It’s been quite a week! A trip to friends and a night out taking two young girls to their first concert (Little Mix) at the weekend, capped off with a glorious roast beef Sunday lunch in Baslow. For my birthday (which was Wednesday) I was taken out for the most juicy burger imaginable and there has been cake – believe me, there has been cake.
So, for dinner tonight I’ve made a veg curry to balance out my meaty week, but because it’s Friday I still feel the need to mark the weekend with a treat. I can’t claim that my vegetable curry is wholly virtuous, but hopefully it will taste good and still rack up my five-a-day.
Friday nights for me are the chance to relax over a meal, take it easy and enjoy the experience. Any food that can be served in a bowl is a winner for me, and although rice is my go-to carb, I love a one-bowl curry that can be served with a piping hot chapatti to scoop up the chunks and also mop up the sauce. That’s what I wanted tonight and when I remembered a half-used block of paneer in the freezer I knew that veggie was the way to go.
I started off by browning the cheese in a dry pan and then putting it to one side whilst I got on with toasting nigella seeds, cumin seeds, garam, cardamom and turmeric in a little sunflower oil. Once I could smell the spices I added some chilli powder and the onion and garlic. At this stage I add salt as I once read that salt will ‘release’ the water from onions and, as I try to use less oil, this seems to be an effective way at ensuring things don’t stick to the pan. Once the alliums were coated and starting to soften, I squirted in a tablespoon or two of tomato puree and let all of this meld together before adding in diced potatoes, carrot and my (not-so) secret ingredient: a tablespoon of Geeta’s Mango Chutney. A glug of water and the lid went on to give the potatoes and carrots a head-start for 15 minutes or so before I added some chopped cabbage – red, because that’s what was in the fridge, but doesn’t it look purdy??
I then added a little more water and covered the pan, letting the vegetables cook through. Once they were soft and tender, I put the browned cheese back in and left it all to sit for a bit so that the cheese could absorb some of the flavour. A bowl of this, with a couple of chapattis and that’s my Friday night sorted.