I love to cook and I love to eat good food.  Alas, the fact that I work 9-5 means that I can't do either as much as I would like, and like many I am often stuck at my desk during my lunch "hour".  My solution is to try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can.  This is my collection of recipes, all made quickly the night before (either as lunch or as dinner with leftovers that can be taken in).  Happy eating.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Bad picture good curry

Reading is a dangerous thing.  When I read Murakami, I need to stock up on soy sauce, mirin, and ginger.  When I read Balzac, out comes the brasserie and patisserie in my kitchen.  I haven't yet mastered Russian cuisine, partially because I have never managed to get through Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky.  One of these days...

For some reason, the last few books I've read have been set in India in the 19th century.  Intertwined with the narrative, I read description upon description of dals, chutneys and pickles, the method for making rotis or naan, how properly to cook rice, and the steamy heat of a curry cooked over a fire in a remote village.  My head filled with images of the Ganges, monsoons, small boats or palanquins on elephants, my tongue filled with turmeric and chili.  

Coming home one night with such a craving for spices and vegetables, but wanting something quick and light but satisfying, I looked through Anjum Anand's Indian Food Made Easy cookbook and found just what I was looking for.  A few tweaks -- in keeping with the spirit of her book -- and I was off.  I scarfed it down and had leftovers for lunch the next day.

It wasn't, however, until I cracked open my plastic container the next day that I really appreciated the recipe and decided it was worth recording -- hence the photo taken with my Blackberry.  The flavors had intensified and the aromas nearly transported me around the world to the land in my literature.  Proust would have been proud.

Bad picture, good curry

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

¼ tsp red chili

1/3 C. dried shredded coconut plus hot water to cover

1 tsp minced ginger

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 large potato, scrubbed and cubed

1 small zucchini, halved and sliced

1 can chick peas

2 C. chopped greens such as spinach, kale or chard

Add warm water to coconut and let soak.

Saute onion in olive oil until soft.  Add ginger and heat through.  Add spices and cook a few minutes until fragrant.

Add carrot and potato to pan and cook until nearly soft, then add zucchini and allow them to finish cooking together.  It may be necessary to add a bit of water to the pan to keep the vegetables from sticking.  Alternatively, speed up cooking times by boiling the potato in a separate pot while the onions soften, then add to the pan with the carrot.

Add chickpeas, greens, and coconut and water, then stir through to wilt greens and allow flavors to meld.

Serve with naan (or pita bread as in photo!) or rice if desired.

Serves 2.


Chow and Chatter said...

looks tasty

Sarah, The New Girl said...

haha I keep forgetting to take pictures of things!! then I remember, and it's these awful ones!

But yours isn't so bad-- and the recipe SOUNDS great!

Heather said...

mmmm. we love curry at my house. this looks delicious!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Cucinista, don't miss CA too much. Too many wild fires. You are so smart to use yur left overs in new dishes. At this time in our lives, waste is a definite no-no. Love the your recipes.

Cucinista said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting everyone!

Palidor said...

Nice looking curry. I love seeing all the different variations that are out there.

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