A few months ago I promised the person who was the 100th person to like my Facebook Page that I would cook dinner for them. Luckily Nicky is the sister of one of my besties so the evening wasn’t going to be nerve racking just a gathering of friends, chatting, eating and drinking together – just as I like it.
The group that were to gather around the table consisted of a vegetarian, a gluten free, a non white fish eater and one on a diet! I sympathise but have no truck with those on a diet! So I decided to cook up a range of curries.
Vegetable Biriani – River Cottage Veg Book. I have made this a number of times and it never fails to please.
Red Lentil Dhal – River Cottage Veg Book. Easy, fast, cheap and tasty. It can be made from store cupboard ingredients and is a wonderful quick midweek meal.
Baked Chicken Curry – River Cottage Everyday Book. This is really good. Again easy – you make up the sauce – cover the chicken with it and pop it in the oven for an hour. Hey presto!
All the above can be found through the power of Google if you haven’t got the books.
Chapatis (Out of a packet- warmed in the oven.
Popadoms (Again out of a packet as after a gin I could not be trusted with hot oil!)
Yoghurt and Mango chutney.
Pudding was a range of berries with Joes Icecream (Joes is a Swansea based icecream maker which is just the best).
Because it is the Other Half’s favourite I made a Saag Paneer. This I do without a recipe but will share my version with you:
500g fresh spinach, well washed
2 tbsp ghee
150g paneer, cubed
1 small onion, very thinly sliced
4 or 5 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
Thumb size piece of ginger, minced
Half a tap of Kashmiri chilli powder 3 or 4 chopped tomatoes chopped 1 tsp garam masala½ tsp turmeric
Salt. Lemon Fresh Corriander
Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the paneer, tossing so it browns in all sides. Remove to a plate keeping the ghee in the pan and sprinkle with salt. Put the pan back on the heat, Fry the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric and chilli until soft and smelling divine. Throw in the tomatoes so they soften slightly. Wash the spinach and squeeze out the water. If it’s the everlasting type that comes still attached to stems (£1.50 for two bunches at Exotica, St Helen’s Road for Swansea peeps!) chop the stems and pop them in the pan and mix before adding the tender leaves. Give everything a good twirl around the pan so everything starts to mingle. (Add a few drops of water if it’s too dry but not too much). Pop in the paneer, add the garam masala and salt to taste. Mingle a bit more – taste for seasoning and finish off with a squeeze of lemon to lift the flavours. Sprinkle with some fresh chopped coriander.
So there you go. If you are interested the pictures of each dish apart for the Saag Paneer (as I appear to have deleted it!) they are on my FB page and Instagram.
I should add a huge thank you to Tina’s mum for the Garam Masala – it’s wonderful ❤️