Stop the press, hold the front page, I am about to share with you a simple, perfect recipe for a vegetable curry that will satisfy your need for an unhealthy takeaway! The vegetables can be varied according to what you have in the fridge, but potatoes are essential.
1 Clove garlic
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1tsp garam masala
Olive oil for frying
Stock cube (chicken or veg)
400ml boiling water
2 medium potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
75g red split lentils
Jug to make stock
Large frying pan with lid (or large saucepan)
Vegetable chopping board
First, prepare all vegetables, finely chop the onion and crush the garlic. Peel and chop potatoes into chunks of about 3 centimetres, a bit bigger for the sweet potatoes as they cook more quickly. Then break up cauliflower into small florets of similar size. Chopping is the crucial stage, you do not want vegetables too small as they will break up during cooking.
Wash the lentils in a sieve under a running tap.
Make up stock with stock cube and boiling water.
Now we are ready to cook. Heat oil in pan and fry onion and garlic, start to add spices and vegetable chunks until all are coated and lightly fried, then add stock and lentils, stir gently, then simmer with lid on for 25/30 mins, adjust liquid as necessary, according to how thick you want the gravy to be. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Resist the urge to stir unnecessarily, you want the vegetables to cook through but you want them to stay whole.
To bump up the vegetable count, I added chopped mushrooms at the frying stage, and sprinkled half a cup of frozen peas on the top a few moments before serving. I served it with home made chapatis (flour, oil, water and salt) and the general consensus was 'to die for'.
I thought I would share it here, as I am involved in an exciting local cooking project and testing recipes. Indian cookery is a new venture for me, so above may not be as authentic as it could be, but as it can be knocked up with what you have in the store cupboard and fridge, I simply had to pass it on!
For anyone starting out on Indian cookery the main spices you need will be cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and curry powder - once you have those, the world is your curried lobster!
Ps. Make sure lentils are thoroughly cooked, they should turn to mush.