Friday, 23 January 2015

eggs galore

 
It has been a while since I shared a recipe on this blog. The reasons are manifold but essentially boil down to a lack of kitchen motivation. Food has been simple lately and more often than not I have left cooking to Richard. This week the kitchen sails are flapping gently in the wind once more and I have been busy cooking. I made a roast chicken on Wednesday. Just because. Well, I had planned it for the weekend but the bird's eat before date didn't extend that far in the future. It was an utterly delicious chicken and probably one of the best I cooked. The skin was supremely crunchy, it actually crackled when cut and the meat was juicy and tender. Thus motivated and having an unexpected day off work because of a poorly child I have been filling the house with the most wonderful smells. It is such a shame I can't share those! I have a large pot of Bolognese sauce in the oven. This will feed us at least three times. I have also made my current favourite curry base.The spices smells linger in my nostrils now and every time I breathe in, I get a waft of fennel seeds and coriander. Curry in all incarnations is one of my favourite food bases, it is versatile and there are thousands of recipes to try, every one of them exiting. I have a recipe book written in German that I often use, it is by Camellia Panjabi, called "Currys". This is the German spelling, not bad English spelling. It is ancient (1996) and I don't think it is in print now.

I bought when a curry for me was cream based with a teaspoon or two of curry powder. Or (and I shiver as I type this) a white sauce base with curry powder. Enough said.  I know curries have been a staple of British cuisine for a long time but in Switzerland, where I grew up, the most exotic curry available was something called Riz Kasimir, which was the above. With added (sometimes tinned) fruit and chicken pieces. I will admit here (but don't tell) that it is a family favourite but I would now not dare call it a curry. I use fried bananas and pineapple slices. There was one restaurant near Bern where one could eat real Indian curries twice a week. It was high dining, white table cloth, silver cutlery and candles. But I digress. The curry I made today is simple but it does take a few minutes to get all the ingredients ready. I like to set them out in small jars (I have a dishwasher). The curry is described as originating in Chettinad and is  mild and flavourful.
  1. First you need to make the curry paste. I do this in a small blender. You can of course use a pestle and mortar if you wish. You need one large piece of ginger (the size of a 5 year old fist), 5 garlic gloves, 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds,  2 teaspoons of cumin and fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 2 teaspoons of paprika or chilly (your choice, depending on how spicy you like it). Add a few splashes of water and blend all to a smooth paste.
  2. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, add 1 teaspoon of each fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds and a cinnamon stick. Sizzle for 30 seconds, then add about 500g of finely chopped onions. Turn the heat down to gently soften and brown the onions. Then add the curry paste and gently fry for a few minutes longer. If the onion and spice mix sticks to the pan, add a splash of water. After a few minutes (more than five, less than ten), add a tin of tomatoes. You can use fresh tomatoes if you are lucky to have flavourful ones available. I would probably peel those before adding them to the sauce.
  3. Refill the tin with water and add to the sauce. Sometimes, more is needed. Simmer for about 30 min or until the sauce is thick and creamy.
  4. Add a tin of coconut milk and add your chosen chewy bits. The recipe calls for boiled eggs. I absolutely love boiled eggs and could eat a whole dozen in a day but I don't. I have used prawns instead, and also cauliflower, which I have steamed lightly before adding it to the finished sauce.
  5. If you want a meaty curry, adding small pieces of chicken to the nearly cooked sauce works but it turns a little grainy and the sauce separates. It might be better adding the meat together with the tomatoes. I would use chicken thighs or lamb pieces. I haven't tried that yet but I am thinking of making the lamb curry variation soon. 
The sauce can be frozen but do that before you add the coconut milk and the eggs. The recipe feeds a very hungry family of six plus guests. Enjoy!

On an entirely different topic, I am very exited to go on a two day tapestry weaving course organised and taught by my friend Emma Jo. She is an amazing artist and I am looking forward to learning her craft. I'll take my camera and hopefully will be able to show you lots of pictures. I hope your weekend plans are nice, too!

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are. Cx

16 comments:

  1. Wonderful recipe, looking forward to hearing and seeing the photos of a tapestry weaving course. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  2. We love curries and were spoilt with the many Indian restaurants and take aways we enjoyed in Leeds. My good friend Debora grew up in Germany and laments the lack of good Indian restaurants there, then and now. I leave the curry making to John, he likes to faff around with blenders and spices. Lamb is excellent in curry, especially with the rogan josh spice base. Never thought to add eggs - excellent idea! xx

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  3. I made a lentil and vegetable curry tonight, but it was nowhere near as impressive as yours. My middle boy loves eggs, I really must make one with eggs for him, it's a great idea. The tapestry weaving course should be a brilliant experience, I hope you enjoy it, and I shall look forward to seeing your photos. CJ xx

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  4. I fancy that egg curry... Yummy! Enjoy your tapestry weaving.

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  5. So my husband is a meat and potatoes guy - farm upbringing - I like curry but have never tried making it at home. Will have to put your recipe on my try list. Cleaning weekend and an antiques show for fun. Have a good one

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  6. I hope that you enjoy your weaving, I look forward to hearing all about it! Cooking things that can be used in many ways or for freezing additional meals is wonderful isn't it, makes you feel so organised and then when you need something quickly you can just grab and go. Your curry sauce sounds delicious!! xx

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  7. Thank you for the recipe, it is so detailed, I love reading about food preparation. As a (virtual) vegetarian, I love veggie and lentil curries, your sauce sounds so delicious! X

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  8. Oh and the words 'ancient' and '1996' side by side make me feel ancient myself!! X

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  9. I bet your house smelled so yummy and that everything tasted wonderful. Funny how a sick little one makes you stay at home and cook or clean. Hope the little one is feeling better. Have a wonderful time with your tapestry course.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  10. This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Hope you enjoy the tapestry weaving course. Looking forward to reading about it and seeing the photos. x

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  11. This curry sounds awesome, and I have all the ingredients. This is going on my list of things to make next week! Thanks Christina!

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  12. My husband likes curries but I haven't tried much. I like tikka masala though. He likes lots of different kinds, including Thai and Vietnamese. I will keep this recipe in mind, thanks for sharing.

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  13. I am with Penny on the words 1996 and ancient................like the sound of eggs in 'curry' not tried that before thank you for the inspiration.

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  14. I love curry and crispy chicken skin! Not together though.

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  15. Ooh, I'll have to try this, curry is a great favourite here!

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx