Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Currying Favour

Tonight I tried something new. 'Vegetable curry' was not something I was really expecting to go down terribly well, but I loved the idea of the combination of flavours and textures in this meal, so I decided to be brave and go for it.

Softening the (potential) blow of a totally vegetarian meal was made easier by a first course of a large plate of Potato Bhajias (made according to Madhur Jaffrey's recipe). I then brought the steaming pan of curry to the table and awaited my judgement with bated breath. What a relief! The children positively inhaled it , despite having already gorged themselves on the bhajias. I think Hubby was probably less keen, but he is more of a meat-and-potatoes-man and, give him his dues, his plate was clean.

Vegetable Curry with Red Lentils

I used an organic Tikka Masala curry powder, blended by Steenbergs, which we received in a hamper at Christmas (ta, G+E).

1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp 'lazy' garlic
1 tbsp curry powder (your choice, natch)
100g red lentils
600ml vegetable stock
1 small cauliflower, in florets
1 big carrot, peeled and sliced
100g fine beans, trimmed and halved
2 good handfuls spinach leaves

Heat some oil in a wide pan and cook the onion and garlic together until softened. Add the curry powder and lentils, then pour in the hot stock. Drop in the pieces of cauliflower and carrot, then cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the beans, then lay the spinach on top of the curry and recover the pan for a further 5-10 minutes. Mix well and serve, with brown rice and condiments. I liked yoghurt and lime pickle with mine, Hub just the former. James wanted lots of mango chutney with his, I think he thinks it's jam. Christopher is still going through his (apparently never-ending) 'suspicious' phase when it comes to added sauces and dressings, so he had his 'as was'.

Saying that, I notice that his wariness doesn't seem to apply to chocolate sauce on ice-cream, nor to custard with puddings...

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