All posts tagged “curry

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Lehsuni daal – cumin & garlic lentils

Lentils with cumin and garlicCurries are the most incredibly tasty but difficult thing to get right. Living in gloriously curry-filled Birmingham for three years there wasn’t any point for me in making it at home, when take-away was so reliably tasty and cheap. It seems to me that nothing gets as good, and as unpretentious, as Birmingham curries. No London eateries seemed to mend this feeling, and in Brussels I rarely come across curry houses. These lentils are just perfect, as after lots of trial and testing I think I’ve somewhat managed to replicate a sort of Brummie daal at home.

I believe the trick is in the golden brown abundance of garlic, toasted cumin seeds and fenugreek. As a bonus, your place will smell of curry for three days afterwards.

Lehsuni daalYou need:

– 1 mug red lentils
– 3 mugs water
– 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
– 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed in large pieces
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 8 garlic cloves
– 1 1/5 tsp whole cumin seeds
– 1-2 tbsp butter (or even better, ghee)
– 2 tbsp Worcestersauce
– 1/5 tsp Ground fenugreek
– Salt
– Nutmeg
– Dried chili flakes (adjust to your preferred heat)

Daal ingredientsRinse the lentils, and boil them on low heat together with the onion, potatoes, mustard seeds and turmeric. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes have softened and the lentils have broken down. You want a consistency somewhere between a stew and a thick soup.

When this is about done, melt the butter/ghee in pan, fry the cumin seeds until they stop sizzling, then add the garlic and fry until it’s light brown. Toss in a few pinches of fenugreek for aroma. Stir this mix into the lentils.

Flavour with chili flakes or cayenne pepper for some heat, add plenty of salt, and worcester sauce until (I know this sounds like an odd addition to a curry, but it’s brilliant). Serve with plenty of condiments (lime pickle, hot sauce, chopped coriander, yoghurt and mango chutney) and eat yourself into a slight food coma.

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Flying Jakob – Swedish 70s curry

Flygande Jakob

Flygande Jakob (flying Jakob) is a modern Swedish classic, invented in the 70s by an airline freight man called Arne. I love its savoury weirdness, as it mixes whipped cream, ketchup, curry and banana. The original includes chicken and bacon, but I enjoy this one with quorn. In trying to become a half-veggie, recipes such as these are a good way of substituting chicken, telling no substantial difference whatsoever.

I tend to be skeptical of meat imitations, because vegetarian food holds it own very well without copying meat, and also because imitations rarely taste as good as the real thing. But this tastes marvellous, and I over-binge every time we make this at home.

Cream and ketchup

For four portions, you need:

  • 2 bags of defrosted quorn (or 500 grams of chicken)
  • Bacon (optional, for the meaties)
  • 4 dl cream
  • 1 tsp mild madras curry powder
  • 1 1/2 dl ketchup
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 handfuls peanuts or cashewnuts
  • Basmati rice and sriracha sauce to serve

Quorn, banana, and cream mix

Start by frying the quorn pieces in a little bit of the curry powder and oil. Once they’ve taken on some colour, let them cool while you whip the cream. Mix the ketchup into the the cream, and add the rest of the curry powder. Cut the banana up in fat, coin-sized pieces, and scatter it with the quorn in an oven-proof pan. Distribute the whipped cream evenly on top, and let it sit in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until it has  browned on top. About five minutes before you think it’s ready, scatter the nuts on top, and put it back into the oven.

Flygande Jakob out of the oven.

Take it out and let cool slightly while you open a cold beer and set the table. Serve it with basmati rice, and some sriracha chili sauce on top for those who want heat with the savoury sweetness. Needless to say, this really does taste better the day after, and makes for a perfect lunchbox. We’ve tried making it healthier by substituting cream with Turkish yoghurt, but I would not recommend it.