A quickie curry


My homemade curry

I’m completely in love with our new set of Falcon enamelware at the moment which means that I keep producing multi-dish meals.  And nothing showcases the little beauties like a homemade curry (I imagine takeaway curry would showcase the dishes wonderfully, but the point of a takeaway is no washing-up, surely?!).

I am not an experienced maker of curries, so the above photo (forgive the blur) shows a hastily put together, ‘work-in-progress meal’ that I made one evening after work. Whilst watching tv, drinking G&Ts and chatting to the dude. So, I did forget to put the sweet, stickily fried onions in the dahl (shocking!) and the chapati’s are shop bought (gasp!).

Anyway, I loosely had a glance at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day!  for the vegetable ‘biryani’ but I tweaked the recipe to suit the ingredients that I had.  So here goes… a simple veggie curry medley that’s perfect for a Friday night in with a cold beer and warm company.

‘Veggie Biryani’

So for this, I chopped one red onion and intended to fry it in olive oil but had run out so was reduced to using Lurpak spreadable (not advised). So, yes, gently fry one onion in olive oil with half a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of cumin seeds, one fresh red chilli chopped (or to taste), garlic (you can never have too much) and one teaspoon of ground coriander. You can also add some crushed cardamom and a bay leaf but I didn’t have any…

Whilst these were frying, I chopped a carrot, some chestnut mushrooms, some new potatoes and some left-over white cabbage from the back of the fridge. In essence, I always think that you can never have too many vegetables in a dish so I will always bung anything in. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe limits us to carrots, potatoes and peas. And includes raisins, which, frankly I can’t stand so I left the raisins out. I added all the chopped veg to the spicy onion mix and then covered with water. Whilst the vegetables were simmering, I boiled some basmati and wild rice. I then added the drained rice to the vegetable curry once the potatoes were soft and I also added a load of peas. I left the ‘biyani’ simmering on a low heat whilst I prepared the Dahl. When all dishes had been finished, I sprinkled chopped coriander over the top of the ‘biyani’ and a squeeze of lemon juice (both optional). When I make this again, I won’t include the potatoes – I used Jersey Royals which are really tasty but with the rice, I don’t think the dish needs potatoes as well.

‘Gone wrong, but still tasty Dahl’

I boiled red lentils with a teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of salt, until the lentils were soft and mushy. I would have added some heavenly caramelised onions had I remembered.

‘Sort of Mint Raita’

I put about half a large pot of natural yoghurt in a bowl and added chopped mint and coriander and a good squeeze of lemon juice and mixed it all together. Next time I’ll use lime as it’s less harsh, and I’ll remember the cucumber…

‘Random spicy spinach and onions’

In a frying pan I fried some cumin seeds, garlic and ground coriander with a red onion. I then wilted spinach in the pan coating it with the spicy onion mix.

I served all the above with the shop bought Chapati’s and cold Tiger beer.

Disclaimer for recipes on Bloomsbury Bell:

My approach with cooking, as you have probably realised, is to use whatever you like and whatever you have in the fridge. I leave things out and add things in all the time. This means that I don’t measure or weigh much either and I can’t give accurate cooking times as it’s mostly guesswork. My recipes are for ideas…. and, hopefully, suggestions from you as to how I can improve!