Food Week – Day 5: Curry Heaven!

Here on Netmums Blog we’re celebrating British Food Fortnight by asking some wonderful guest bloggers to choose a seasonal meal from Netmums Recipes section, cook it, eat it and then blog about it!

Today we are served up some fantastic Netmums Fakeaway Indian Recipes recreated by Keith Kendrick the Reluctant Housedad.

There is nothing more British than an Indian! The takeaway curry is one of THE great institutions of our nation. But who, in these times of economic woe, can afford to order in as much as they would like? Certainly not I.

I have adored Indian food ever since I backpacked around the country 10 years ago. I’d never tasted anything quite as exquisite as the food I ate there, both from street stalls and in restaurants. It inspired me to learn to cook curries the authentic way, re-creating dishes from the cookbooks of Madhur Jaffrey and Pat Chapman, who founded The Curry Club.

Since then, I’ve moved on to develop my own recipes and spice blends, so when I was invited to take part in Netmums’ Food Week, I thought I’d see if I could learn a thing or two from the recipes featured in their fab Fakeaway section on the Netmums’ site.

I wasn’t only pleasantly surprised by the two Netmums dishes I’ve recreated here…I was also massively impressed.

The BENGALI CHICKEN CURRY submitted by Netmums member Halimah from London is one of the most authentic tasting Indian dishes I’ve ever eaten. And the CHICKPEA AND CASHEW NUT CURRY from the Vegetarian Society is a perfect balance of crunchy textures and gentle spicing.

Most of the ingredients I’ve used here – with the exception of the spices and a couple of the more exotic ingredients – were grown in Britain and bought at the local farmers’ market where I live in north London.

Rather than start the two curries from scratch, I made a base for both by cooking down onions, garlic and ginger and the dividing it.

Here’s the recipe for the base:

3 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil (I used ghee)
5 onions, peeled and roughly chopped

10 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  1. In a large frying pan, gently heat the ghee and add the onions, garlic and ginger. If you get the base right, everything will follow so cook until very soft. I did mine for 45 mins. Be careful it doesn’t burn or become too dry. Add a little water throughout.
  2. Using a stick blender or potato masher, puree the mixture until relatively smooth.

BENGALI CHICKEN CURRY

 Serves 4

Halima wrote: ‘If you want to make a traditional chicken curry, it will take a longer to make than some recipes, but it will taste totally different, and is worth the extra effort if you have the time. Its best to leave the curry to stand for 2 hours minimum before you eat it, so you give the sauce the chance to marinate into the meat. Most Bengali women cook in the morning for that family to eat in the evening, and from experience it does taste nicer when you let it sit for longer.’

Great advice, Halima. I actually made mine two days before we ate it and it was sensational.

You will need:

  • 1 tsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 of the onion, garlic and ginger base from above recipe
  • 2 bay leaves (I used the ones from the pots on my roof terrace)
  • 4 green, or 2 brown, cardamom pods (I used brown)
  • Piece of cinnamon stick (roughly 1 inch long )
  • 4 free-range chicken thighs (mine were from Fosse Meadow), skinned
  • 1-2 tsp chilli powder (if you don’t like it too spicy, just add 1 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • Fresh coriander

1. In a large frying, heat the ghee or oil and add the pureed base mixture. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cardamom seeds. Mix together and add a little water.

2. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder to the pan and mix together with a wooden spoon. It may be quite dry so add 1 tbsp of water, if needed.

3. Add the chicken thighs and stir until completely covered with the curry mixture.

4. At this stage, I added a little water then transferred to a slow cooker and cooked on LOW for 3 hours.  If you don’t have a slow cooker, transfer to a casserole dish and put in a low oven (160C/Gas 2) for 2-3 hours, until the chicken is tender.

5. Transfer to a non-metallic bowl and chill until needed. When you’re ready, transfer to a pan and heat for 15-20 mins until piping hot. Serve sprinkled with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

CHICKPEA AND CASHEW NUT KORMA

Serves: 4

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
    1/4 of the onion, garlic and ginger base mixture
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 green pepper, cut into pieces
  • 1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained
  • 100g cashew nuts (unsalted)
  • 1 vegetarian stock cube, diluted in 1 litre of boiling water
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 30g fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of cornflour (to thicken the sauce if preferred)
  • 200ml low fat natural yogurt

1. Gently heat the oil in a large pan and add the pureed base mixture. Add the turmeric, paprika, ginger and chilli and cook for 2 mins.

2. Add the sweet potato, cauliflower, peppers, chickpeas, cashew nuts, stock and coconut milk then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.

3. If you like a thicker sauce, mix 1 tsp of cornflour with a little water to make a paste. Add this to the korma and gently stir in and cook for five mins.

4. Add the peas and most of the coriander, saving a little for garnish, and cook for five minutes.

5. Add seasoning to taste and serve with a spoonful of natural yogurt and coriander to garnish. Serve with spicy rice or chapatis.

Like this? Why not check out some other great seasonal recipes from the food section on Netmums or come over and tell us your favourite seasonal meal over at the coffeehouse? We also have lots of other wonderful foodie bloggers on our Bloggers Network so don’t forget to have a browse and do let us know if you were inspired to cook something new!

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Food and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s