Sunday, 15 February 2009

Home Made Curry & Accompaniments

written by Gavin, The Greening of Gavin

My family loves a good curry, and I like making them. Most weeks we have at least three vegetarian meals for dinner and this recipe is one of them. It is for Chickpea & Potato Curry. The recipe is my own creation and I apologise in advance for any vagueness in the instructions.

Gavin's Chickpea and Potato Curry

Makes 6 generous serves.

800gm re-hydrated and cooked Chickpeas, or two 400gm tins of chickpeas.
500gm Potatoes, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
300gm Sweet Potato, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
1 Brown Onion, finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
400ml Light Coconut Milk
750ml Vegetable Stock, (I use 3 veggie stock cubes)
1 tablespoon Curry powder
3-4 tablespoons Curry paste (your choice of flavour and according to taste)
2 tablespoons Ghee or vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper to taste.

1. Heat the Ghee/oil in a large wok and add onion and garlic. Cook until translucent.

2. Add curry paste and curry powder and combine well and cook for a further minute.

3. Add both types of potatoes, mix and cook for a further 3 minutes until all the potatoes are coated with the curry mixture.

4. Add the chickpeas, coconut milk and vegetable stock, stir well and bring to the boil. Taste to see if anymore seasoning is required and add a little salt and pepper to taste.

5.. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring twice. You will know when it is done, when the sauce has thickened and the potatoes are soft and break apart.

I use a wok to cook my curry in, but a large pot will do just as well. It is one of the tastiest vegetarian meals I have ever made.

Now, what would a curry be without accompaniments. I usually serve my curry with Brinjal Pickles, Hot Chilli Chutney, and plain natural yoghurt. The yoghurt takes the bite out of all the hot and spicy food.

The recipe for the Hot Chilli Chutney is posted on my personal blog, which was actually the inspiration for this post! It is very easy to make, and I love whipping up a few jars for lovers of hot food. It is very fiery, so use only a teaspoon on the side of your plate! You were warned!!!!!

As for the Brinjal Pickle, here is the recipe. It is a fantastic way to use a glut of eggplants (aubergines). Pictured are Brinjal Pickle (back row), and Hot Chilli Chutney (small jars in front).

Brinjal pickles

Brinjal Pickle

Makes about 3 litres - This hot pickle is naturally excellent with curries or cold meats.

1 kg eggplant (aubergine)
2 tablespoons salt
5 large onions, sliced
2 cups oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons turmeric
100 g root ginger, grated
100 g green chillies, finely chopped
75 g garlic, crushed
100 g sultanas
750ml malt vinegar

1. Cut the eggplant into small cubes, leaving the skin on. Sprinkle with the salt and let stand for at least 6 hours, then drain well.

2. Gently fry the onions in the oil, without browning, until limp. Add the spices, ginger, chillies and garlic and gently fry, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the sultanas, vinegar and eggplant and continue cooking until the eggplant is tender.

3. Spoon into hot, sterilised jars and seal. Hot bath for 30 minutes.

I use homegrown eggplant, chillies, onions and garlic when making this recipe. It is not too hot, and I usually put a few teaspoons on the side of my plate next to the steamed rice and curry. I also cook up some papadams as they are also a family favourite.

Indian food is spicy, but oh so tasty, however it may not be for everyone. Slow food is easy, enjoyable to cook and if you can get local ingredients, then the taste is always much better than buying take away food. Enjoy the banquet!