Sunday, July 16, 2006

Curry Night

Last night I had a few people over for dinner & decided to do another curry night. I started off with some vegetarian samosas which I didn’t think were that good, they were a bit on the oily side so I have skipped the recipe. For the Main course we had some curries, rice dishes, rotti & raita. I used Jamie Oliver’s favourite curry sauce from Happy Days which I’ve made heaps of times before, I love it, the flavours are very fresh & it can be used many ways which came in handy as one of the guests tonight only eats fish, so I doubled the recipe, then split the sauce in half & did half chicken, half fish. The Lemon Rice is from this book also & really is worth that little extra effort over plain steamed rice, it’s absolutely delicious. This is the first time I am making it with the urad dhal as I finally found some at my local Asian grocer, it added a lovely crunchy texture to the rice The raita was a simple mix of yoghurt, grated cucumber & toasted cumin seeds and the Rotti I picked up form the local deli.

Curry Sauce

5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3 fresh green chillies, deseeded & thinly sliced
1 handful of curry leaves
2 thumb size pieces of fresh ginger, peeled & coarsely grated
3 onions, peeled & chopped
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
6 tomatoes, chopped
1 x 400ml coconut milk

For the fish version
225g white fish fillets
1 knob tamarind paste or 1 teaspoon tamarind syrup
baby spinach
handful fresh coriander, chopped

For the chicken version
4 chicken breasts, sliced into 1cm strips
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed

Heat the oil in a pan, and when hot add the mustard sees. Wait for them to pop, then add the fenugreek seeds, fresh green chillies, curry leaves & ginger. Stir & fry for a few minutes. Using a food processor, chop the onions & add to the pan. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the onion is light brown & soft, then add the chilli powder & turmeric. Using the same food processor, pulse the tomatoes & add to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add 1 or 2 wineglasses of water & the coconut milk. Simmer for about 5 minutes until it has the consistency of double cream, then season carefully with salt.

Ok so now I am splitting the sauce in two. For the fish verion, add the fish & tamarind & simmer for 6 minutes. Add some baby spinach & coriander at the end.

For the chicken version, stir fry the chicken strips & coriander seeds until lightly browned, then add to the sauce & simmer for about 10 minutes.

Lemon Rice

455g basmati rice
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons urad dhal (small dried split peas)
1 handful of curry leaves
rind & juice of 2 lemons
fresh coriander, chopped
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Thrown the rice into boiling water, cook for 10 minutes & drain.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan, over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds & as they begin to pop add the urad dhal, curry leaves & strips of lemon rind. Leave to cook for 1 minute until the urad dhal & lemon peel are lightly coloured.

Add the drained rice to a bowl & pur over the cooked spices, lemon juice & chopped coriander. Season to taste.


Marilyn said...

This post is kind of inspirational to me. I haven't cooked much Indian, but this seems a great place to start. It also serves a crowd well, which I also like. You must have worked hard!

Reb said...

Seriously yum - LOVE a a curry night and these look scrumptious!

Ange said...

Hi Marilyn, Any type of asian I find is great for a crowd as most of it can be prepared in advance & tastes even better that way as the flavours have time to deveop. Also its pretty easy, once you start you will realise there is nothing to it!