take all the credit.

But I will. So here we go.

Ingredients: 450g Lamb (or beef – which ever floats your boat) // 1 large red onion, chopped // 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed // large bunch of coriander // 1 red scotch bonnet chilli // 1 can of chopped tomatoes (about 400ml) // 1 tsp cumin powder // 1 tsp ground coriander seeds // 1/2 tsp turmeric // 1 tsp garam masala // 2 tsp curry powder // 2cm chunk of ginger, finely chopped // large handful of baby spinach // 1 tsp ghee (or butter) // 1 tsp ground nut oil // 5-6 chestnut mushrooms // seasoning

Method: Cooking is easier if you get all your ingredients in front of you first, and prep. For this dish, it shouldn’t take longer than 5-10 mins. Chop your onions, garlic, ginger, mushroom and chilli and leave in piles on your chopping board. (A great alternative for the garlic and ginger – grab yourself a jar of easy garlic and ginger paste and whack 2 tsp of that in to save chopping time)

Place your ghee or butter in the pan, and melt slowly. Add your garlic and onions and continue to fry gently on a low – medium heat. Once the onions have softened (they start to go a little translucent) add your meat. Fry until the meat starts to turn brown and then add your ginger. Now chuck in all your spices and stir thoroughly until everything is coated.

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Add your can of tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach and bring to a gentle simmer. Once all the flavours are combined, add the ground nut oil, chilli and salt and pepper and then the lid goes on to simmer for 30 minutes.

If by this point you’ve raised the energy, then cook your rice from scratch. If not – bust out the ol’ microwave job and leave it to rest while the curry’s cooking.

After 30 minutes stir your curry mixture and taste. Sometimes I add a tsp of honey or sugar, as it helps calm the heat and brings the flavour out but it’s entirely up to you. Season to taste and you are good to go.

It’s Curry Night

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January for me, meant no red meat, and no alcohol, which was testing at times, but without a doubt, it was worth it! Over the Christmas period I must have eaten my body weight in farm animals; from chicken to pork, even pigeon to beef, and obviously turkey and all the trimmings. And to top all that off I washed it down with litres of mulled wine and gallons of Bucks Fizz!

So for the first two weeks of Jan, and for the following two, I ate veg and fish only. However, for me, when choosing an Indian curry for the night, it has always been the one and only lamb. You just cannot beat a lamb curry! So when that Friday night arrived, and the films were ready to partake in a marathon, I needed to start from scratch and create a new curry to enjoy; and who best to get inspiration from, that Rick Stein.

Ingredients: Four tbsp vegetable or coconut oil // 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds // 1 large white onion, finely chopped // 4 garlic cloves, finely crushed/chopped // small handful of crushed curry leaves // 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (normal chilli powder will also work) // 2 tsp ground coriander // 2 tsp ground turmeric // 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes (chuck in some fresh tomatoes too if you need to use some up) // tbsp light soya sauce // 2 green chillies, each sliced lengthways into 6 pieces, with seeds // 1 tsp salt // 700g/1lb 9oz snapper fillets (or white fish), cut into bite sized pieces // Boiled rice to serve (or boil some lentils and split peas for an alternative option)

Method: Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. When hot (the oil will become looser) add the mustard seeds and fry for 1 mintue, then stir in the onion, ginger and garlic and fry gently for about 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden-brown.

Crumble in the curry leaves and then add the chilli powder, coriander and turmeric and fry for two minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, soya sauce, green chillies and salt and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until rich and reduced.
Now is a great time to boil your rice or lentils. Put your attention back to the sauce, and add the fish. Cook for a further five minutes or until just cooked through, and serve with plain rice. Enjoy!
Where to buy?
Obviously fish is always great fresh or from the counter so I’d urge you to head there before picking off the shelf. I’ve always found Morrisons fish and meat counter to be the best! Both staff and quality, I have never been dissapointed.

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