Grown Up Curry
New Years resolutions are somewhat infamous for failing almost instantaneously. I do like to have one though. I like them to be less a rule, more of a guideline. A chance to refocus for the year ahead. This is the year I resolve to grow up. So I need a grown ups supper. So, after returning home from my evening class and a long day in the office, I gleefully join the great swathes of middle-class, suburban masses with a good (or awful, both work) film, a glass of nice wine and a curry. I don’t order mine in though, this lentil curry is savoury and sweet, creamy-with-kick. This version is veggie, but the addition of some skinless chicken thighs would be absolutely delicious. Make in bulk and freeze for a homemade ready meal. Feet up and dig in, you have earned it, I know I have.
One tin of puy lentils
Three tbsp dries split red lentils
One white onion
Two cloves of garlic
Frozen Peas (fresh if in season)
One tin of coconut milk
(Charred/blanched cauliflower would also be good, but I forgot to get some. When in season spinach and/swiss chard would also make welcome additions)
One cardamom pod (per person)
Very small pinch of cinnamon
Two tspns curry paste
One and a half tsps cumin seeds
One tsp tumeric
One tsp dried coriander seeds
One green chilli
Two tbsps of a flavourless oil (sunflower/vegetable)
Pinch of salt
Pour the oil into a large casserole/stock pot and warm on a low heat. Dice the carrots and begin to soften in the oil. They take longer to soften that the onions, so make sure to do them first. Then dice the onions and put them in to soften. While these are making friends, toast tumeric, cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan and then grind in a pestle and mortar, or the back of a spoon. Set aside momentarily. Now the onions and carrots are nice and supple, pour in the puy lentils, dried red split lentils and coconut milk.
Once it is all in and incorporated add the spice, curry paste and pinch of salt. Increase the heat until the mixture is bubbling and leave at this heat for 10 minutes. Add the peas (other vegetables also if applicable) and the chilli, thinly sliced. Turn down to simmer, lid of far half an hour. The curry will reduce and become rich and creamy. While simmering, place the basmati rice in a saucepan with one part rice to two parts water.
Bring to the boil and once boiling, turn down to simmer for 15 minutes. Open the cardamom pods and scrape the seeds in and add the smallest pinch of cinnamon. Stir in. Take the rice of the heat and cover, leave for five minutes. I served this with charred broccoli, but chutney and naan bread/popadoms would bulk it up nicely.