Vegetarians are coming!
Feeling a bit under the weather but have friends Jackie and Phil coming to dinner so, as they are vegetarian, Indian seems the way to go. So on the menu was vegetable biriyani, coconut dhal, fresh raita, naan breads and pickles and amaretto syllabub for dessert (have a lot of amaretti biscuits to use up) . All in all very succesful. The dhal especially was very tasty. I read some comments re the recipe and it was felt it was a little bland so I put the seeds from the chillis in also which could have backfired as part way through the cooking it was extremely firy. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and surprisingly it didnt get its revenge on me in the morning.
Recipes and pics follow. From BBC Good Food site
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small cauliflower , broken into small florets
- 2 large sweet potatoes , peeled and cubed
- 1 large onion , sliced
- 1l hot vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp hot curry paste (Madras is good)
- 1 red chilli , seeded and finely chopped
- large pinch of saffron strands
- 2 tsp mustard seeds (black or white)
- 500g basmati rice
- 140g trimmed green beans , halved
- 2 lemons , juice only
- a handful of fresh coriander leaves
- 50g packet salted roasted cashew nuts
- poppadoms and raita, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7/fan 200C. Pour the oil into a large roasting tin or ovenproof dish and put in the oven for a couple of minutes to heat through. Add all the vegetables to the tin, except the beans, stirring to coat them in the hot oil. Season with salt and pepper and return to the oven for 15 minutes until beginning to brown.
- While the vegetables are roasting, stir together the stock, curry paste, chilli, saffron and mustard seeds.
- Mix the rice and green beans with the vegetables in the tin, then pour over the stock mixture. Lower the oven to 190C/gas 5/fan 190C. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the lemon juice and check the seasoning, then scatter over the coriander and cashew nuts. Serve with a pile of poppadums and a bowl of raita.
- 250g red lentils (also called masoor dal or Egyptian lentils)
- 400ml coconut milk
- a handful of fresh curry leaves (find these in the herb section, an Asian grocers, or use coriander leaves)
- flatbread , to serve
- 2 medium chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2-3 long pointy green chillies , sliced
- 2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 onions , one finely chopped, one sliced
- Put the lentils, coconut milk, the chopped onion, tomatoes, chillies and turmeric in a pan with 300ml water, season and simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
- Fry the sliced onion in 4 tbsp oil until crisp, add the curry leaves (or coriander) and mustard seeds and sizzle together.
- Pour over the lentils. Serve with flatbread.