I absolutely love Indian food. I am sorry if anyone disagrees, but I personally think that it is the best food ever! And I mean ever.
I am living with my parents at the moment, which naturally has its ups and downs. We get along as well as our cats and dogs do, and like any family household, there is the occasionally need to scream into a pillow, or out of a window. The biggest point of contention in the kitchen, by far, is spice. My parents, being of Polish origin, are not accustomed to any eye-popping spices. In fact, even a single chilli is enough to send the whole house into uproar. And so, since moving back home last year, I find myself having massive pangs for a nice hot curry.
Recently I went to dinner party at a friends house (yes, we are now officially old enough for dinner parties to be an acceptable Friday night activity). Ciara and Dan made the most fabulous butternut squash and chickpea curry creation, and I will have to ask for the recipe next time my parents are out. It reminded me of days that my boyfriend, Pete, and I would feast on Indian food back when we used to live on our own. I am always keen to learn and share recipes of my favourite kinds of cuisine, so please let me if you have a favourite of your own.
At the moment I am also missing the Scottish mountains. We went to the Cairngorms last week and had a glorious holiday in the snow. I had a fantastic time with some great friends. We did some nice walks and even managed to get some skiing in at the end – in Scotland, who knew! We were there as part of a larger group trip and met some lovely fellow walkers/adventurers. Also got some good practice naving in white out conditions, nobody walked off a cornice or died in an avalanche, so all very happy with that. I managed to survive walking in wind speeds gusting at 85mph. Some of us were thankful to be alive; so all in all a cracking holiday!
A sneaky shot of me and my half hidden friend Maddi (she had a bad cold) in a rare moment of visibility.
Great view from the summit of Cairnwell – sadly our only Munroe of the trip.
Along with the mountains, I also miss the food we ate. We stayed in some luxury log cabins, and each took it in turns to cook for our group. The cabins were luxurious by our usual standards anyway – most of us are happy with a roof over our heads in the form of a draughty barn, sometimes sleeping along with resident animals. Anyway we had some proper big feasts to fill us up for ‘hard’ mountain days (at least that is what we told ourselves anyway). At the end of the week the guy we rented ski stuff from asked how much we each weighed (for the fitting the ski bindings, not some bizarre pick-up line) and I had to make some quick calculations taking into account the sheer volumes I had eaten. You are probably thinking that this mountaineering stuff sounds like quite a soft ‘sport, and I think you would be right. The way I see it, mountaineering is all about great company, lots of food, and a bit of walking on the side.
Anyway, for my meal I made my take on the classic sag aloo with a red lentil dhal. I served it with some naan bread and rice. So, without any further ado, here is one of my favourite recipes for spinach and potato curry. Just what you need after a long winter walk (or a hard day at work!).
Spinach and Potato Curry
Adapted from The Complete Vegetarian Cook
- 300g new potatoes
- 300g fresh spinach
- one onion, halved then sliced finely
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 chilli
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 1 tsp gram masala
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- tin of coconut cream
- salt and pepper
- juice of half a lemon
Cut potatoes in half and parboil for 8 minutes. When ready drain and leave to one side.
Meanwhile heat oil in a large heavy-base pan (I usually use a wok) fry the onion, for a few minutes before adding tumeric, coriander, gram masala, chilli, garlic and splash of water.
Add the cooked potatoes and fry on a high heat for another 6-8 minutes. Wait until they brown slightly before stirring. Finally add the coconut milk, cook for a further 10 minutes until it has reduced. Add the spinach at the very end, let it wilt slightly before stirring it in.
Add lemon juice, season well, and serve with naan bread or rice.