Thursday, 8 August 2013

An Indian Feast

Before the end of term I decided I wanted to do a proper big dinner for a few of us, because I like cooking and I like people. Zosia had an 'Indian dip selection' in the fridge. That was that, really.

Sooooo I made a mixed bean curry and onion bhajis and chapatis and coriander rice. And it was exhausting. And also wonderful. The curry recipe belongs to a friend of my aunt and has been a favourite at home for years - it went down pretty well here, too! It's a long list of ingredients but don't be daunted: most of them are just store-cupboard spices. Also, because it needs time to marinade it's a good one to make earlier in the day.

Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1tbsp mustard seeds
- 1tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 chillis, chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
-  ½tsp turmeric
- 1tbsp ground coriander
- 1tbsp ground cumin
- ½pt boiling water
- 4 large tins of beans (I tend to use 2 of chickpeas and 2 of kidney beans)
- 3 balls of frozen spinach
- handful fresh coriander

1. Grab your biggest saucepan and drizzle in some olive oil. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and heat until they start popping.
2. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and soften 'til the onion becomes clear (about 8 minutes).

3. Add the chopped tomatoes and spices and cook for a few more minutes, then add the water.
4. Stir well, then put on a lid (or some tin foil) and simmer on a low heat for 30-40 minutes.
5. Add the beans and spinach and stir until the spinach has de-frosted, then allow to cool and marinade for as long as you have time for.
6. Cook through when required, then season and add the fresh coriander.

Simple. For the rice, I cooked some basic brown rice and then added a squeeze of lime juice, some salt and pepper and some fresh coriander to liven it up a bit.

The onion bhajis I made were a very yummy side, and seemed to work fine with gluten free flour.

And it's easy to make chapatis. You need a tablespoon of both wholemeal and white flour per person (OR you can buy chapati flour and use 2tbsp per person. All the flour in our house at uni is gluten free, so it was actually cheaper for me to do this). Add a drizzle of olive oil and enough warm water to bring it all together in a dough, then knead for a couple of minutes. Cover with clingfilm, and then leave for an hour. 

Divide the dough into pieces (4 each, so it depends how many you're making for): they'll look small, but it's all good. Roll out as thin as you can without breaking them, then grab a frying pan and and cook the chapatis one at a time, for about a minute each side (you don't need any oil). Once cooked, transfer to a plate and spread with butter, then onto the next!

Serve up to your hungry friends and enjoy your feast.

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