Oh. So. Organised.

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.

Steamed cauliflower, with the first of the paste inserted between the florets

Cook

  • onion
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • add hot green chillies

and then spices

  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne
  • coriander
  • 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.

Cooking the paste

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.

The finished cauliflower

Serve with tomato and coriander sauce which is

  • onion
  • ground cumin
  • pureed tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
  • salt
  • 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).

Tomato and coriander sauce (sans fresh coriander/cilantro)

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

Buen provecho

I should have used a bigger plate for my designer presentation

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.

Hope I win ...
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8 comments on “Oh. So. Organised.

  1. That’s very interesting, yes really, that Morrisons are running the same promotion in Gib as they are in the UK. Hope you win (to continue the theme).

    Curry sounds very nice too, although I’d probably change the ingredients ever so slightly. I don’t have sugar in the house either, but would probably use creme fraiche in place of double cream.

    Blu L

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  2. that sounds so yummy! love (as in really, really love) garlic – and if something has curry in it, it is bound to be good. there are lots of Indian restaurants in my neck of the woods from various parts of India, and i have yet to meet a curry i didn’t like.
     
    i can relate to not having lentils – not in the cooking department but with other things. i think being organized is not just a skill, it is a fine art shared only by a few exclusive few members of society – not unlike Michelangelo and his paintings and sculptures or Columbus and his discovery of India. Well come to think of it, that didn’t quite work out as planned.
     
    but not everyone can be an organizational genius, i say :) and not everyone can be a good cook. neither is my strength, but at least you got 1/2! thanks for sharing.

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  3. Thanks both. We haven’t won yet, the promotion finished at the end of the month, but I’ve got a few cards still left to check. Must remember to take them tomorrow.

    @ Blu – I had a phase of using creme fraiche in recipes, partly when I was too idle to make Bechamel, because it meant I saved on washing a pan out. Then I got a fit in my head that it was just too rich so went back to the sauce, which made with soya milk suits me fine. As for the dressing, depends how rich you want it really. It basically ends up tasting like a mayo with garlic and cumin in it, which complements Indian food perfectly.

    @ Chris – I can actually be organised, I just dislike shopping intensely (there is no internet delivery shopping here before you ask). In fact, I was so annoyed about the lentil episode that I specifically remembered to look for them yesterday – it seemed there had been a run on them as there wasn’t a split red lentil in the store!! If they don’t magically appear overnight, I’ll be calling at one of the local Indian shops.

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    • ok, organized is perhaps not the adjective i should have used. i was referring more in the ability to remember all the details :)
       
      in any event, may your quest for lentils prove successful.

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      • No, no organised was fine. I was organised in preparing the potatoes early but disorganised in not checking there were lentils.

        Thank you for your good luck wishes – they must have worked. I did indeed find – and buy – lentils. There weren’t any on the main shelf with all the other pulses oddly, but I checked the Indian section and that had been restocked. Bizarre. I thought about a follow-up post, but decided against the shelf stacking of lentils at Morrisons as a popularity-winning post.

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    • We think it is, and it is actually easier to make than it sounds. Takes more time writing up the recipe than it does cooking the ingredients. It’s one of those meals you can prepare in advance – if you are so organised as to prepare meals in advance.

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