Tuesday, 14 August 2012

In The Kitchen: Vegetable Curry

Another one where I forgot to take a picture before we ate it or I put the leftovers in the freezer.

Vegetable Curry

I made this one mild because The Beard doesn't like hot curries that much, and I don't think they work all that well with vegetables. Just our personal preferences! Another really simple recipe that relies on getting the onion and garlic just right. If anything, more cooked than with the pasta sauce recipe.

1 medium aubergine, cubed
2 courgettes, chopped small
2 peppers, 1 red, 1 yellow, chopped small
1/2 punnet mushrooms, quartered
5 tomatoes, chopped
2 tins of tomatoes
1/2 tube tomato puree
3 onions
5 cloves garlic
Head of cauliflower, chopped.

3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp carraway seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
4 black cardamom pods
6 cloves
1 large cinnamon stick
Fine ground Sea Salt

Corn oil (or other flavourless oil) for cooking


Chop the onions and peel the garlic. Heat 2 tbsp corn oil in a large pan with a lid. When hot, add the onions stir for 1 minute. Grate/crush the garlic into the pan, stirring to ensure that it doesn't burn. Add 1 tsp of salt and turn the heat down to medium and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for approx 10-15 minutes until they are soft and sticky, and very sweet.

Add all the spices EXCEPT the cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick. Stir into the onion/garlic mix and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the chopped tomatoes, stir in and put the lid on the pan. Allow to simmer until the tomatoes are soft. Then add the tins of tomatoes and tomato puree, stirring in. Allow to heat through. Then add all the other vegetables EXCEPT the cauliflower. Replace the lid and cook for at least 30 minutes.

When the vegetables are cooked to your liking (we let them go quite mushy because we like them like that), put some rice on to cook (see below), and then add the cauliflower to the curry. By the time the rice is cooked, the cauliflower will be just tender.

Serve immediately.

Slimming World notes: Corn oil isn't technically a HEXB, so if you are adhering strictly, then either use olive oil or syn this. I got 7 large portions out of this quantity, so you could probably get up to 8 decent sized ones. That would make the oil 1.5 syns per portion.

Cooking rice

A lot of people are scared of cooking rice, but it is really simple once you know how. My SIL showed me how to do it properly and I always use this method now. It works for brown and white rice, although the cooking times are different.

Always measure rice by volume, not weight. I use 100ml per person for a normal meal, or 150ml per person if we're feeling hungry (I use these measurements because we have a Swedish measuring spoon and it's the easiest thing to do rice with!).

Step 1: Put your rice into the pan you're going to use. Rice should be cooked in a shallow, wide pan for best results, but a regular one will do, just make sure it isn't too small. Add loads of water and swill the rice around. This will remove some of the starch on the outside, which is what causes rice to go sticky and claggy.

Step 2: Drain the rice using a sieve and shake off excess water. Transfer back to the pan. Add 1.5x the amount of water to rice. So if you are cooking 100ml of rice, you need 150ml water. Add salt to taste. Remember that rice can take quite a lot of salt, so don't be too scared. 1/2tsp is probably about right for 2 people.

Step 3: Put the lid on the pan and turn on the heat. Start high, then when it is boiling, turn down to the lowest heat on the cooker. Leave to cook until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Once this has happened, turn off the heat and take the lid off, to allow the rice to 'dry' out a little.

You should have perfect rice! If you want to flavour your rice, add them with the salt and water.

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