Yesterday I had THE most delicious leftover curry lunch. Best Beloved has been indulging his curry urges and is improving wildly with every meal. So I've been taking lunches like these with me into the uni.
I know most of you would think a book-making and letterpress studio would smell like... paper, glue, kero, ink and other paperly (and dusty!) things, and usually it does, but at the moment anyone who walks in comments on how much it smells like an Indian restaurant... a good Indian restaurant!
Check it out. They're all so easy:
On the left, Madhur Jaffrey's Carrots with Dill:
450g carrots, peeled
0.5cm cube ginger, peeled
60ml vegetable oil
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/8 tsp asafetida (optional)
1-2 fresh hot, green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
2/3 cup clean, chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp salt
Cut the carrots crosswise, in 0.25 thick slices.
Cut the ginger, crosswise, into very thin slices. Stacking the slices over each other, cut them, first into very thin strips, and then cut the strips into minute dice.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium flame. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. A few seconds later, put in the asafetida. A second later, put in the ginger and green chillies. When the ginger starts to brown, put in the carrots, coriander and tumeric. Stir for 2 mins. Add the dill and the salt. Stir. Cover. lower heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the carrots are just done. Lift the carrots out of the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil behind as possible.
In the middle, Ambul Thiyal, sour curry of fish, a-la Charmaine Solomon:
500g firm fish fillets or steaks
1 rounded tblspn tamarind pulp
1/4 cup vinegar
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tspn finely grated fresh ginger
1 tspn salt
6-8 curry leaves [fresh is best]
1 stalk lemon grass or 2 strips lemon rind
2.5cm piece of cinnamon stick
1/4 tspn fenugreek seeds
1/4 tspn black pepper
1/4 tspn chilli powder (optional)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tblspns water
Wash and dry fish, cut into serving pieces. Soak the tamarind in the vinegar until it is soft. If tamarind is very dry, heat the vinegar and tamarind in an enamel saucepan for a few minutes, adding some of the water. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the tamarind in the liquid to dissolve pulp, strain through a fine nylon sieve and discard seeds and fibres [or save yourself all that trouble and use a tamarind concentrate!]
Put all the ingredients into a pan (preferably enamel or stainless steel) and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until fish is cooked and gravy is thick. Shake pan or turn fish pieces carefully once or twice during cooking. Serve with white rice.
...And on the right, something Madhur Jaffrey quaintly calls 'Very Spicy, Delicious Chickpeas'. And they are!
5 tbspns vegetable oil [*most of these recipes can be made without these vast quantities of oil, truly]
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbspn ground coriander seeds
2 tbspns ground cumin seeds
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
6 tbspns skinned or tinned ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
2 1/2 450g tins of chickpeas, or 675g of home-cooked, drained chickpeas
2 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds
1 tbspn ground amchoor [mango powder]
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1/2-1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tbspn or more lemon juice
1 fresh hot green chilli, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
Heat oil in a wide pot over medium flame. When hot, put in the onions and garlic. Stir and fry until the mixture is a rich medium-brown shade. Turn heat to med-low and add the coriander, cumin (NOT the roast cumin), cayenne, and turmeric. Stir for a few seconds. Now put in the tomatoes, stir and fry until well amalgamated with the spice mixture and brown lightly. Add the chickpeas and 250g water. Stir. Add the ground roast cumin, amchoor, paprika, garam masala, salt and lemon juice. Stir again, cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for ten minutes. Remove cover and add the chilli and ginger. Stir and cook, uncovered, for another 30 seconds. Serve.
Mmmm... enjoy. Great on the night, fabulous the next day.