You would think that having a broken ankle would afford you time to sit and stare, that being incapacitated prevents some things but increases time for others, like catching up with friends or writing a blog?Not so, I have found. For some reason the fact that every act takes a hundred times longer to achieve, means that the ‘sitting and staring’ thang is lost in a myriad of other seemingly simple tasks like showering, and getting dressed, or hobbling to the nearby shops which takes now half a day. Working from home, which has always held a certain appeal for me, has turned me into a paranoid dervish intent on proving that I am in fact not a shirker and in everyway, some sort of superwoman, working longer and harder than ever before. Good then, that I can now see the light at the end of this tunnel, the plaster cast was off 3 weeks ago in favour of a ski boot, the ski boot is now allowed to come off for an hour or so a day – bliss! Back to the food thang…
A a consequence of my peg leg, I haven’t done a lot of cooking but last night Rocket and I rattled around our store cupboard and fridge, finally producing ourselves a little thali by way of a saturday supper. Earlier in the week, Rocket had tidied out our larder, which yielded some fabulous ‘lost’ gems (as well as some beans from about 1983 and 37 packets of baking powder?). Our forays to the Indian cash and carry style stores have often led to a few packs of things ‘we’ve never seen before’ and must try, so last night we tried out something that we can now heartily recommend. I’ll focus on a little supper you might throw together, and cover the other components of our supper on another day.
We bought this pack of dal makhani, we love this buttery lentil dish but it can be a little long in the making and whilst I will always insist this is best made from scratch this heat and serve version is hard to beat. It’s available in supermarkets these days and I can say without having been sponsored in any way, it was quite delicious.
As a foil for the rich lentils, I made a potato and spinach masala, that I can report was both simple and one of the best veg dishes I’ve done… Here is how:
400g potatoes, peeled chopped into 3cm pieces and boiled in salted water until just done.
a tightly packed cup of spinach leaves
1/2 a large onion or one medium onion, roughly chopped
4 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp black urad dal
10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 green chilli’s thinly sliced
1 inch of grated root ginger
pinch of salt
Drain the potatoes and set them out on kitchen paper so they are completely dry.
Put the oil in the pan over a medium heat and add the urad dal and mustard seeds.
When the seeds start to pop add the curry leaves and allow them to sizzle for a minute before adding the onion.
Gently fry the onion for about 2 minutes then add 1/2 a cup of water, stir well and cover, allowing the onions and spices to mingle in the water for about 5/6 minutes. Now uncover the pan and let the mixture reduce until the water has all but evaporated.
Next add, a pinch of salt, the turmeric, chilli and ginger, turning everything over until it is well combined before adding the spinach leaves which you should cook out until the remaining liquid has evaporated.
Lightly crush the potatoes with a fork, leaving chunks but just breaking them down a little then add to the pan and turn the spuds over until they are completely coated in the spices, onions and spinach.
That’s it, consume greedily with the warm dal, and a lovely flakey paratha.