Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Recipe - Vegetables and Turmeric

I tend to lose my grip on reality in the last two weeks of term. I lose the ability (and the time) to sleep and stagger around like a lost zombie unable to function or organise. It's like seeing someone who's been through a Northern Lights style intercision and been separated from their daemon. I think that was an insensitive comment to make even if it is fiction. Anyway, in this two weeks I lose the will/energy to cook. Luckily for me, I also lose my appetite so failing to cook isn't too much of a problem. When I get home, I sleep and watch crap on Comedy Central for 3 days and eat everything ever I see. Of course, home is also accompanied by crushing boredom manifesting itself as a desire to delete all traces of myself from the Internet, constant digs about my choice to not become a lawyer and occasional helpful remarks about my appearance. ('You've put so much weight on.' 'Your complexion is horrendous.') Still, the food makes it worth it. Everything is so simple and nourishing. Especially the vegetables. I have cravings for these dishes in term sometimes. Particularly when I've done something bad or I'm a little sad or feel a bit mad (like the cat in the hat). In other words, any time I feel like being mothered and looked after and having no responsibility. These recipes are so imbued with the feeling of home/being a child that eating them makes me feel better. Anyway, before I start waxing lyrical about the sublime, here are the recipes. All of them are broadly the same recipe just with different vegetables. But they're all very good!
Runner Bean, Tomato and Potato Curry
1 onion, finely sliced
250g runner beans, washed and cut into 2inch long pieces
2 salad tomatoes, cut into sixths
3 large-ish new potatoes, cut into quarters
1.5 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp chilli powder
Salt
Fry the onion in about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil on a medium heat until the onion is very soft but not yet coloured.
Once soft, add 1.5 tbsp of turmeric and 1 tbsp of chilli powder and mix to make a paste. Add a little more oil if necessary if the mixture looks as though it is drying.
Add the runner beans and potatoes and mix to coat with the spice paste thoroughly.
Season with salt (about 1 level tsp)
Add 50ml of water.
Bring to a simmer on a low heat and cover.
After about 15 minutes, add the tomatoes.
After 5 minutes, switch off the stove.

Fried Turmeric-y Greens
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
500g greens cut into thin slivers
4 dried red chillies
3 finger chillies, slit open but still intact
1 tbsp turmeric
Salt
In a large, deep frying pan, fry the onion, garlic and chillies in a liberal dose of vegetable oil on a medium heat until soft but not yet coloured.
Add the turmeric so that a yellow paste is developed.
Add the cabbage and coat with turmeric.
Add the green finger chillies and season with salt to taste.
Continue to fry on a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the greens are soft and glossy (about 10 minutes).

Fried Turmeric-y Spinach
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 tbsp turmeric
1 finger chilli, slit open but still intact
200g young leaf spinach

Fry the onion and garlic in vegetable oil until soft but not coloured on a medium heat.
Add the turmeric and a little more oil if necessary.
Add the spinach and finger chilli, coat in turmeric and a sprinkling of salt.
The spinach will wilt and the water will come out and after this happens, turn the heat up to high until the water is evaporated off.

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