Chickpea Dhal (v)

Fuz and I had beef madras last night, but Lex is still veggie so I made him a quick and tasty chickpea dhal to have for his tea whilst we tucked into the rich beefy goodness. The dhal was a lovely side dish to our meal and Lex thoroughly enjoyed it too.

For 2-3 portions you need
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp rogan josh curry paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup red lentils
250ml water

Fry the paste in the oil for 2-3 mins until the oil separates and the aromas are released. Add everything else and bring to the boil. Simmer slowly for 20 mins or so until the lentils are cooked. Serve with rice and whatever else you fancy (in Lex’s case this is cucumber slices topped with mango chutney!).

Beef Madras

It’s soooooooo cold out, but this curry will keep you warm from the inside. Spicy and aromatic, it doesn’t take long to throw together but does need at least an hour of gently bubbling. If you have time, make in advance and then reheat to allow the flavours to really develop and mingle into the tender beef. This recipe is taken from the BBC Good Food site.

For 2-3 portions you need

1 kg braising steak cut into bite sized cubes
2tbsp tomato puree
300ml Beef Stock
2tbsp veg or sunflower oil
1 large onion, diced
Curry Paste
1/2tsp ground black pepper
1/2tsp chilli flakes
2 fresh birds eye chillies, slit up the length of the chilli, stalk left on
2tbsp ground coriander
2tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp turmeric
2tbsp of grated ginger
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
Begin by softening the onions in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat in the oil till cooked and golden. Stir often so they don’t burn. Once they are cooked, remove with a slotted spoon to a plate whilst you seal the beef.

Place the beef in the hot pan (you may need to do this in more than one batch to avoid over crowding the pan). Seal it and remove from the pan and place with the onions.
Place all the curry paste ingredients in the pan and cook for a few mins. Add everything else to the pan, including the tomato puree and stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a slow simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for an hour, stirring every so often. Remove the lid for the last 10 mins to allow the sauce to thicken. Serve with rice and a nice cold beer or tall glass of sweet lassi. We also had some chickpea dhal alongside it as my son doesn’t eat meat.

Coconut Dhal Soup with Carrot and Parsnip (v)

This is a perfect autumnal warming dish, and it only takes a few minutes to make. I guess if you were Jamie you could do it in 15 mins, but I am not so did it in a more sedate 22 and made less mess than he would have… It used up some sad carrots and parsnips that were languishing at the bottom of my fridge nicely. It freezes well and you can adjust the quantities easily to feed more or less people.

For 2-3 portions you need
1 can coconut milk
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup red lentils
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, bashed
1 inch piece ginger, grated
A little water, depending on how thin you want your finished soup
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp each mustard seeds and ground garam masala, tumeric, coriander, cumin
Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Splash chilli oil

Being by frying the spices in the oil until the mustard seeds pop. Add all the veggies and cover with a lid and sautee for a few mins. Add the lentils and fry for another 1-2 mins. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 mins until the lentils and veggies are cooked. Blitz to a puree and add some water if it’s too thick. Re-heat and serve garnished with the fresh coriander and a drizzle of chilli oil. Delish!

Thai Massaman Curry (v)

We had a Thai extravaganza at the weekend (can you guess from recent blog posts ;-)) and this was pronounced deeeeeelicious by both boyfriend and son. Result.

For four greedy portions you need
1 tub massaman curry paste (I like the Thai Taste one but it contains shrimp paste, use one without obviously if you want it to be vegan…)
1 can coconut milk
1 onion
2 courgettes, sliced
1/2 pack each mange tout and green beans
1 head pak choi
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1-2 sweet potatoes (equal quantities to the squash), peeled and cubed
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fish sauce or mushroom soya sauce if vegan

Begin by frying the curry paste and onion for a few minutes. Add the squash and sweet potato along with the coconut milk. Season with the sugar and fish sauce/mushroom soya sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, covered, for 10 mins. Add everything else and cook for 3 mins until the remaining veggies are al dente. Serve with sticky rice and sigh with pleasure as the fragrant, rich curry fills that hole in yer belly.

Quorn Keema

I’ve made this a few times now and it’s rapidly becoming a store cupboard staple on days when you have that frantic back-home-from-work-desperately-hungry-but-no-idea-what-to-cook moment. Cook this. It takes no more than 20 mins from start to finish, and tastes amazeballs. What more do you need 😀

For 3-4 portions, depending on greed, you need
1 packet frozen quorn mince
1/2 jar curry paste
1 tin tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp oil
1 cup frozen peas
poppadums to serve

Begin by frying the onion in the oil for a few mins. Add the curry paste and garlic and cook out for a few minutes more. Add the quorn, tomatoes and peas and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 10 mins until everything is cooked through. Serve with poppadums and whatever else you fancy. It’s even better the next day with chips 😉

Dhal Soup with Root Vegetables (v)

It’s cold outside. But this will keep you warm. Made from store cupboard ingredients, it can be ready in 30 mins and warmed me and the boy perfectly this evening.

For 4 portions you need:
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 0.5cm dice
1/2 swede, peeled and cut into 0.5cm dice
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 0.5cm dice
1/2 cup red lentils
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp curry paste
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
1 litre boiling water
2 tsp vegan stock powder
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
fresh mint and coriander

Begin by sautéing the onion, carrots, parsnip and swede in the oil till the onions are translucent. Add the lentils, garlic, ginger and curry paste and cook out for 2-3 mins. Pour over the water and coconut milk and bring to the boil, adding the stock powder and seasoning with black pepper. Simmer for 15 mins or so, until the lentils are cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve topped with roughly chopped coriander and mint and some naan bread.

Cauliflower, Carrot & Spinach Curry (v)

It’s officially autumn today. The lights were on in the living room from 4pm and it’s grey, murky and dankly drizzly outside, sigh. This is the sort of food you need on days like that…

For 4-6 portions you need:
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup split red lentils
600ml water
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 jar minara madras curry paste
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cauliflower, broken in to florets
1/2 bag spinach
1 tbsp oil

Sautee the onions in the oil for 10-15 mins, adding the carrots after 5 mins. Add the curry paste and garlic and cook out for 1-2 mins. Add everything else apart from the spinach and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins till the lentils are cooked. Add the spinach and cover with a lid to allow it to wilt. Serve with mango chutney, lime pickles, indian salad and, er, chips if you want 😉 I added a hardboiled egg too but obviously omit if you’re vegan.

Creamy Curry Sauce (v)

When we were in Toronto we went to an amazing veggie eatery called Fresh. We had a sauce similar to this there with sweet potato fries. It’s sort of like chip shop curry sauce but soooooooooo much nicer. It makes a large batch but keeps for a week or so in the fridge (or you can freeze it) so halve it if you don’t want to be drowning in curry sauce…

For 8-10 portions you need:
1 can coconut milk
3 cups vegetable stock
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
3 tsp each turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin
2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 – 1tsp chilli flakes depending on how hot you like it
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Fry the onion, chilli and garlic in the oil for about 10 mins till softened. Add the flour and dry spices and cook out for a further 3-4 mins. Slowly add the stock, stirring to avoid lumps. Add the coconut milk and tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 mins. Serve with rice and lentils or whatever you fancy really. Including chip shop chips…

Rice and Lentils (v)

I admit this doesn’t sound or indeed look very appetising, but it is yummy. Honest. It’s also quick and easy to do and is nice hot or cold. You can serve it with a cold Indian style salad or lime pickle and mago chutney or maybe a creamy curry sauce. We had it with roasted sweet potatoes and carrots and curry sauce. The choice is yours…

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 cup basmati rice
1.5 cups red lentils
2 onions, finely diced
6 tbsp oil (don’t stint on this, you need it all!)
3 cups water
crispy fried onions, to serve

Fry the onions in the oil over a gentle heat for about 20 mins until golden and crisp. Wash the rice and lentils thoroughly. Add to the pan along with the water. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer very gently until the rice and lentils are cooked, about 20 mins. Fluff up with a fork and serve topped with more crispy onions.

Butterbean and Sweet Potato Bhuna (v)

Yes, more curry… what can I say. I like curry…

For 4 portions you need:
1/2 jar curry paste
2 jars water
2 sweet potatoes, diced
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp oil

Fry the onions in the oil, covered, for 5-10 mins till softened. Add the curry paste and cook out. Add everything else and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 mins till the potatoes are tender and the sauce has reduced. Serve with roti.