Tag Archives: curry

Saving bread by making bread 

As part of my plan to not spend unnecessarily in 2017, I’ve been looking for ways to cut down on our food waste too. We have a terrible obsession with bread. We love it in all its assorted and varied forms. But there are only two of us and buying a loaf a week seems to end with a few slices being thrown out each week. Which is wasteful but I really don’t need any more breadcrumbs in my freezer. And those are alongside naan breads and pitta bread and parathas and any other Indian bread you can think of. 

So with a bit of time on my hands this afternoon and a craving for my Sri Lankan curry favorites (Jaffna chicken curry and paripu), I decided to explore how to make my own naan bread. And it’s surprisingly easy. Well, this version is, I didn’t want to buy anything new with which to make these so just used what was in the fridge and store cupboard. So here it is. I may also share my paripu (Sri Lankan dhal, basically) recipe as it’s perfect comfort food, only uses one pot and can be frozen. But that’s my next post.

Easy Naan Bread

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp Caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 130ml milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Then mix the milk and oil in a jug and pour into the well. Stir together until the dough comes together and then knead for approximately 8 mins, till the dough is smooth. Oil the bowl and put the dough back in to it and leave it to rest in a warm place for 30-40 mins. 

Preheat the grill to medium and put a heavy tray to heat at the same time at the top of the grill. Take the dough from the bowl and split into six roughly equal pieces. Roll each one out into tear drop shapes (if you can, as you can see mine are less than perfect!)

Cook on the hot grill tray for a minute or two on each side, till they’ve browned. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. 

Serve warm with your favourite curry. 

Goan(ish) Beef Curry

I’m not a very good Hindu, you may have noticed. But what you’ll also know is that it’s rare (pardon the pun) to get beef curries in your local takeaways or restaurants as, well, the cow is holy. But I do love me some holy cow. And as it’s approaching winter (yay!) I decided to break all my non-existent rules and make a beef curry to warm our cold bones. 
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To be fair, I don’t really like beef curries – the ones you get are mostly coconutty from SE Asia and I have a weird aversion to coconut generally. Or contain potatoes, which are probably my least favourite carb. But I figured, the rules of curries must be the same, whatever meat you’re using, so I Googled for a Goan beef curry and this one came up. I know, right? I’m a genius. However, take a look at the recipe on the link – I may be a bit stupid, but dear god it was confusing, so I used the general concept, replacing ingredients and processes at whim.

I should also add that I really didn’t want to go shopping so those things I may have added to make it look prettier but didn’t have in the fridge/cupboard/garden, I didn’t have. So no coriander garnish mostly, which in retrospect, may have made it a little better. So if you get the urge, get coriander. if you don’t, it’s perfectly fine without it.

So here it is, my Goan-ish Beef Curry. We had it with Sri Lankan roast pan which is basically chunky slices of bread. Not that exotic. Probably nice with rice. Couldn’t be bothered to make rice. Autumn makes me lazy.

Goanish Beef Curry

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Half a small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 3 small red chillies
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1.5 inches of garlic, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100ml vinegar (I used sherry vinegar, but any will do)
  • 1 red onion sliced thinly
  • 1kg beef, trimmed and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 250ml water

Toast the first five ingredients in a small pan over a low heat for about a minute or until the aromas start to be released. Take off the heat before they burn.

Put the garlic, chillies, ginger, oil in a blender and blend till smooth. Then add the toasted spices and the powdered spices into the blender, with the vinegar and blend to a smooth paste.

Leave to one side whilst you brown the beef in a large casserole, do it in batches so it cooks evenly. Once that’s removed, add some more oil to the pan and gently fry the onions till they’re soft and translucent, then add the spice paste (watch out, it’ll spit at you) and cook that out for a minute or so – it will go from a turmeric-y orange to a dark brown. Once it’s cooked through, add the beef and ensure that you coat it with the spice mix. Put the water into the food processor to get all the remnants of the spice paste and pour it into the pan. Bring it to the boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and continue to simmer for 70-90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure it’s not burning. If the water looks like it’s running dry, add a little more. You want the beef to be tender and the longer you can cook it for, the more tender it will be.

Serve with rice, bread or whatever you fancy. Garnish with coriander, if you have it. Or a sliced chilli. I did neither as you’ll see from the picture. It was still delicious.

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