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Posts Tagged ‘curry’

Lentil and aubergine curry

In Recipes on May 18, 2009 at 12:27

Lentil Curry

***Supper diem Soundtrack: Dangermouse/Sparklehorse***

So we still had half of that paneer left over from last week’s dinner…it was lying there in the fridge looking sorry for itself so I thought I would do the decent thing and cut it into small pieces before heating it up in a pan and then eating it.  It was its destiny.



1 Medium Aubergine, diced (£1.30)

75g paneer, cuboided (£0.70)

Half a red onion, finely chopped (£0.15)

3 cloves of garlic, crushed (£0.10)

1 red chill, finely chopped and deseeded (£0.20)

Half a cup of lentils (£0.25)

2 tsp cinammon (£0.10)

2 tsp cumin seeds (£0.10)

1 tsp fennel (£0.05)

1 tsp turmeric (£0.05)

1 tsp garam masala (£0.05)

1 tsp Bouillon powder (£0.05)

1 tbsp veg oil (£0.05)

half a cup long grain rice (£0.20)

mango chutney on the side (£0.20)

Approx cost: £3.55



Now some people think you should give the aubergine some serious preparation before using it in your dish, salting it to remove excess moisture and its underlying bitterness.  Well in this case I was in a rush so didn’t have time to do that, and thought that in a curry it would be okay, taking on the flavours of the spices.

After prepping the veg I started off with the garlic, then onions, and finally the chilli going into a some oil brought to a medium heat in a wok.  After a while they had softened and started to brown, so I added the cumin and fennel seeds.  In went the aubergine, and I admit it did look quite bitter, but that was to do with an unfortunate and embarassing incident that occured between us last week that I can’t go into.  After a few minutes I then stirred in the lentils, making sure they were well coated, before adding the teaspoon of bouillon.  I then added some water a little at a time, letting the lentils absorb the moisture before inundating them again.  I didn’t add all the water at once as sometimes this leads to the lentils losing their texture and the whole curry becoming quite stodgy.  When they had softened somewhat and were on their way to being cooked I added the diced paneer.  It won’t melt, it just softens a little and gives the dish another texture.

After it had cooked through for a while I added the rest of the spices and a little more water as it had started to dry out a little.  Like I said, better to hold back with the moisture until things have cooked and you know where you stand.

While the curry was finishing cooking I made the rice using the normal recipe, though I didn’t add any spices or flavourings like I sometimes do.

It turned out really well, the aubergine wasn’t bitter at all, although it had absorbed a little of the moisture.  It can handle a long cooking time it seems, as can the paneer, both holding their shape but giving a little in terms of tenderness.

Very tasty and all polished off without and leftovers, although there were slight seconds…


Washing up count: wok, two wooden spoons, chopping board, knife, teaspoon, tablespoon = 7.

***supper diem***


White fish curry with rice and lentil quenelles

In Recipes on April 28, 2009 at 20:14

fish curry with quenelles

Found a good simple recipe for fish curry, the only difference was that we added a little bit of  water along with the fish, just to give it a bit more moisture.  We were using haddock, but this dish would be suited to pretty much any white fish.  Instead of just having rice, we made some rice and lentil quenelles, which don’t take too much effort, just a bit of preparation. They are basically like little balls of cooked rice/lentil that are crisped in the oven.


Fish Curry:

2 haddock filets, skinned and cut into chunks (£2.50)

tbsp cooking oil

half a red onion (£0.15)

2 cloves garlic (£0.10)

handful chopped coriander leaf (£0.25)

1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric

2 small tomatoes (£0.20)

2 tsp garam masala

salt +lemon juice, to taste


75g rice (£0.30)

75g lentils (£0.20)

300ml water

300ml vegetable stock

25g flour

1 tbsp dessicated coconut

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chopped mint/coriander

coconut oil (to top the quenelles) (£0.20)

Total cost: £3.90 (+ spices)



For the fish we just followed the recipe in the link above.  However, the quenelles take a bit of preparation and so that is where you start!  First you put the lentils and rice into a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.  Then drain into a sieve and rinse with warm water, before returning to the pan with the 300ml of stock, bringing to the boil, and then simmering for as long as it takes to absorb the water (15-20mins).  While this is cooking, prepare the ingredients for the curry, and maybe make the sauce.   Just hold back on adding the fish for now.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, and grease a baking tray with a little oil.

When the rice/lentil mixture is cooked, empty into a mixing bowl and add in the flour, cumin, coconut, garlic, mint and salt and pepper to season.  Mix it all together until it forms a sticky dough-like mixture.  Now you can either use two spoons or your hands, depending on how hot the mixture is, to shape the mixture into individual egg-sized balls.  Try not to make them too big, as they wont come out of the oven as crisp.  Place the balls on the baking tray and top each with a little bit of coconut oil.  Put in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once and basting with the surplus oil.

While they are cooking, crack on with adding the fish to the curry sauce.  Actually, maybe hold off for about 10 minutes so the fish doesn’t end up being overcooked.  Everything should come together then at the end.

Take the balls, sorry quenelles, out of the oven and plate up with the curry.


It was worth the extra bit of effort making the quenelles.  Yes they have a funny name, but they taste great, and the contrast between the cripsy shell and the soft inner is a treat.  You could put anything in them really, maybe some chilli to add a bit of heat.  Basically anything small that can be shaped into a ball.


Washing up count: chopping board, mixing bowl, measuring jug, wok, saucepan, two wooden spoons, knife, baking tray, teaspoon, two dessert spoons = 12.

***supper diem***

Lentil and Spinach Curry, Chapattis, and Lime and Pistachio yoghurt

In Recipes on April 23, 2009 at 09:04

Lentil + spinach curry


For the curry:

Red Lentils (150g) (50p)

Ginger (a good couple of inches) (10p)

Water (850ml)

Three Green Chillies (left whole) (10p)

Turmeric (¾ teaspoon)

Tomatoes (two, blended) (20p)

Spinach (a couple of handfuls, washed) (50p)

Sunflower oil (1 ½ Tablespoons)

Cumin Seeds (1 teaspoon)

Garlic (2 cloves, chopped into 5 or 6 pieces)

Garam Masala (½ teaspoon)

Coriander Power (1 teaspoon)

For the chapattis:

Chapatti flour (150g) (50p)

Lukewarm Water

Sunflower Oil (a dash)

Lime and Pistachio yogurt:

Plain yogurt (I used about 3 desert spoons) (40p)

Zest of half a lime (15p – but you can still use its innards)

Unsalted pistachio kernels (approx 5, smashed up with a rolling pin)

I’m not an accountant… I haven’t calculated the minutia of this recipe, but the spices can be considered as an investment!

Total cost: £2.45

This is a really simple curry to make, it is a variation of one of Anjum Anand’s, but I tend to vary what I put in – it would probably taste just as good with some added onion, extra spices or other pulses or beans.



I start by rinsing the lentils in some cold water. Next, place the lentils, ginger, green chillies, turmeric and water in a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Once it’s bubbling, give it a stir to make sure nothing’s sticking, and turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes or so, before adding the tomatoes and a bit of salt. Leave to cook for another 10 minutes or so, then stir in the spinach. Keep simmering for 10 or 15 minutes until the lentils are nice and soft and the curry is starting to thicken. Just before you are ready to serve, heat the sunflower oil in a small saucepan, add the cumin seeds and garlic, and cook until the garlic starts to turn brown, then add the coriander powder and garam masala, give it another quick stir, then add it to the curry. Then it’s ready!

I normally start making the chappati dough while the lentils are boiling. It is so simple, just add a little bit of a water at a time to the flour, stirring and finally kneading into a dough. Once it’s done, roll into a ball, cover and cool in the fridge. After it’s chilled for 15 minutes or so pull off small sections and roll into pancake-like disks (using lots of flour and a rolling pin). Cook them as you go: heat up a large non-stick frying pan (I use a wok) until it’s really hot, don’t use any oil, just cook them on both sides until they bubble up and brown (a bit like pancakes).

For the yoghurt, I just mixed all the ingredients, to make a fresh tasting and zesty accompaniment.


Washing up count: 2 pans, 1 wok, 2 wooden spoons, 1 serving spoon, measuring spoons, colander (for the spinach), sieve (for the lentils), rolling pin, 2 plastic bowls, measuring jug, blender and one very messy hob! =A whopping 15. Lucky I’m not washing up tonight!

***supper diem***