** This post originally appeared on one of my blogs from well back in the day – this week I am doing a retrospective of some past writing – I hope you enjoy!**
We had a little lunch gathering for a few friends yesterday – not quite like the picture above – but hey I am dreaming of summer and being able to spend serious amounts of time outdoors!
We cooked up a bit of an Indian feast including a couple of vegetarian curries (Eggplant and Chickpea as well as this Aloo Gobi ). We also made a Goat Madras – yes you read right – Goat.
Back in our pre-children days we regularly went to a great Indian restaurant in Brisbane called A Night in India (High st, Toowong – I thoroughly recommend!). My husband and his friends regularly ordered a goat dish for the novelty factor – and really it is a novelty. It doesn’t taste all that different to Lamb!
For the first time I went to a specialty spice store and bought a authentic Indian madras spice blend. If you have never been to one of these places they are quite an eye opener – all the things you can buy in bulk! Rice and Spices…. but I digress. I think that doing this made such a big difference to the flavour of the curry – it was perfect! Add rice and poppadums – we were all very happy! If anyone is interested I improvised basing the curry on a combination of this Goat curry recipe and this one.
I found it interesting to hear one of our friends telling the other girl (Who I had only met once before briefly) that I make everything from scratch (she was referring to the pumpkin hummus that I made). Is it that strange to cook from scratch? Is that a reflection of the quick and easy society that we live in?
I cook most things from scratch for a number of reasons:
– so that I know what has gone into the food – no chemicals, additives or preservatives.
– so that my children see cooking and preparing food as a normal part of growing up and that we don’t always just go to the shop when we want something.
– value for money!
So I’ll leave you with the Eggplant and Chickpea curry recipe – but tell me –
Do you prefer to make things from scratch???
Eggplant and Chickpea Curry
Serves 4 as a main
2 medium Eggplant
200g Green Beans
1 onion – diced
1 Tin chickpeas
1 tin Lentils
1.5 tbls Tamarind paste
2 Cups water
1 tbls yellow mustard seeds
2 tbls Garam marsala
200ml Coconut milk
Rogan Josh curry spice blend
2 tbls minced ginger
1 tblsp minced garlic
Chop eggplant into 3 – 4 cm cubes, spray with olive oil spray and cook in a 200 degree celcius (180 fan forced) oven for 20mins.
Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a pan with approx 2 tbls olive oil – cook gently until the onion starts to brown. Add the mustard seeds and Garam Marsala and cook until fragrant (about 1 min). Add spice blend and mix through thoroughly. Add tamarind and water and stir through. Allow to cook down and reduce slightly. Add eggplant, lentils, chickpeas and beans and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add coconut milk in the last 5 minutes.
Serve with Basmati rice!