Sunday, March 23, 2008

What's cooking?

I cooked lamb shanks last Saturday night and my god they were delicious - browned off in the pan and then slowly braised for 5, yeah 5 hours; with carrots, onions, celery, fresh herbs and a mixture of red wine and stock. They were so tender, they fell apart and the only mistake (not mine I might add) was that we ate them with new Charlotte potatoes and not a big, oozy pile of buttery artery-clogging mash. Wouldn't you like a smell-a-vision version of t'Internet right now? It would do you no good as ... and I should be shot for this ... I didn't take any photos. Yep, no photos twice in one month, no photos in Wales, no photos of the best braised lamb shanks in the world ever.

So, on Friday afternoon when I decided to cook a curry from scratch I thought what a better way to make up for the lamb shanks than to share the tips imparted to me by Shisho on how to do curry without lining the pockets of Messrs
Sharwood and Patak.

My masala dabba

So, I started with 2 thinly sliced red onions which I fried in a little vegetable oil with 2 spoons (they are very tiny spoons in my masala dabba) of cumin seeds. Then I added some turmeric and some ground ginger & cumin - a spoon of each. And then a little more turmeric because it didn't look like there was enough. I let this all continue to fry for a couple more minutes over a low heat before adding some minced garlic and fresh ginger and then gave that a few more minutes.
Onions, cummin, garlic, turmeric, ginger
This curry was always going to be just vegetables, so I chopped up a mixture of potatoes and green beans, opened a can each of chick peas and tomatoes and got mixing.
Adding smoked paprika for flavour
In went the potatoes, green beans and 2 spoons each of smoked paprika and garam masala.
All ingredients in
And then it was the turn of the chick peas - drained and rinsed - plus the tinned tomatoes (and a tinful of water), 2 tsps of dried chilli (as the one in the fridge was more than a little past it's best), salt and pepper, t
he heat was turned up, the whole lot came to the "boil" and then it was turned down and left to simmer for 30 mins.
Simmer slowly and steamily
Meanwhile, the brandy and lemonade that you can see in the first picture way up there got drunk and another was poured. Rice was made - basmati rice, a little more cumin seed, some salt, the odd vegetable or two and some vegetable oil; fried for a minute or two before boiling water water was added and a tightly fitting lid that "is NOT removed to check/peak/stir for a full 10 minutes" * ... perfect vegetable rice.
Vegetables and cummin added to the rice, coated with oil.
So finally, after adjusting the seasoning with a little sprinkling of S&P, Simon and I settled down to a gorgeous plate of potato, chick pea and green bean curry with rice and a spoonful of tamarind, chilli yoghurt ... the picture of the finished dish, oh ... umm ... oops!
And the finished dish - ooops!
* Shisho is always very forceful about this!


andy said...

That looks fantastic, I love that curries dont have to be all about meat.

Fizzy said...


Fi said...

Yummyyyy! I love to make curries from scratch too, but only if I have the time. All those lovely spices and flavours...mmmmmmmmm....

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This looks and sounds fabulous Jo.....Amd I LOVED seeingthe pictures of the whole process...The Lambshank Dinner sounded absolutely Scrumptiod, too! Yum, Yum, Yum!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Scrumptoid????LOL, LOL...New Word!
Should have read SCRUMPTIOUS....
But I plane to use that NEW word now, instead, all the!