Category Archives: Curry

Courgette Bhajis

courgette bhajis1

The courgettes keep on coming, and in return I keep on inventing different ways to use them. I have somehow managed to sneak them into almost every meal over the last few weeks; lots of pasta dishes, risotto, curries and stir-fries, salads, you name it. I am almost at the point of making soup, but I feel that might be a last resort, that or chutney. Not that they don’t make a lovely chutney, just that I have made so much chutney in past years that I have stocks to last me through a nuclear war.

So, as I wondered through the aisles of the supermarket one day, my eye caught sight of some onion bhajis, and after my brain thought ‘mmm bhajies’, in a Homer Simpson type voice, I then thought ‘ooh, I wonder if I could make bhajis with the courgettes?’ Okay they’re a little wetter than onions, but maybe it could work. After a quick internet search it seems (as usual) I’m not the first to have come up with the idea.

I found a couple of specific courgette bhaji recipes that looked quite complex, and in the end decided to adapt a normal onion bhaji recipe.

SourceHow to make the perfect onion bhajis by Felicity Cloake. Original recipe here with my adaptions in italics.

Ingredients:

  • 60g gram flour
  • 30g rice flour (I couldn’t get hold of rice flour, so used all gram)
  • 1 tbsp ghee or butter, melted
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds (I didn’t use these)
  • 1-2 hot green chillies (to taste), finely minced
  • 2 tsp root ginger, finely grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 2 fresh curry leaves, chopped (optional) (I didn’t use)
  • 2 onions, halved, core removed and thinly sliced (I used 1 small onion)
  • Vegetable oil, to cook
  • 1 large or 2 regular sized courgettes, deseeded if they’re large, grated and the excess water squeezed out using a tea towel.

 

Sift the flours into a mixing bowl, then stir in the ghee and lemon juice and just enough cold water to bring it to the consistency of double cream. Stir in the spices, aromatics and herbs and add salt to taste. Stir in the onions and courgette so they are well coated.

At this point, I used a shallow fry method, adding a few cm of oil to a large pan, heating well, and then dropping in a spoonful of the mixture at a time and flipping them over with a spatula after a few minutes. I then put them onto a baking tray lined with parchment and finished them off in the oven for 20 mins or so. However, feel free to use the deep fry method detailed below.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180C, or fill a large pan a third full with oil and heat – a drop of batter should sizzle as it hits the oil, then float. Meanwhile, put a bowl of cold water next to the hob, and a plate lined with kitchen paper. Put the oven on a low heat.

Once the oil is up to temperature, wet your hands and shape tablespoon-sized amounts of the mixture into balls. Drop into the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, then stir carefully to stop them sticking. Cook for about four minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden, then drain on the paper and put in the oven to keep warm while you cook the next batch. Serve with chutney or pickle.

These are lovely as the starter or side to a curry dish, but equally nice with a piece of grilled chicken or fish and a salad. Or just eat them as a snack.

courgette bhajis2

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Lamb and spinach curry

Lamb and spinach curry

John made this for us on Saturday night using some of our allotment grown spinach, onions and garlic. It’s not too hot, nice and fresh.

Source: an adaptation of this recipe from Olive magazine.

Ingredients

  • Ginger a small chunk, peeled and chopped
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, chopped
  • Onions, 2 roughly chopped
  • Fresh Red chilli 1, chopped
  • Ground turmeric, 1 tsp
  • Garam marsala, 1tsp
  • Ground cumin, 1 tbsp
  • Ground coriander, 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped lamb, 600g
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of water
  • spinach 100g bag, chopped
  • Fresh or frozen peas 50g
  • Fresh coriander, half a bunch
  • Dash of Worcester sauce

Method

  1. Brown the meat well in a frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil and then put to one side.
  2. Chop the ginger, garlic, chilli and onions, add these to the pan with some additional oil and fry gently for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add in the browned meat and all the spices. Stir in the tomatoes, and cup of water, then bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Add the spinach and peas and a dash of Worcester sauce then cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with chopped coriander.
  7. Serve with rice or nan bread.

Lamb and spinach curry2 spinach on plot

Last of the Summer Potatoes Curry

pea and potato curry

Right down at the bottom of a dark, earthy sack in the January-cold garden shed were a handful of small Romano potatoes. These were the last of a good crop that we’d harvested from the plot at the end of the summer so as to get them out of the ground before the slugs start snacking on them. I wanted to find something interesting, spicy and warming to do with them. This pea and potato curry recipe is adapted from one that appears in Chilli Notes, by Thomassina Myers.

pea and potato curry ing

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes 400g
  • Frozen peas 200g
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 spring onion
  • Natural yoghurt 150g
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds 1tsp
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • Tumeric powder 1tsp
  • Cayenne chilli powder 1 tsp
  • Ginger 1 piece
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil 2tbs

Serves two.

Chop the potatoes into bite-sized chunks and boil them for around 12-15 minutes so they still have some bite to them, I left the skins on and they tasted all the better for that. Then drain the spuds and put to one side.

While the potatoes are boiling, warm the seeds in dry frying pan for 3-4 minutes until they start to pop and then add these to a pestle and mortar with the powdered Turmeric and Cayenne Pepper and grind them all together for the curry spice (or skip this stage and use curry powder). Slice and pulp the ginger with a little water and add this to the tomatoes.

Then fry the chopped onions, bird’s eye chili and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ginger and potatoes and leave everything to simmer gently for around 20 minutes. In the meantime, finely dice a spring onion and 1 clove of garlic and add to the yoghurt to make a fresh, tangy cooling dip to go with the curry.

Finally, stir in the peas to the main dish and let them cook in the mix for 3-4 minutes. Then serve, ideally with an ice-cold Indian beer (but any cold beer will do!).

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