I love food! I used to go out in serious way, ticking off the Michelin stars and generally being a little pretentious. Being a Mum has cured me of that affliction but now I seemed to spend a disproportionate amount of time cooking. A little person does not appreciate you forgetting meals, or being too knackered to cook. As a consequence of all this cooking a new cook book is a source of great excitement - I read them, put them down, forget them and then make up things from what I remember; if they are particularly good I may even follow the ingredients, if not the quantities.
Now take a bow Mr Rick Stein - I salute your Far Easter Odyssey as it has transformed Friday nights. So after contemplating Chelle's prompt for Cinnamon and considering all kinds of sweet offerings from my yummy blackberry and apple crumble to pancakes I settled on curry.
If you are Rick Stein now please look away, your precise measurements get thrown to the wind (15g garlic? I have never weighed garlic, and rarely use measuring spoons). Anyway, as I did the transition from gourmet to cottage cook the coffee grinder got relegated/promoted to spice grinder (and actually makes really good spicy coffee too if ever called upon).
First make your curry powder:
1 tbsp rice
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp each cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, cloves, peppercorns, turmeric. Missing out any you don't have and ad libbing as you feel fit.
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (this are a pig to find, so don't worry if you can't find them)
A few cardamon pods
1 -3 dried chillies
Grind together into a power - and put in a screw top jar as you will not use all of it at once and it can last for a month or so.
This is quite unusual but really fresh tasting and quick and easy to do. It serves 4-6 people.
Gently fry a 5cm cinnamon stock with a few cardamon pods and cloves for a minute then add up to 6 cloves of garlic, grated ginger (about 2inches or a thumb size piece) about 3 medium onions halved and thinly sliced and fry until soft. Add 2tsp of your home made curry powder and chili powder to taste (Rick says 2 tsp) and fry a little more. Next add a sliced medium green chili (or in our case 1/2 a b****d hot one), about 1lb finely chopped tomatoes, 150ml water and simmer for 5 mins.
Add another 1lb of tomatoes, this time cut into wedges and a glug of coconut milk and 1tsp of sugar (ideally palm sugar or jaggery) and salt (if you cook with it - I don't) and cook for about 3 mins longer.
I served this with rice, a chili spiced cabbage salad, raita and potato, paneer and cheese curry. My excellent step son says that my paneer curry is the best he has ever tasted even better than going out - so maybe I ought to share that too. Or just say that the Hubster is still gaining brownie points for buying me the Rick Stein book for Christmas last year - so it maybe worth a hint to anyone stuck for a present for you.