Tomatoey prawn curry with carrot and cumin seed salad

A fairly short and sweet post tonight as I’m feeling somewhat fragile not to mention sleepy after a little Christmas soiree we had at ours last night. (Impressive amount of gluwein, mulled cider and winter pimms empties this morning, not to mention icing sugar and mince pie crumbs EVERYWHERE). I may just follow up with a little festive post after this one in fact.

I’m a big fan of seafood in a curry, this is a really straightforward quick and tasty prawn curry.

To make this for two you will need;

  • 200g raw king prawns
  • White onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili (seeds left in)
  • Chunk of ginger
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard  seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp malt vinegar
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh coriander

For the salad

  • Peeled and grated carrots
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Good shake of cumin seeds
  • Salt & pepper
  • Pinch of sugar

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the onion. Once softened add the grated ginger and crushed garlic. Cook for a few minutes then stir in the sugar and spices for 1 minute. Splash in the vinegar and tomatoes, season with a little salt then leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Stir in the prawns , reduce heat and simmer for 7 or 8 minutes until the prawns are cooked. Sprinkle with fresh coriander to serve. Meanwhile make the salad by mixing the grated carrots with some olive oil and lemon juice, add the salt and pepper and sugar and a decent shake of cumin seeds. (In my usual style I have no actual measurements for the salad!) and Enjoy!

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Chicken and Red Lentil Curry

This is a curry I first made a few years ago, from whatever I could find in my kitchen. Rob had been away for 10 days walking the Coast to Coast (The Wainwright Coast to Coast for those of you that don’t know it). England may be a relatively small country, but walking from one side of it to the other is still a fairly impressive feat, particularly as Rob went ahead with it on his own despite his friend pulling out of the last minute. And the fact that the crazy poor boy was particularly unlucky with the weather, resulting in a pretty continuous soaking for must of the journey. So, after 10 wet, lonely days, he reached his final destination – Robin’s Hood Bay on the North Yorkshire coast, and proceeded to toss the stone he had picked up from the start of his walk at St Bees on the Cumbrian coast into the sea on the opposite side of the country. He then phoned me from the train station telling me that he had made it, that he would be home in a few hours, and that he was practically hallucinating at the prospect of a hot bath, a curry and a beer.

Once ensuring there was hot water and bubble bath, I cried “to the kitchen!” I must make my crazy darling man a curry! On entering the kitchen however I found there to be none of my usual curry ingredients – fresh chillis, rice or mustard seeds. I peered out the window, “hhmm looks a bit wet and blowy out there. Not sure I want to walk to the shop…” (The irony of this does not escape me given the journey that he had just made). I shall be inventive and concoct a new curry instead. Thank god there were at least beers in the fridge! And so one of our favourite currys was born; the chicken and red lentil.

Here’s what you’ll need to make around two generous portions or three smaller ones;

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 large clove of garlic or 2 medium-sized ones
  • Chunk of ginger
  • 2 tbsp curry paste (Rogan Josh was the one I had in the fridge that day, but I’ve made this with a few different ones depending on what I’ve had in)
  • Around 1 and half tbsp curry powder
  • 1 heaped tsp tumeric
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • Around quarter of a tsp of nutmeg
  • Decent squeeze of tomato puree (between 1/3 and 1/2 of a tube)
  • 500ml chicken stock

Heat a little oil in a pan and add the curry paste, curry powder, tumeric, chilli and nutmeg. Then add the chopped onion, crushed garlic and grated ginger (grate the ginger straight over the pan to keep all the flavour!) Fry for a few minutes until softening.

 

Stir in the diced chicken and then the roughly chopped red pepper and cook on a fairly high heat for around 5-10 more minutes. Add the rinsed lentils, the chicken stock and the tomato puree and leave to simmer for around 20 minutes – until the lentils have cooked.

 

Serve with a toasted pitta or naan bread. And a cold beer, of course! (And excuse my mucky table cloth! Oops!)

 


Prawn, Mango and Sweet Potato Red Thai Curry

I first  found this recipe online somewhere a couple of years ago, I’m afraid I can’t remember where, and with a few wee tweaks here and there, it fast became one of my all time favourite meals. It’s spicy, but not too spicy, it’s sweet, but not too sweet, it’s tangy, but not too tangy and it’s slurpy. It’s completely moreish.

As with many of my favourite recipes, I have little habits that go with the cooking of it. For this one, I like to have the kitchen completely to myself (don’t get me wrong, the OH and I like cooking together, and, usually manage to agree on what we’re doing, but this has always been of my babies and I like to enjoy some alone time when cooking it! Also, I tend to make quite a mess when cooking this so like to spread out…) I always drink a glass of wine while making it, and I always have some feel good funky music on as I go.

This is what you’ll need;

For the paste.  (always handy to keep some in the fridge);

  • 2 shallots
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2-3 red chillis (I include the seeds as well)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Chunk of ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • 2 tsps corriander seeds (crushed)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (crushed)
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika
  • zest and juice 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

Whizz together in blender. Keep in a jar in the fridge.

For the curry;

  • 200g king prawns
  • 1 medium mango
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 or 4 spring onions depending on size
  • Small chunk of ginger
  • 1 and a half tbsps red thai curry paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • sesame oil
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 200 ml coconut milk (I use light and don’t think it impacts on the flavour at all. The bonus with using 200ml is that it leaves you with half a can of coconut milk, perfect excuse to whip up a little coconut ice cream! 🙂 )
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • fresh coriander to serve

Heat some sesame oil in a large wok and fry the crushed garlic and grated ginger, after a few mintues add the chopped spring onions. After another minute or two add the curry paste.

Whisk in the coconut milk, fish sauce and chicken stock and simmer for around 5 minutes. Meanwhile peel and cube the sweet potato then add to the sauce. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until tender.

Add the prawns to the pan then after a few minutes, once they’ve begun to cook through, add the peeled and chopped mango and the lime juice. Cook for another minute or two then serve with freshly chopped coriander. This always leaves quite a bit of sauce so I serve in a bowl, slurpy and yummy 🙂

You can probably tell that a) I’d had a couple of glasses of wine already and that b) I was so looking forward to eating this that I couldn’t really be bothered with nice presentation or faffing around with pictures!


Rob’s Chicken Jalfrezi

When I first met my other half he had a repertoire of three dishes that he would make; spaghetti bolognese, chilli con carne and chicken jalfrezi. These dishes interspersed his numerous meals of beans on toast and cheese on toast. (At least he no longer lived above a pizzeria takeaway by the time I met him and therefore had pretty much ditched the pizza diet!). He’s actually a pretty good cook but apparently didn’t feel there was any point in cooking when there was just his mouth to feed. Good job I came along when I did! 😉 This was one of the first meals he cooked for me. The very first was spaghetti bolognese, I remember this distinctly as I was extremely concerned by the fact I would no doubt splatter sauce across the table and myself. And of course I did. At least it broke the ice!

Anyway, I soon learnt the recipe too and it quickly became a firm favourite of ours and still is 🙂 This is a relatively fast and un-fussy curry to make compared to some of my others so we tend to have this in the week. It’s good after work on a Friday night with a couple of beers and maybe some poppadoms and mango chutney, yum!

Here’s what you’ll need;

  • Chicken, diced
  • Oil
  • 1 medium to large white onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 a green pepper (or as you’ll seen in the picture below, we had an orange one to use up. The colour and flavour of green coupled with all the red tomatoyness works best though)
  • 1 green chilli
  • a decent nub of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsps madras curry paste (I don’t know why  its madras paste, that’s just what he’s always used. Alternatively you could make your own paste but using a jar does make if faster for after work cooking)
  • 1 heaped tsp tumeric
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 2 tsps mustard seeds
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • tomato puree
  • coriander to serve (you’ll see from the picture we ran out and used dried corriander leaf as better than nothing)

For the rice;

  • White basmati rice
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tsp coriander leaf

Heat some oil in a pan and add the cumin, mustard seeds, tumeric and curry paste. Fry for a few minutes.

Peel your ginger and grate it over the pan (so as not to loose all the juice). Add the crushed garlic and chopped onion. Fry until softened then add the peppers and chilli (including seeds if you like it with a bit of a kick) and cook for a few minutes. Add the chicken and fry until golden the tip in the tinned tomatoes and a good squeeze of tomato puree. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the rice with 1/2 tsp of tumeric and 2 tsps of coriander leaf added to the water. Once cooked leave the rice with a tea towel wedged between the pan and the lid for 10 minutes to make sure it’s nice and fluffy.

Serve the curry with a sprinkle of coriander (if you have any!)