Quick Chickpea Curry

I’ve got 2 Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and a packet of Minstrels in the fridge and I’m feeling guilty so thought I’d knock up a healthy veggie curry for lunch that could double up as one of my weekday packed lunches leaving enough sauce to spare to make something quick and spicy for tea in the week – multi tasking food, you see that?  What more do you want? Anyway by my wonderful diet logic if I eat one healthy meal that means I can deffo have eaten at least one of those creme eggs by the end of the day, it’s a simple balanced equation right?

This curry is quick and simple to knock up and is pretty much made with store cupboard ingredients, in fact if you don’t have chickpeas, a tin of beans, some lentils or whatever veggies you have lurking about in your fridge would all make welcome additions to this spicy sauce.

So here we go…

Serves 2 with left over sauce for another meal in the week

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of medium curry powder
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of garam masala
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • a thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • A dessert spoonful of mango chutney
  • 1 tin of coconut milk (I used half fat – cus this is like diet food innit)
  • 1 tin of chickpeas

Method:

Soften the onions in a pot with a tablespoon of oil until translucent, add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute or two.  Add the spices and let them fry for a further minute then add the tomatoes and let it bubble down for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then to prevent it from catching.  Add the chutney, salt and  coconut milk, then blitz with a hand blender (or in a machine), return to the heat and bring to the simmer.  This is where you can now syphon off half the sauce and stash in the fridge or freezer until a later date. Now add the drained and rinsed chick peas to the pot.  Simmer the chickpeas for a further couple of minutes until everything is heated through then serve.  I served mine with a gluten free pitta for lunch and I’ll be having the other portion for lunch on Monday with a bit of tonight’s left over roast chicken dinner stirred in, I love a bit of leftovers don’t you?

Vlog!

So here it is, my first attempt at a video blog, I’ve been wanting to do one of these for a long time and finally realised I could just set up my laptop and use the webcam to film it – no this isn’t going to be nominated for a best filmography award, but it is a start.  It has taken a lot to get this far, every time I watch it I cringe and am truly  crushed by the often starring role of my big fat double chin!!!  ARGGHHH!!  But anyway, I’m 30 now and have to accept that I’m far from perfect and that my bum does look big in pretty much everything I wear (breaks into chorus of ‘I like big butts and I can not lie’).

So I hope you like it, please let me know, I’d love to hear what you think.  The recipe included is for a gram flour flat bread featured here and here with a dry potato and pea curry, very similar to the written recipes I’ve linked to.

Right so here we go (closes eyes, covers face and tries not to peek):

Thanks for watching and  let me know what you think by making a comment…

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower with Spiced Minced Lamb

I’ve been stockpiling carrots recently, I do love a carrot, it might well be my favourite vegetable.  Anyway it would seem I’m not really using the quantity I’m buying at the moment so my little orange friend must come to forefront for once and start starring in a dish or two.

This is a very moreish warm salad type affair that mixes the sweet earthy carrots, almost crunchy cauliflower with the spiced, crispy minced lamb

Serves 2 with a couple of toasted pittas on the side

Ingredients:

  • 4/5 carrots halved or quartered lengthways
  • half a large cauliflower, broken in to small florets
  • 100g minced lamb
  • 1 onion
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • A handful of mint
  • a large tablespoon of yoghurt
  • a heaped teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce
  • water
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees.  Mix 1 teaspoon of garam masala with the cumin, coriander, honey and oil.  Throw your veg into a baking tray and pour spiced dressing over, tossing until all the veg are covered. Roast the veg in the oven for about 35 min or until tender and slightly charred.

Whilst your veg is roasting get on with the lamb and dressing. Chop the mint, put half in a bowl and leave half for garnishing later.  Add the yoghurt and sweet chilli to the mint and let down with water until you have a runny dressing the consistency of double cream.

Soften a chopped onion in the a pan  (or microwave) then set aside.  Fry the minced lamb in a dry pan until golden, add the onion and continue to fry until browned, add the other teaspoon of garam masala and toast for a further minute or so then turn the heat off until the veg are ready.

When the veg is ready, season generously with salt and pepper and pile up on plates.  Top with the crispy minced lamb and onion mix and drizzle over the yoghurt dressing.  Finish with a scatter of the remaining shredded mint and serve with toasted pitta or flat breads.

Cauliflower Curry with Spiced Gram Flour Flatbreads

I made this curry after a visit to Chennai Dosa on the London Road in Croydon.  It’s an ace South Indian restaurant that has canteen style decor and  friendly and receptive staff.  It does Dosa by the dozen in any form you could think of and is delicious and very reasonable, they even do a 5 foot family dosa – now that’s something I might have to come back for!  When we went we tried the Gobi (cauliflower) Dry Curry to start and then had Masala Dosa and Masala Dosa Paneer for mains.  I love dosas but unfortunately haven’t tried making them as yet, I think it involves fermenting ground rice and that is perhaps a step to far in our a little flat.  But it was the gobi that got me thinking, cauliflower is an excellent vegetable for taking on spice in a curry and after buying myself a nice head of it at my local green grocers I felt I ought to have a go.  I went for a dry style curry like they served in the restaurant ( I think this is a bit more of a north Indian dish, tell me if I’m wrong).  It is really easy to make and instead of the dosas I had dreamed of, I whipped up a kind of flat bread/pancake style gram flour mix to eat the curry with. 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, split into little florets
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • An inch of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of medium curry powder
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • Salt
  • Splash of water

For the flat breads:

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of gram flour (chickpea or besan flour)
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of mild curry powder
  • A big pinch of salt
  • Water

Method:

Par boil your cauliflower florets for 5 min, drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. 

Soften the sliced onion until translucent then fry for a couple of minutes with the garlic and ginger and the spices.  Add the cauliflower and spring onions and mix together in the pan making sure the cauliflower absorbs all the flavours whilst still frying and heating through.  Season and add a splash of water if it begins to stick.

For the breads: 

Mix the flour, spices and salt with water until you get a pancake like batter the consistency of double cream.  Heat a large frying pan and add enough oil to coat the base of the pan.  Once hot add a ladle of the batter and tip the pan like your making pancakes so the batter spreads into the shape of the pan (basically treat this as a pancake batter).  Once air bubbles appear on the surface, flip and cook until golden brown.  If you are making more than 2 keep them warm in the oven whilst you finish off your curry. 

Serve the curry and the breads together with some raita and get stuck in! I reckon this would work well as hot wraps as or as an additional dish to whole banquet of other curries.