Variety is the spice of life, so they say and I must admit to feeling the need to vary my diet. As I am of the baby boomer generation I was raised when food was not exactly scarce but variety was a difficulty. My mam and dad worked hard to provide food, and mam had to be creative with the same stuff week in and week out. So you could predict what meals would appear on each day of the week. Having said that she would vary the meat and the vegetables according to season, that was served up for Sunday lunch. That dictated what was available for Monday and Tuesday lunch and so on.
I have had roast meat plus the trimmings lunches for a couple of weeks so I fancied something different this weekend.
The thought processes began when I saw a photograph, not the one above, of James Martin's Bombay Potatoes. The above are my efforts. (Should they be called Mumbai potatoes?) I thought that they looked really tasty and began looking for something with which to serve them.
The potatoes are easy enough to make.
Cut new potatoes into bite size pieces and boil for 5 - 8 minutes.
Heat a pan containing oil (I use olive oil with some added butter), put in half a teaspoonful of mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, you may need safety glasses, a helmet and high viz vest for this part of the process, add a half teaspoon of chilli powder and a half teaspoon of turmeric, then add the potatoes.
Cook for a further 5 - 8 minutes until the potatoes are tender and have absorbed the spices.
Serve as required.
So what I found was nothing inspiring and took a chance on finding some reasonably priced meat when I went shopping. It turned out to be 750g of turkey.
The recipe is my basic curry recipe. I was talking with someone about this and the usual way to make curry is to prepare a stew and add garlic and curry powder, but that no longer worked for me. I wanted a more authentic flavour which doesn't just involve burning my mouth out by adding more curry powder. The answer - I bought more curry ingredients.
If you open my spice cupboard you will find garam marsala, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, ginger, chilli and curry powders. By using these ingredients I am getting closer to a more satisfying result.
One thing I now do which was the result of watching an Asian friend making a curry, is to melt butter and add turmeric and the other spices to begin with, making a curry paste. Then I add the garlic and onions and brown the meat at this stage which ensures that the meat has the opportunity to absorb the spices early in the process. Then I add tomato puree, a tin of chopped tomatoes and water as required and any vegetables I wish to include. In the above I have only added peas.
This is a fairly good basis for a curry, you can adjust the chilli or curry powder according to your own personal tastes and in twenty minutes or so you have a bowl of comfort food.
I was out with friends on Sunday and I mentioned that I was going home for a curry when one of them said that I should be having a 'proper' Sunday lunch!
It was good for me.