Some light relief in the midst of local politics and job hunts is called for in the form of curry.
There I was, deciding to do spicy curried potatoes with a scrummy lentil dal.
Being amazingly organised for once (smirk), I had put the potatoes in the pan – as they take a while to do – early in the afternoon for tea/supper. This is an easy peasy recipe, chuck ’em in unpeeled and whole, cool, and peel later, coat with garam masala, slice, and saute.
That’s the potatoes sorted. Or sautéed.
Next I looked for the lentils for the dal.
I moved the dog water dish (which sits on the stool) and jumped on the low stool to look in the cupboard.
And looked for the lentils. Bottom shelf. Top shelf. What lentils?
Damn, damn, and damn again.
No lentils. Although every other pulse under the sun that would take too long to soak/cook was in order and present. So much for being amazingly organised. A really organised person would have checked for lentils before cooking potatoes.
Quick rethink. Incredible tasty stuffed curried cauliflower.
As ever, the recipes are courtesy of Julie Sahni, Classic Indian Vegetarian Cookery.
Steam cauliflower, but not for long. I only had a half left, but figured it would do. At least I had half a cauliflower unlike the absence of lentils.
- add hot green chillies
and then spices
- and fennel
- plus a tablespoon or two of ground almonds.
Fry the mix for a couple of minutes then add a spoon of flour, fry another few minutes, and then add 3-5 tablespoons of water to make a paste. Cook that for a few minutes and then let it cool.
Stuff half the paste between the florets, and then spread the remaining half on top. Add a few drops of olive oil over the top and cook in oven until slightly crispy and glazed, say 25-30 mins.
Serve with tomato and coriander sauce which is
- ground cumin
- pureed tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
- and water
I actually pureed the sauce after I’d cooked it all as the salad dressing was in the whizzing container. Stir in fresh coriander (assuming you have some which I didn’t).
I served the potatoes, cauliflower and sauce with a salad, and I used North Indian Salad Dressing with that.
This is a deliciously creamy garlicky dressing – if you don’t like garlic don’t even think of it. But if you don’t like garlic you probably don’t like Indian food. Unless, of course, you follow a Hindu Brahmin or Jain diet where onions/garlic are not used. Thought I had better add that before some pedant came back to point it out.
- The original recipe calls for light sesame or veg oil, and double cream in equal parts.
- Needless to state I don’t follow that. My choice of oil is virtually always Extra Virgin Olive (cold-pressed), and instead of double cream, I use either yoghurt or soya milk. Interestingly it doesn’t matter which you use, as you still get the same consistency due to the oil, so I actually prefer using the soya milk, the slightly bland taste means it doesn’t detract from the rest of the flavours.
- Lemon juice – I used half a lemon the other day.
- Garlic – well, however much you like, one or two cloves if you are making a small quantity.
- Ginger – half a thumb say.
- Ground cumin – up to a teaspoon.
- The recipe adds a tablespoon of sugar, but I don’t even have any in the house because we just don’t like it. However – if you do, add some. I think a tablespoon is excessive though!
- And salt.
Put ingredients in whizzy container, and whizz up. If you don’t like the consistency or the balance of flavours, then you can adjust. If it’s too thick add more soya milk, if it’s not thick enough add more oil etc etc
And a quick one on hope! Our local Morrisons has been running a lottery throughout January where you take a ticket and if you win – you get back the value of your shopping for that visit. Despite visiting pretty regularly – we never came anywhere near the lucky numbers. Just as well Partner found a job.