Instead of ordering the same old Indian takeaway, how about you prepare an easy meal for yourself or for friends at home!
1 small head cauliflower, or ½ a big one, cut into large florets
1 splash vegetable oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 large pinch asafoetida
12 curry leaves, pulled off their stalk
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 big handful frozen peas
3 coloured chillies, seeded and chopped
1 small bunch fresh coriander
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add your cauliflower. Bring back to the boil for 1 minute, then remove the florets with a slotted spoon and leave in a colander. Keep the cauliflower water to one side.
Heat a wide pan big enough to hold all the ingredients at once. Add a good splash of vegetable oil and when it’s hot, add the mustard seeds, the asafoetida, the curry leaves and turmeric. Fry for a few seconds then add the diced potatoes, just enough of the cauliflower water to cover them and some salt. Cover with a lid and simmer gently until the potatoes are just cooked. Add the peas, chillies and cauliflower florets, stir and replace the lid. Cook over a gentle heat until everything is cooked and soft, and the liquid has reduced. Taste and season well with salt and pepper, sprinkle with loads of chopped coriander and some coconut shavings and serve.
Pukka Yellow Chicken Curry
4 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 yellow peppers
1 cube chicken stock
1-2 fresh red chillies
½ a bunch of fresh coriander
1 teaspoon runny honey
1 level teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder
8 higher-welfare chicken drumsticks
1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
1 teaspoon tomato purée
320 g basmati rice
Peel the onions, garlic and ginger and de-seed the peppers. Put 1 onion, 1 pepper, the garlic and ginger into a food processor. Crumble in the stock cube and add the chilli (deseed it first, if you prefer a milder curry), the coriander stalks, honey and spices, then blitz to a paste.
Place a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat and fry the chicken drumsticks (pull the skin off first, if you prefer) with a splash of oil for 10 minutes, or until golden, turning occasionally with tongs. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the pan on the heat. Roughly chop the remaining onion and pepper and add to the pan to cook for a few minutes, then tip in the paste and let it cool down for around 5 minutes. Pour in 500ml of boiling water. Drain the chickpeas and add along with the tomato purée and a pinch of salt and pepper, then stir well. Return the chicken to the pan, pop the lid on, reduce the heat and simmer gently for around 45 minutes, or until the sauce darkens and thickens.
With 15 minutes to go, put 1 mug (320g) of rice and 2 mugs of boiling water into a pan with a pinch of salt and simmer with the lid on for 12 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Serve the curry in the middle of the table with a few dollops of yoghurt (if using) and a scattering of coriander leaves, with lemon wedges for squeezing over and the fluffy rice on the side.
Mango Lassi Drink
6 green cardamom pods, optional
2 ripe mangos
500 g low-fat natural yoghurt
100 g ice cubes
Runny honey, optional
Crush the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar (if using) and discard the green husks. Bash the seeds to a fine powder and set aside.
Cut the juicy flesh off the mangos (the riper they are, the better), leaving the stone in the middle and trimming away all the skin. Place the flesh and any juices into a liquidiser with the yoghurt, ice cubes, 1 tablespoon of honey and the ground cardamom
Blitz until smooth, have a taste, and add a little more honey, if needed. Serve straight away.