curry

All posts tagged curry

Partying with Paneer: fragrant Indian Green Beans and Lentil Curry with Fried Paneer Gems

Published February 13, 2015 by The Feminist

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Julia Child once said that “a party without cake is just a meeting”. To my mind, the same kind of metaphorical analogy can be made about the wonderful South Asian cheese paneer :an Indian dinner without paneer is just bad takeaway. (Ha! Put that on a bumper sticker!)

Just like the better-known (at least to us, Westerners) halloumi cheese, paneer is a firm cheese, ideal for frying, because it marvelously holds its shape. Unlike halloumi, which has a rather pungent, salty flavour (some pussies would say too salty), paneer is subtler and creamier in flavour and therefore balances perfectly with the strong and spicy flavours of a wonderful Indian curry, for it slightly mellows the fiery blow.

The vegetarian curry I decided to pair with the seared paneer is one containing a very comforting mix of green beans, lentils, bell peppers and lots of ground spices. To make the curry truly stand out, I added a fruity touch to the mixture… yes, I added a heaped tablespoon of apricot jam with chili flakes. I recently bought this very delicious jar of jam and was so delighted by its flavour, that I decided to throw it in savory dishes as well. The fruity jam is a great alternative to palm sugar, which is traditionally used in Asian dishes. The jam will not only slightly sweeten the curry and balance all those spices, but it will also add that heavenly fruity touch of apricot… Sigh. Sometimes, I really am … good.

So here it is: the perfect Indian meal! Rejoice!

Green Bean and Lentil Curry with Fried Paneer

Please don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients! It’s mainly all spices, and you cannot make a good curry without the appropriate load of spices.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 250gr paneer cheese, cut into cubes
  • 80gr dried lentils
  • 350gr green beans, cut into chunks
  • 1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander stalks, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 heaped tbsp. apricot jam (with chili flakes, if you want the truly fancy stuff)
  • Fresh coriander, chopped

Method:

  1. Put a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and add onion, garlic, coriander stalks and all the spices (apart from the garam masala). Sauté on a medium heat until the spices start to smell incredibly aromatic.
  2. Add the lentils and stir in the tomato passata and coconut milk. Add a teaspoon of salt and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chunks of pepper and the apricot jam and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Finally, add the green beans and the garam masala and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the lentils are soft and the beans tender.
  5. Taste the curry. Season with salt and a bit more chili if necessary.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a pan on maximum heat and add the chunks of paneer. There is absolutely no need to add oil to the pan, the paneer will fry beautifully on its own!
  7. Serve the curry and paneer in cute bowls and sprinkle with coriander.

Spicy Food: Because Everyone Could Use Some Vavavoom in the Kitchen

Published January 24, 2015 by The Feminist

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I know it has been a while since my last post, but I’ve got a really good excuse for this minor absence on the world wide web.

No, sorry, that’s a lie. I was just lazy.

But here I am, dear readers. Back with an incredibly yummy post (Because how else would I make up for an entire week of blogging silence?)

This post is all about – you’ve guessed it!- spices.

I know I’ve said this plenty of times before, but I won’t stop repeating myself until every freaking home cook on this planet has an entire spice cupboard in his or her kitchen: spices are the source of life. No matter how tasty your other ingredients may be, if you forget to add some spice, the end-result will be dull, flavourless and downright disappointing.

Many (inexperienced) cooks only think about spices sporadically –that is, if they think about spices at all!- as if spices were some long lost acquaintances you never really got to know when you were little.

They only add spices right at the end of a recipe, or just throw in the tiniest little pinch, because they don’t really understand the purpose of this strange looking and pungently powerful acquaintance.

Basically, most of us are too scared. We would rather live a plain, boring and dull life that is safe of risks, than try and take the spicy road.

Making a close friend out of an acquaintance is indeed a work-in-progress. You will stumble, you will fall, but once you’ve got the doses right, it will feel as if your heart has finally caught fire. You will feel alive.

That’s what spices can do for you. Not only will they add some vavavoom to your daily meals, but they will also –and more importantly- warm your heart.

So make spices your best friend and you will never be cold again.

Vegetarian Chilli Sin Carne with a Coffee and Spice Blend

For this naughty little vegetarian chilli, I decided to make my very own spice blend. Believe me, there is nothing more therapeutic than grinding some spices together in a pestle-and-mortar and making the aromas spread through your kitchen.

To make this spicy dish even more special, I added some instant coffee granules to my spice mix. This will add another dimension of bittersweet intensity.

Last but not least, right near the end, I dropped a tiny piece of dark chocolate in the sauce. You won’t be able to taste the chocolate per se, but it will give the already fabulous sauce even more depth and richness.

chilli

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the Coffee and Spice Blend:

  • ½ tbsp. instant coffee granules
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the Chilli:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 courgette, roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 400gr or 1 tin of red kidney beans
  • 400gr or 1 tin of cannellini beans
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 5gr of dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
  • Fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

To serve:

  • Sour cream
  • Homemade guacamole
  • lime
  • Any type of flat bread

Method:

  1. Make the spice blend by grinding all the spices and coffee together in a pestle-and-mortar or a large and heavy bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Take 1 tsp of the spice mix and add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Mix until you get a nice paste. Brush the chunks of sweet potato with it and put them in the oven on some baking parchment and bake for 15 minutes. Once these beauties are roasted and are slightly turning black on the edges, take them out of the oven and set aside. The roasted potatoes will add an extra smokey flavour and will give the chilli an indulgent texture.
  3. In a large pan, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and add the onion, garlic, a tablespoon of finely chopped coriander stalks and the spice blend. Stir for one minute and now add the peppers and courgette. Let it fry for 3 minutes or so before adding the tinned tomatoes. Stir well and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add the beans and give it a quick taste. You will probably need to add more salt.
  5. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes before adding the roasted potatoes. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes to enhance all the flavours. Just before serving stir in the chocolate and let it dissolve.
  6. Sprinkle on some fresh coriander and serve it with a good dollop of sour cream, guacamole, a squeeze of lime juice and a slice of bread.

White Bean Curry With Rum-Flambéed Pineapple

This is an incredibly easy curry. Beans. Coconut. Spices. That’s all you need. Add to that some marvelous pineapple slices flambéed with rum and you will be dancing around your tiny kitchen like a Disney Baboon on steroids.

pineapple

Ingredients (serves 1):

For the flambéed pineapple:

  • 3 thick slices of fresh pineapple (Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use tinned pineapple!)
  • 2 tbsp Rum
  • Zest of ½ lime
  • Pinch of chilli flakes

For the white beans curry:

  • 200gr or 1 small can of white beans (but you could also use chickbeans, flageolet, black-eyed peas,…)
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3cm piece of ginger, grated
  • Fresh coriander
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Juice of ½ lime

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil or ghee in a small pan and add the ginger, garlic and all the spices (apart from the garam masala). Let it fry on a low heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the beans and stir.
  3. Add the coconut milk and season with salt. Let it simmer away for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the garam masala, the desiccated coconut and the lime juice.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a knob of butter in a pan and fry the pineapple slices until they start to caramelize. Sprinkle on the chilli and lime zest.
  6. Finally, flambé the pineapple with the rum. Be careful. You don’t want to lose all your hair.
  7. Serve the curry with the pineapple slices and sprinkle on some fresh coriander.

Plus None: Amazing Dishes Just For You and Only You

Published August 17, 2014 by The Feminist

plus

It will probably come as no surprise that I know my way around romantic comedies and fluffy television series. And if there is anything that I have learnt from watching the Zoe Harts, Carrie Bradshaws and basically all the movie characters Katherine Heigl has ever played, is that it is one of the most awkward and embarrassing moments in your entire life to show up at an event without a so-called “plus one”. Fancy gallery openings, grand weddings and even stupid office parties: no one wants to go to these things alone.

I can’t blame them, though. Even I – as a non-fictitious person – would never want to end up at the singles’ table at my cousin’s wedding, forced to make friendly conversations with Garry, the crazy uncle with the often acute viscous coughing fits, and funny Margret, who believes that wearing corduroy pants is the prerogative of chemistry students. *

However, apart from these horrid events, there are moments when I think that not having a “plus one” is actually pretty awesome: when you are cooking.

Without a plus one, you can cook whatever you like. You can empty your entire pantry, throw in your whole spice cupboard, without having to worry about the dish being too spicy or too “all over the place”.

More importantly, without a plus one, you don’t need to share.

So yes, having a “plus one” can indeed be wonderful, comforting, loving and all that fuzzy, heartwarming jazz. But when it comes to food, I like being selfish.

 I am a greedy chef.

And I am guessing there are some greedy foodies among you – my dearest readers – too.

So how about we start our own new movement? Instead of promoting “plus one”, let us advocate “plus none” instead.

Who is with me?

*note: the people in this fragment are purely fictitious, so any resemblance to actual people is nothing but a funny coincidence.

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Fragrant Mango Curry

Your entire spice cupboard in one dish: Fresh, fragrant, healthy and 100% vegan

Ingredients (serves 1 greedy chef):

  • ½ mango, diced
  • 70gr white beans (cooked)
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 red chili, sliced
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger
  • ½ red pepper, cut into thin stripes
  • Handful of bean sprouts
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • Fresh coriander
  • Fresh Thai basil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ¼ tsp nigella seeds
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 125ml coconut milk
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • fish sauce

 

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and add all the spices, together with the shallot, red chili and ginger. Let it sauté for a couple of minutes on a low heat until all the fragrances of the spices transform your kitchen into an oriental bazar.
  2. Add the coconut milk and let it simmer for 10 minutes until the flavours have multiplied. Now toss in the red pepper, white beans and mango and let it simmer for a further 5 minutes until everything is heated through.
  3. Finally, stir through the beans sprouts, spring onions, the juice of half a lime and the fresh coriander and Thai basil. Season with a splash of fish sauce.

Moroccan-style fried eggs with sumac and spicy tomato sauce

The definition of comfort food. Delicious fried eggs seasoned with tangy sumac, served on top of a bed of steamy tomato sauce with carrots, onions and peppers. The soothing comfort of the tomato sauce and the runny egg yolks works wonders with the freshness of some mint and coriander.

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Ingredients (serves 1 greedy chef) :

  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of sumac
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 carrots, finely diced
  • ½ red pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp za’atar
  • Drop of rose water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Fresh mint and coriander

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in pan and add the vegetables and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Add the can of tomatoes and honey and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the sauce is fragrant. Just before serving, add a drop of rose water and stir in some chopped mint and coriander
  2. Fry the eggs in a pan and season with salt, pepper and sumac.
  3. Serve the eggs on top of the tomato sauce and finish with some extra mint and coriander.

 

Campaigning With Curry: Easy Peasy Vegetable and Lentil Curry

Published May 17, 2014 by The Feminist

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It’s that time of the year again: When wannabe politicians harass you in the streets, when numerous pamphlets swamp your mailbox and when every television channel is airing some sort of heated debate about job creation, the economy or child benefits.

Yes, I’m talking about elections. If you live in Europe, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you live in Belgium, you definitely know what I am talking about. On 25 May we will all be going to the polls and it seems as if teeny weeny Belgium is sweating with election fever. It is everywhere and it is starting to drive me mad.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually love the excitement of it all, I love watching those political debates and I consider myself one of those awful people who has an opinion about everything. However, what I do hate are those people who go from door to door, trying to convince you to vote for them and their party.

Here is the thing, door-to-door peeps. I already know who I am going to vote for so sod off! And take your flyers with you.

I always think that there simply must be a better to way to convince people to vote for you than by ringing people out of their sofas on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I think every campaign advisor would agree with me, no?

week-in-review-darren-criss-gifs-confused

Okay, maybe not.

But consider this: would you rather vote for someone who hands you a flyer while stating his ideas and plans, or would you vote for someone who states his ideas and plans while he hands you a steaming bowl of vegetable curry?

what

Ha!

See!

A curry can convince even the most reluctant voters and can cheer up the grumpiest people. It is full of flavour, full of vitamins and…. this one in particular is 100% vegan.

Now that is what gets me excited!

So dear politicians: forget those boring flyers, try campaigning with curry. Victory will be yours, I promise 😉

Ps: this may seem like a long ingredient list but most of the items are spices you already should have in your cupboard…

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes (400gr)
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp tandoori powder
  • 2 cans of red lentils (you can use fresh lentils, but I just did not have the time)
  • 250gr green beans, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 150gr sugar snaps
  • 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 courgette, cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Fresh coriander

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot. Stir in the onions, garlic and all the dry spices except the tandoori and garam masala. Fry for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Stir in the vegetables (except the lentils) and the palm sugar and let it simmer for half an hour. Season with salt and pepper, the tandoori powder and garam masala.
  4. Stir in the lentils and let it simmer for a further 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle on some chopped coriander before serving.
  5. Serve with rice or naan bread.

Cheers For Chapati: Lime and Chili Chapatis With Vegetable Curry

Published March 5, 2014 by The Feminist

chapati

I still have to meet the first person who doesn’t like chapatis. I mean, what’s not to like? The soft gooey texture is insanely satisfying and it is the perfect edible utensil to sop up all those delicious curry flavours.

99% of the people on this planet -too consumed with social networking and making a career- just microwave a store-bought packet of chapatis or order some Indian take-away. There is nothing wrong with that –I mean, you have the right to have a life!- and those vacuumed chapatis will still give you that satisfying indulgence of sopping up gravy…

But dear readers and fellow food lovers, if you ever want to experience the full chapati experience, you have to make them yourself! And before you start screaming in total fear of the daunting process of having to transform your kitchen into a flour-exploded palace, remember this: making chapatis is dead easy. And it does not make a mess at all!

Making your own chapatis is not only incredibly gratifying, it also gives you the opportunity to experiment and add flavours to the dough that you normally wouldn’t find in a store-bought stodgy packet of chapatis. (At least not in my supermarket.) I added some finely chopped chillies and lime zest to give the already splendid chapatis a zingy and spicy dimension. But other great flavour combinations would be: coriander and mint, turmeric and nigella seeds, desiccated coconut and green chillies,… The possibilities are endless so have fun with it!

When you make chapatis, you of course need something to sop them in: a good curry. This vegetarian curry was the best I ever made. Even my brother, who normally hates all things meat-free, loved it! What makes this curry so special is the truffle potatoes, which have an exuberantly purple colour. It is absolutely fine to use regular potatoes are sweet potatoes, but I saw these purple beauties in my supermarket and I just had to buy them! Other ingredients in this curry are chickpeas, Chinese cabbage and red pepper. And loads of spices of course.

Lime and Chili Chapatis

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Ingredients (makes 6):

  • 250gr strong white flour
  • 160ml water
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 5gr salt
  • 2 chillies, finely chopped
  • Zest of one lime

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth.
  2. Put the dough into an oiled bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into  equal pieces. Roll each one into a thin disc, about 20cm in diameter.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When the pan is hotter than hot, cook the chapatis, one at a time, for 1-2 minutes on each side until browned and somewhat bubbly.

Vegetable curry

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For the curry paste:

  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large chillies
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

For the vegetables:

  • Approx. 5 truffel potatoes (or regular potatoes or 3 sweet potatoes), diced
  • ½ Chinese cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 2 heaped tbsp. of garam massala
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • Juice of a lime
  • Lots of fresh coriander

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the curry paste together in a blender. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil or ghee in a large pot and sauté the paste until it starts to smell heavenly.
  2. Add the diced potatoes and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato passata and coconut milk and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cabbage, peppers, garam masala and fish sauce and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes until everything is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir in the chickpeas and finish with some lime juice.
  5. Sprinkle on some fresh coriander.
  6. Sop away with your chapati!

Asian Dinner, Always A Winner!

Published February 10, 2014 by The Feminist

asian

After spending an entire week in the Austrian Mountains and enjoying regional delicacies, I was severely craving some honest Asian food when I got back home. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Austrian food- it definitely deserves much more praise than it’s getting- but there is only so much Mohntorte, Strudel, Knödel and Spätzle one can take before literally exploding out of one’s jeans.

So back in my humble kitchen I was convinced that the fragrant and spicy flavours of Asian cuisine would bring back some balance into my diet and I secretly hoped  that the large amounts of chili would speed up my metabolism.

But aside from my oh-my-God-I-can-no-longer-fit-into-my-jeans hysteria,  there was another reason for wanting to eat some Asian food…

Because it’s damn good.

And that is by far the most important thing!

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Stir-fried vegetables with marinated King Oyster (Eryngii) Mushrooms

In terms of originality, I believe this dish deserves a culinary high five. The flavours are bold, the presentation is great, but most of all, these King Oyster mushrooms are to die for. This is by far one of the best vegetarian meals I have ever cooked, and coming out of my mouth, that certainly says a lot.

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the stir fry:

  • 1 pak choi, cut into rough chunks
  • 1 broccoli, cut into florets
  • 200gr beans sprouts
  • 1 red pepper, cut into slices
  • 2 onions, cut into slices
  • 3cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1tbsp fish sauce
  • Corn flour and water mixture (optional)

For the Eryngii mushrooms:

  • 10-12 King Oyster mushrooms, cut in half
  • 4 tbsp curry ketchup (sounds tacky, but it works!)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice

Method:

  1. For the mushroom marinade, mix together the ketchup, spices and soy sauce. Spread the paste onto the mushrooms and grill them on a hot griddle pan for 1-2 minutes on each side. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and put in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and beautifully caramelized.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok and add the broccoli. Stir-fry for three minutes and then add the pak choi. Stir-fry for another three minutes and then add the garlic, ginger, chili, red pepper and onion slices. Keep on stirring.
  3. Mix the soy sauce, honey, mirin and fish sauce together in a bowl and add to the vegetables. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. If there isn’t enough liquid, add a little bit of water mixed with corn flour to give your vegetables a glossy look.
  4. Finally, stir in the bean sprouts.
  5. Serve hot with some steamed rice.

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Seriously Good Salmon Curry

A One-Pot Wonder. That is the best way to describe this heartwarming curry. Miraculously rich in flavour, magically packed full of spices and wizardly soothing with heavenly salmon and potatoes.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 salmon fillets, cut into large chunks
  • 400gr potatoes (preferably those cute small ones), blached
  • 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 200gr butternut, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 400gr/ 1 can of tomatoes
  • 250gr Greek yoghurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion,
  • 3cm piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp tandoori powder
  • 1 tbsp garam massala
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • Fresh coriander

Method:

  1. Mix together the ginger, onion and garlic in a food processor until you get a smooth paste. Stir this paste into the yoghurt, together with the tandoori powder.
  2. Put the salmon chunks into a large bowl and cover with the tandoori-spiced yoghurt. Put in the fridge and marinade for at least half an hour.
  3. Cut your cute potatoes in half. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot and add the potatoes, butternut and peppers. Fry for a couple of minutes. Add the can of tomatoes, turmeric and garam massala. Let it simmer on a low heat until the vegetables are just tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the salmon chunks to your curry together with the yummy yoghurt marinade. Stir carefully and let it simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until your salmon is cooked.
  5. Finish with a generous sprinkling of fresh coriander.

Me, Walter Mitty and some Fab Curry Noodles

Published December 30, 2013 by The Feminist

mitty2

“Stop Dreaming. Start living.” When I came across an advertisement for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in my local newspaper, it felt as if the movie’s motto was directly aimed at me. You see, dear readers, I am a daydreamer. I dream about romantic rendezvous with handsome strangers,  about shouting very eloquent yet insulting stuff at my professor, about dancing the samba in the middle of the school corridor, about being a guest on the Graham Norton Show and sitting next to Miranda Hart…

Oh yes. I dream. I dream BIG.

Normally I would say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with dreams. Dreams are the epitome of your heart’s desires and hopes. It is the dream that keeps us going; what gives us the energy to wake up every morning and say to ourselves: Yes, let’s do this!

However, for many people- and I count myself among them- dreams just remain dreams. We don’t act on them. And that is where the problem lies.

What’s the point of dreaming BIG, when you’re living small? It seems as if dreaming- daydreaming in this case- prevents us from seeing the truly magical that is happening right under our nose. Why do we keep living in a world full of fantasy, so unachievable and out of reach? Hell, chances are small that I will ever sit on Graham Norton’s red couch, so why do I keep wasting my time with this silly fantasy? I am now starting to realize that daydreaming leaves us numb to the world around us. To all the things that actually are possible.

So when I saw the poster of Ben Stiller’s movie, I thought to myself: “This is a sign that I need to start living. No more silly daydreams. But real and honest living in the moment”

Live a little.

Consequently, whether you like it or not, this also involves taking risks once and a while. So last week, I did something I never thought I would dare to do. (I won’t elaborate on this, since this is not a diary -and who knows what kind of creeps are reading this blog!-but let’s just say it involved a handsome stranger 😉 )

Unfortunately for me, my leap into the unknown ended up being a bit like the season finale of Homeland: full of disillusion and anticlimax.

Still.

I am so proud of myself. Because in order to fly high you sometimes need to fall flat on your face. The fall might hurt, but in the end we will come out stronger than ever! Like a phoenix rising from the ashes! (God, I totally sound like a fortune cookie writer right now! )

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Anyway, you get my point. Life is for the living. So live it, dear readers!

Ps: After a week of taking risks, I decided it was time to actually go and see the movie that inspired me to act. I have to admit that I normally avoid Ben Stiller movies because they are most of the time immature and badly written, but this movie is different. It is funny, it is inspiring, it makes you think and it gives you hope. And guess what? Ben Stiller for once isn’t totally annoying!

PPS: After my leap into the unknown failed miserably, I really needed some comfort food. And nothing screams comfort like a pot full of noodles in a creamy coconut curry sauce. Add to that some spice from the chili, some zing from the lime and some crunch from the vegetables and I was –again!- completely worry-free! Ready to go on yet another adventure!

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Sweet coconut curry noodles with shrimps

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 250gr udon noodles
  • 40 shrimps
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • Mix of vegetables (I used ½ green pepper, ½ red pepper, 1 leek, handful of beansprouts and ½ courgette. All finely sliced in thin strips.)
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 3cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red chili, finely sliced
  • Fresh coriander
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp garam massala
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Lime

Method:

  1. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Using a blender, mix together the onion, garlic, ginger, one granny smith apple, the chili pepper and all the spices until you get a smooth paste. (The apple in the curry paste will gave the sauce a lovely sweet and sour kick)
  3. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok and fry the fragrant paste for a couple of minutes. Add the coconut milk and fish sauce and let it simmer for 10 minutes to intensify the flavours.
  4. Add the vegetables, shrimps  and the other apple (finely sliced) and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cooked noodles and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Sprinkle on some freshly chopped coriander and finish with a good splash of lime juice.