Sunday, 15 June 2014

Fathers Day Dinner

Yesterday I explained that I had been busy in my small garden and therefore had not posted a recipe from my June menu, but as the June menu showed I do have something to share with you for Fathers Day. To make up for the lack of recipes I haven't got one recipe for you, nor two recipes but four!

You don't have to make this just for Fathers day invite some friends round and have a curry party. That's right my Fathers Day Menu is a 'thali'. Three different curries, with rice, cauliflower rice, poppadoms and mint raita. As it was Fathers Day I wanted to spend my time with my Dad and not in the kitchen all day preparing the meals, so I'll be sharing my cheats version for the third curry and the mint raita. You can make all three curries the day before and reheat, in fact most curries taste better the next day!

Without further ado, let me introduce you to the first curry: 

Spinach and Potato

1 Tbsp Light Olive oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Chilli, de-seeded if you don't like it hot and finely diced
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Knob of Ginger, grated
½ tsp Ground cumin
½ tsp Ground coriander
½ tsp Ground turmeric
400g new potatoes
1 Tomato, diced
1 Tsp Tomato puree
½ Tsp Vegetable bouillon powder
200ml Water
100g Spinach, washed, spun dry & shredded
Water as required
Fresh Coriander, finely chopped

Cut the potatoes in half if they are small or quarters if they are larger, you want all pieces to be roughly the same size so they all cook through.

Fry the onion in the oil for 5 minutes or until translucent, add the garlic, ginger and the spices and cook over a low heat for another two minutes continuously stirring so nothing burns.

Add the potatoes and stir so they are coated in the onion mixture. Add the tomato and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the tomato has broken down. If the potatoes start sticking add a splash of water to the pan.

Dissolve the vegetable bouillon powder in the water and add the tomato puree, stir to combine and add to the pan of potatoes. Continue to cook until the potatoes are cooked all the way through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add further water if they start sticking to the pan.
Note to self, next time I make this I will par-boil the potatoes first!

Add the shredded spinach to the pan about 5 minutes from the end and wilt, you will need to do this in batches unless you have used a big pan! Add the coriander, saving a little for a garnish.

Tofu Tikka Massala

2 Tsp Coriander Seeds
2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Tsp Paprika
2 Tsp Garlic Granules
1½ Tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Dried parsley
1 Tsp Chilli flakes
1 Tsp Ground ginger
1 Tsp Tumeric
Himalayan salt & Black pepper
2 Tbsp White wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Water
Block of Tofu, drained & pressed, I used 396g block from Cauldron
6 Tbsp Soy yogurt
1 Tbsp Light Olive oil
I Onion, diced
1 Chilli, de-seeded if you don't like it hot and finely diced
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Knob of Ginger, grated
200ml Warm water
1 Tbsp Tomato puree, heaped
Fresh Coriander, finely chopped

Dry fry the coriander and cumin seeds until they release their aroma and then grind in a pestle and mortar to a fine powder. Tip into a bow and add the next 7 spices and mix, add a good grind of black pepper and a smaller grind of Himalayan pink salt and mix again. Add the vinegar and water and mix to a paste.

Transfer half of the paste to a bowl and add 4 Tbsp of the soy yogurt to make a marinade. Dice the tofu and tip into the marinade. Leave the tofu to marinade over night if you can but if you're short on time at least 45-60 minutes.

Once the tofu has marinaded you will need to thread them onto skewers and place under a hot grill turning from time to time until the tofu forms a crust of the marinade on the outside. Remove the tofu from the skewers and set a side while you make the sauce.

Fry the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger in the oil for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent, be careful not to burn the ginger and garlic. Add the remaining paste you made earlier and cook for a further two minutes, your kitchen will start to smell wonderful.

Add the warm water and tomato puree and bring to a simmer, continue to cook for another 5 minutes. If you want a smooth sauce transfer this mixture to a food processor and blend, but you can leave the mixture to give the dish a bit of texture.

Add the tofu to the sauce and mix thoroughly, cook over a low heat and add the remaining yogurt be careful not to cook too quickly as the yogurt will curdle. Cook for another 5 minutes and add the coriander, saving a little for a garnish.

Mushroom Madras
The Cheats version

1 Tbsp Light olive oil
1½ Onions, sliced
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Knob of Ginger, grated
3 Tbsp madras curry paste, heaped
500g Chestnut mushrooms, quartered
1 Tin Coconut milk
Fresh Coriander, finely chopped

Fry the onions in the olive oil until they start to go brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 2 minutes before adding the paste. Cook for another 2 minutes and add the mushrooms. Give everything a good stir to coat the mushrooms with the spice paste, cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, bring to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the coriander, saving a little for a garnish.

Mint Raita
The Cheats version

250g Soy Yoghurt
1 Tsp Ground cumin
½ Tsp Ground coriander
3 Tsp Mint sauce 

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

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