Now I just need some chickens
I can't begin to describe the feeling you get when you can grab a load of veg that you've grown yourself, slap it in a pan with a few other bits and bobs and then sit down and eat it, all in a matter of hours after the veg was in the ground/on a plant. If you haven't experienced it yourself then I heartily recommend that you do. Anyway, this weekend I brought some veggies home from the field and I was in the mood for a curry so I decided to throw one together.
Feeds as many people as you throw ingredients in for
- Fresh chillis : Pretty In Purple
- Radish : Cherry Belle
- Spinach Beet : Perpetual Spinach
- Garlic : Thermidrome
- Onion : Red Baron
- Potato : Pentland Javelin
- Broad Beans : Aqualduce
- Courgette : Verde Di Milano
- Broccoli : Quick Heading Calabrese
- Chicken : we used chicken breasts because that's what we had
- Root ginger
- Tinned chopped tomatoes
- Spices :
- Coriander : Need to spark some more off!
- Garam Masala
- Mustard seeds
- Black Pepper
Feel free to adapt this workflow to suit your own needs, but this is what I did :
- Chop one of the innocent looking minute chillis in half and, wisely, decide to scrape out the seeds.
- Cut a slither off one half of the chilli and eat it.
- Wait a few seconds and then run round the kitchen with your eyeballs sweating and your hand wafting your mouth whilst reciting "fuff me thass fuffin' hot"
- Gain a whole new respect for a chilli that's smaller than a 5 pence piece and decide to only use four of the bigger ones in the curry
- Top and tail the radish, saving the leaves, and then cut into rough quarters, or what ever size rocks your boat
- Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic and ginger, how rough is your own decision
- If you're using the head of broccoli/calabrese then you'll probably want to break it down to spears
- Roughly chop the radish and spinnach leaves
- Chop the potatoes and courgettes up into chunks, how big is down to the size of your mouth.
- Shell the broad beans
- Take the lid off the tin of tomatoes
- Chop the chicken into chunks
On with the cooking!
- Heat a small pan on the cooker until the base is pretty hot, remove from heat and throw all of the spices in so that they get mildly roasted, which will take bugger all time, and then crush them down with a pestle and mortar ... or use some fancy electronic toy if you're that way inclined
- Throw the chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, chillis and spices into a bowl and mix them all around until the chicken is well coated.
- Put some water into the pan that you used for the spices, add the spuds and then slap it back on the cooker and boil away until the spuds are just starting to soften ... ie/ really firm when you push a fork in but without needing the biceps of a female russian weightlifter
- Drain the spuds and save the water
- Get a pan that's big enough for all the stuff you're about to cook and slap it on a high heat with a bloody generous dollop of olive oil or ghee ... if you remember that you've got ghee before you throw the olive oil in
- Once the oils nice and hot, without burning the house down, throw in the chicken mixture and get a nice bit of colour on it, then take it out and put it on a plate for a tad.
- Reduce the heat to something a tad more bearable, add some more olive oil and then cook the courgettes and the spuds until they have some colour as well.
- Whack the heat back up high and throw the chicken back in and give everything a good stir until it's mixed together
- When you can hear everything start to sizzle, throw the radish, broad beans, radish leaves, spinnach leaves and broccoli on top and then pour over the tin of tomatoes and turn the heat down to a low simmer
- Don't stir the pan until you're just about to serve, it'll really keep the colour in all the veg
- Whilst that's cooking away nicely, throw some rice in the pan that had the spices, and then the spuds, in it and cover with twice the depth of water as rice, that'd be the spud water that you saved before.
- About 15 minutes before you decide the chicken will be ready, put the rice on the heat and bring it to the boil. Give it a quick stir and then put a good fitting lid on it and turn the heat off.
- Wait ten minutes and then turn the rice out onto plates, one per person is a nice touch
- Turn the heat off the curry and give it a good stir and then slap it on the plates with the rice, I'm really crap at the artistic plate stuff.
- At this point I put a dollop of last years cucumber and apple chutney on each plate as well.