Monday, July 25, 2011
My friend Nicc and I made curry from scratch a couple of weeks ago. And when I say "Nicc and I", what I really mean is she cooked and I assisted. She's a very very good cook, and I did very well taking direction and using a food processor, thank you very much. We made butter chicken (which was questionably un-orange, and lacking in butter and absolutely delicious) and lamb and tofu saag (full of spinach and also amazing). Gosh they were good, and surprisingly easy. If I had ever intended to buy curry sauce from a jar before (which I hadn't) I most certainly never would now after seeing how easy it is to make these extremely satisfying sauces from scratch.
Nicc wrote up the recipes, which are available here on her tasty little blog Small Bites of Delicious.
We served the curries with rice and garlic naan from the supermarket. My technique for cooking rice I'm fast discovering is foolproof. Anne, one of my kitchen idols, learned to make curry in India when she lived there about 25 years ago. She also learned how to drink gin and how to cook rice. Rice - you rinse three times in a pot, with cold water. You then cover the rice in water to about a centimetre (or fingertip) over where the rice settles. Put the lid on, bring to the boil, and once boiling leave the lid on and leave on a low heat for no more than about 15 minutes. Done!
The accompaniment really worth bringing to your attention though is Nicc's incredible raita. I've professed my die-hard love of condiments before, and this refreshing yoghurt based side is no exception.
Raita (recipe also available here)
400mLs natural yoghurt
About 150g cucumber, cut into very fine matchsticks
Lots of fresh mint, shredded (if you're lucky, it will be raining and your mint will be down the bottom of your garden. You'll be using your cellphone as a torch and you'll nearly slip down the muddy bank in your ugg boots. You'll have to kick away rotten apples that had been thrown out the kitchen window, and then you'll finally find, amongst the weeds, the crop of mint your flatmate once planted. You'll precariously haul yourself back up the hill without falling over. IT WILL BE WORTH IT.)
A little fresh coriander
1/4 of a red onion - cut into slivers and marinated in lemon juice for about 10 minutes to take out the bite (such a good tip)
Mix well and leave to marinate while you make your curries!
Tuatara and Emerson's variety were drinks of the day. Tuesday night curry and beer, and five very happy people (well, four of us were very happy; the other one had already had dinner but didn't want to miss out or appear rude. He showed up just as we were serving, and promptly sat through this epic feast as his second dinner. He didn't confess until writhing in agony well after...very cute, but not recommended!)