Continuing the accidental tradition of opening a blog post with mention of the weather I am sorry to say it’s been raining today. It’s also been sunny and clear today. And it’s hailed. It’s clear now, with a brisk, tear-inducing wind but as I need to go out again, once NewHuman wakes up from his afternoon nap (never in a hurry for that to happen, me) I can guarantee the heavens will open and pee freely upon me and him, ceasing only once we are safely home again. I think fondly of my friends and family at home in Western Australia fighting fires, moving livestock and putting out border fires and curse the rain that falls on me, wishing it would fall on them.
I start a new part-time work contract next week so this life of leisure I’ve had being stuck at home looking after NewHuman will have to be traded for one of proper clothes, adult conversation, intellectual thought, proper writing and filling in of useless databases and suchlike, and of public transport. IT’S GOING TO BE ACES. Poor NewHuman will be left at home with a nanny who, going by other nanny experiences when I did some work when he was younger, will improve on my parenting by about 100% and be all, you know, nice and considerate and stuff to him, thereby ruining all my hard work in trying to toughen him up.
I used to be scared of making curry paste but have discovered fairly recently it’s piss-easy to make and a whole lot more delicious than anything out of a jar. You just need to mine your no-doubt ignored back-reaches of the spice cupboard for some bits and pieces. And be prepared to stain the sides of your little whazzer-mincing-blending machine with tumeric. Apart from that, piss-easy. Whatever you make should be fine to be stored in the fridge for a few days. Yum.
Gather some spices. Unhelpfully for a cooking blog I can’t say I’m too specific about combinations and measurements but in general achieve something along the below lines. Basically if it smells good it won’t taste bad. Be brave. Experiment.
I used, approximately,
For the frypan
2-3 tablespoons of coriander seeds
a good tablespoon of mustard seeds
a teaspoon of black peppercorns
a teaspoon of fennel seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
For the blender
The above, once roasted (more on that in a sec, yeah?)
2 nice big white onions, ones that makes you weep tears like those of television evangelists when a victim has been cleansed of sin
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
some ground cinnamon, a teaspoon or so but bit more is nice if you like cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon fenugreek (no more, be spare with this)
2-3 teaspoons of curry powder, for extra curryness
good 2-3 pinches of salt
dried chillis if you fancy it – I just use dried flaked chillis, a teaspoon
5 or so garlic cloves
curry leaves, 5 or 6
In a frypan put the whole spices and curry leaves and toast, gently, for 3-4 mins or so – basically you’ll be able to hear the mustard seeds start to pop. When you can hear that, you’re done. DO NOT BURN. IF YOU BURN YOU RUIN EVERYTHING.
Whazz the whole lot up in your blender with a good gloop of vegetable oil, tasteless as you can get.
Yum. Whazzed up toasted spices.
I have to turn mine out into a separate bowl at this stage as my blender is smaller than ideal but you can just leave it all in there at this stage, if you have a proper one.
Blend the onions, chopped, until it’s no longer recognisable as onion. Really, really blended. Add the garlic and whazzed up spices, and then the dry spices. If you think it’s looking a bit dry, add some more vegetable oil.
Decant into some kind of container.
Look! Lots of curry paste. This amount will feed ten people. For cooking, over a medium heat just fry off the curry paste for a good ten minutes at least, then add 3-4 tins of tomatoes (chopped) and some stock. Then simmer for ages, keep tasting…I’d also probably add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar whilst cooking. This makes an aces vegetable curry with cauliflower, butternut squash and beans being added for the last 20 mins or so. Just before serving stir through a pot of creme fraiche and sprinkle the served up stuff with coriander because you’re a good middle class person and such things deserve a garnish.
Love my dog. How cool is my dog?
Anyway, health. Me and the boyfriend have been on Health, Bastarding Health for a week now and I’m mad because I’m hungry all the time, because it’s working and so I must continue, and because I’m forced to cook and eat stupid things such as cauliflower ‘rice’ and zucchini ‘spaghetti’ which are then even MORE annoying by not being disgusting but actually kind of tasty. Not at all filling, obviously. Anyway below is some cauliflower ‘rice’ stir fry. Was good but literally 5 mins after completing the meal I would’ve been able to swear dead I’d not eaten anything at all.
Right, I hear NewHuman complaining from upstairs, so it’s time for the rains to come down and us to head out.