Thursday, 10 April 2008

Identity Crisis

You need a curry fix every now and again. The chilli, ginger and garlic along with a myriad of spices seems to pick you up, clears the sinuses and makes you happy that we live in a multicultural society. We seem to have more passion for a curry over here in the United Kingdom than anywhere outside of India or Pakistan. Check the stats; the number one takeaway isn't fish and chips or pizza. It is a curry.

I've tried and tested so many curries over the years, especially when I moved to Yorkshire where my eyes were opened up to some true delicacies. Over time, I started to recognise what constituted a good and a bad curry, as opposed to the teen years of getting 'bladdered' in South Shields, stumbling into an Indian restaurant and ordering the hottest thing on the menu. Yes, times have moved on for me thankfully.

A curry appears on our family menu most weeks and I prefer to knock one up myself than order one in. I've got a few that I can turn to that take 10 minutes prep and 15-20 minutes cooking time, making it fresher and faster than the takeaway. If you have some garam masala, chilli, garlic and a tin of tomatoes in the cupboard, it is the basis for a whole host of curried delights.

With a few 'rules' broken during the cooking process, this curry isn't sure if it is from Thailand or India. But I reckon our Keralan friends in the south would be happy with it. Break some of these so called cooking rules, and you might be surprised at how good a simple, healthy home cooked 30 minute curry can be.

Aubergine, Cashew Nut and Coconut Curry

Feeds 2

1 aubergine
2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
1 onion
1 thumb size of ginger
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
1 red chilli or a tbsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tin of coconut milk
A handful of cashew nuts
Fresh mint
Fresh coriander
1 lime (optional)
Salt and pepper

1 - Half the aubergine lengthways then slice each half into 1cm slices. Heat up the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry them on each side until golden brown. Put onto kitchen paper and set aside.
2 - In a food processor, blitz the onion, ginger and garlic into a paste. If you don't have a food processor, just chop everything by hand, it will still be great.
3 - Heat up the oil in a pan and add the paste. Cook for 5-10 minutes until fragrant and beginning to colour.
4 - Add the garam masala and chilli and cook for a further minute. Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly reduced.
5 - Add the aubergine and cashew nuts and heat through. A squeeze of lime juice would be great. Taste for seasoning.
6 - Serve with boiled rice, chopped mint and coriander and some roughly chopped cashew nuts on top.

20 comments:

Peter M said...

David, I know that it's almost a ritual to go for a curry after some drinks or a long night there and I wish we had more of that here.

I love milder curries like this, where coconut milk takes the edge off (note to Indian proprietors).

Wendy said...

I've got a real thing about coconut milk at the moment. Have bookmarked this for the near future!

Pat said...

Hi David, I had never had curry until I moved to the UK. And once I tasted it I had to learn to cook them. So I took a local Indian cooking course. I did get a bit of an understanding from it for cooking curries, and since I have amassed a huge selection of Pat Chapmans recipe books. I may well have to fix a curry for supper tonight now!!! :)

Antonia said...

I love the sound of this curry, David. Anything with coconut milk gets my vote. Cashews are so good too - great combination!

Anonymous said...

Made it last night . Just fabulous . Thanks . Susan

David Hall said...

Peter - it has become a British tradition which is amazing!

Wendy - give it a go, wuick, easy and delicious, and cures a curry crave

Pat - lucky you doing an Indian cooking course, bet it was fab!

Antonia - cashews and coconut are used a lot in South Indian food and it is a sure fire winning combo

Susan - brilliant! Glad you enjoyed it, amazing how easy it is too eh?

Helen said...

This sounds delicious, I love the Keralan influence with the coconut milk. I much prefer to cook a curry myself too, as much for the process as the superior taste. The vibrant colours and smells of the ingredients is so exciting, I always take my time over a curry.

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks really good. I usually wind up making curry at home, as we don't have many Indian takeaways here and no Indian restaurants at all in my town. I like the use of coconut milk; I use a good bit of it and really enjoy it.

ros said...

Hi David. I'm trying to learn more about different types of curry now.

Right now (yes, it is stupidly late for this), I'm tucking into a Cambodian butternut squash and pork curry. It looks as if we get a distorted view of curries here in Britain. It looks like there is a gradual variation from the creamy cumin based curries of North India to the fresh lemongrass and lime leaf flavours of Thailand.

In any case, I love them all! Except the ones my parents cooked. They were grim.

Aimée said...

David, coconut and curry is one of my favorite flavor combinations. I'll be trying this out for sure!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

So true David. This sounds fab! We love curry and like you mix up the countries a bit when doing our own thing.

Anonymous said...

Alreet Brother-in-law,

Your curry sounds lush, right up my alley. Alas, if I was to make it for your dear brother I would have to omit the nuts and add a ridiculous amount of meat...
I made your meatballs the other night coz Daz said they were lovely, and they really were, even though I wasn't allow to put any pine nuts in.
XXXXXXXXXX

Bellini Valli said...

This does sound flavourful David:D

Rosie said...

Hi David, I really love the sound of your curry with coconut milk! Must bookmark this recipe :D

Rosie x

Great Big Veg Challenge said...

We have gone all hot and curry-like as well> This one looks fantastic - with the coconut milk. I am determined to learn to cook an indian curry properly!

cave renovator said...

AARGH! Dont mention curry! Last one I had was from a restaurant on the West road after a night on the Quayside 5 years ago. Living in rural Spain - no curry :(( Fab recipe though, looking forward to more of the same, even of it does make me homesick!

CR

David Hall said...

Helen - glad you agree that homemade curries can be unbeatable.

FK - Ditto, although we have 2 Indian restaurants within 10 minutes walk of my house and they are both rubbish!

Ros - interesting. Can I please have the recipe for that Cambodian dish, it sounds amazing?

Aimee - give it a go!

Amanda - curry is such a good basis for experimenting I reckon.

Marie - you know what to do with that brother of mine - give him a clip round the lug!

BV - it tastes even better!

Rosie - please don't cook it, it will get in the way of your fab pudding making!

GBVC - dead easy!

CR - Sorry to make you home sick! I'm sure rural Spain more than makes up for it, lovely place.

ros said...

Hi David, I kept meaning to send you the recipe and getting bogged down with stuff. I recently blogged it (second post-on my name link). Its a bit vague but I can send you a transcription of the original from the book if you'd like-just let me know if you do.

David Hall said...

Ros - I can't get through to your Blog! When I click on your name it says no access - can you enable it so I can get the recipe? Thanks, David

ros said...

Hmm... interesting- here's the link

http://www.roshani.co.uk/livingtoeat

(scroll down 4 or 5 posts)

or e-mail me if it still doesn't work

ros@roshani.co.uk

I don't have a blogger blog, but the account should work. I will investigate.