food for thought

by michelle

vegetarian curries

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Another curry feast, this time vegetarian.

This hard-boiled egg curry is adapted from a Reuben Solomon recipe. First, hard-boil 6 eggs and run cold water over them. For the sauce, heat ghee or vegetable oil and gently fry 2 onions, 3 cloves of garlic and a knob of ginger, all finely diced. When soft and starting to colour, add 3 teaspoons of ground coriander, 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of turmeric and ½ a teaspoon of chilli powder. Fry briefly then add a can of chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of salt and simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding water if the sauce becomes too thick. Lastly, add the halved eggs and ½ a teaspoon of garam masala and heat through.

This curry of whole green lentils with spinach and ginger is from a Maddhur Jaffrey recipe. The lentils (1 cup) are first simmered in boiling water until soft. Do not salt them as this prevents the skins from softening. When the lentils are cooked, drain them in a colander and set aside. Meanwhile, wash a bunch of spinach and ½ a bunch of coriander (cilantro) well, dry as much as possible (a salad spinner does an excellent job of this) and chop roughly. Heat some vegetable oil in a large pan and fry 1-2 finely sliced fresh green chillies with some very finely grated fresh ginger (the original recipe suggests 1 teaspoon, but I used at least 4 times as much). Now add the spinach and coriander and cook until the spinach wilts. Add the lentils and 1-2 teaspoons of salt then cover and cook gently for 25 minutes. Finally, add freshly ground black pepper and the juice of half a lemon, check the seasoning and cook, uncovered, for a further 5 minutes.

And last, but not least, an eggplant and yoghurt accompaniment, again from a Maddhur Jaffrey recipe. Peel and cube 1 large eggplant and cook in a steamer until quite soft. Meawhile, with a fork, mix 600ml (1 pint) of plain natural yoghurt with a spring onion (cut into paper-thin rounds), 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint, ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. When the eggplant is cooked, mash it roughly with a fork and spread on a plate to cool. When cooled, fold the eggplant into the yoghurt. For those who find curries spicy, this is a soothing, cooling side dish.

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Written by michelle picker

June 12, 2011 at 2:34 am

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