Quick Mushroom & Kidney Bean Curry

This recipe was born because we needed to go shopping yesterday, but I didn’t feel like venturing out in pre-snow weather (not least because I was reading a terrific book – Rowan Coleman’s The Memory Book).  So I had a quick rummage in the cupboards and came up with this:

Mushroom & Kidney Bean Curry

1 Onion

250g Mushrooms

2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil

4 Teaspoons of garlic-ginger paste

1 Tin of Kidney Beans

1 Tin of Tomatoes

2 Tablespoons of Tomato Purée

2 Teaspoons of Cumin Seeds

2 Red Chillies

11/2 Teaspoon of Garam Masala

Salt & Pepper to taste

Chop the onion.

Chop the chillies (I use a kitchen scissors, it’s quicker, easier, and I’m less likely to end up with chilli hands)

Wipe the mushrooms and cut them in quarters.

Open the tin of kidney beans, drain and rinse in a sieve.

Heat the oil over a medium heat in a wok or saucepan.

Add the cumin seeds and fry gently until they release their aroma.

Toss in the onion and sautée, stirring often, until they are glossy and the raw smell has gone off them.

Add the ginger-garlic paste and chillies.

Continue to fry, over a low-medium heat, for a minute or two.

Plop in the contents of the tomato tin and the tomato purée.

Swish the tin out with water and add that to the sauce as well.

Pop in the chopped mushrooms.

Leave the lot to cook, for about 20 minutes, on a low heat, stirring often.

Add the drained and rinsed kidney beans and the garam masala.

Stir.

Leave the lot to cook for another 10 minutes or so – just until the kidney beans are heated through.

I was going to serve this with rice, but it smelt like it needed chapatis, so I made those instead. 🙂

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Peppers Stuffed with Curried Rice & Veggies

Gosh, it’s been a while since I posted here. Not, obviously, because I haven’t been cooking but I have (to be honest) gotten a little bit lazy with writing the recipes up on the blog.

 

Anyway, the fabulous Anne Marie O’Connor inspired me to get back with it, as she posted a recipe on her blog made from the odds and sods in her kitchen. I was in the middle of looking at the fridge, cupboards and shelves here as well, trying to figure out what I was going to make for us. I had three bell peppers and mushrooms that needed to be used up and was trying to figure out how to tie them into a meal that would be delicious, nutritious and use nothing outside of what I had in the house.

 

So we ended up eating capsicums stuffed with curried rice and vegetables. ‘Twas yum! 🙂

Curried Rice and Vegetable-Stuffed Capsicums

3  Large Bell Peppers

3 Shallots

6 Cloves of Garlic

Knob of Fresh Ginger (about half the length of your thumb)

2 Fresh Red Chillis

250g of Button Mushrooms

200g of Frozen Spinach

1/2 Can of Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of butter

2 Tablespoons of Thai Green Curry Paste

3/4 cup of Basmati Rice

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Very carefully, take the tops off the capsicums and remove the seeds, membranes and stalk from the peppers, keeping the ‘bells’ whole.

Chop the tops of the peppers into small chunks.

Peel and mince the garlic and ginger.

Peel and slice the shallots.

Chop the chillies.

Wipe and quarter the mushrooms.

Using a pot that will accommodate the peppers, but about 1.5 cups of water in the pot and bring it to the boil.

Add the peppers, cut side down.

Cook for about three minutes.

Retain the water and remove the vegetables from the pot (using tongs or salad servers), placing them cut side down on kitchen paper to drain.

Melt half the butter in a saucepan and add the shallots, garlic, and ginger.

Cook over a moderate heat for about five minutes.

Stir in the rice and cook until toasted – about four minutes.

Add the curry paste, the coconut milk, the reserved water from the peppers and the salt and pepper.

Cook for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, turn the oven on to Gas Mark 4/ 180 Centigrade.

Melt the remaining butter in a pan and add the chopped bell pepper tops, mushrooms, spinach and chillies.

 

Cook, stirring, for about six minutes.

Once the rice is cooked, add the vegetables to the rice and stir to mix.

Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and put them, cut side up, in to a shallow baking dish.

Cover with foil and pop in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.

 

 

Curry Puffs

I have very fond memories of curry puffs. My first husband’s parents were from Malaysia and his mother was the best cook I have ever known. She made curry puffs – about 100 each time – and kept them in the freezer for snacking on.

Heated, they are delicious, of a monsoon-y afternoon with a cup of Earl Grey tea, but equally delicious on their own in a lunchbox. I made some this weekend for my girls to have as after-school snacks.  It was a great way to use up some of the potatoes I got in Aldi for 39c per kilo!

Those of you familiar with this Asian delight, will notice that my recipe strays slightly from the curry puffs you’d get in Singapore or Malaysia; I have baked, rather than fried them, and I have omitted the boiled egg. My Kashmira won’t eat boiled eggs, so there was no point in including them.

I made two lots of puffs – one used homemade shortcrust pastry, the other used shop-bought puff pastry (a 375g sheet of pastry, costing €1.29 gave me 10 puffs – more expensive than homemade, for sure, but cheaper than a shop-bought snack and a much quicker option).

Shortcrust pastry is not difficult to make as long as you remember that the best results occur when you use everything as cold as possible (ice the water, put the knife in the fridge to cool it for about an hour before using it, and use butter that hasn’t been out of the fridge for more than 15 minutes). After that, the basic recipe is 2:1 flour:butter and enough water to pull it all together. I use butter rather than margarine because I think it’s healthier and also it’s more flavourful.

To make enough pastry for about 20 curry puffs and an apple tart, use 500g of plain flour, a pinch of salt, 250g of butter and about 250mls of chilled water. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter with a cold knife into small cubes. With clean hands (rinse them in cold water) rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. This is probably the hardest part of pastry-making; you want to rub the fat in to make a fine enough mixture, but at the same time, you don’t want to overwork the mixture so the heat of your hands melts the butter. Make a well in the centre of the mixture (just push it out from the middle of the mixture towards the sides of the bowls until you have a hole in the centre). Pour the water in, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. You may not need all the water – it depends on the brand of flour you’re using, which is why I’m advising caution when adding the liquid.

Once you have a smooth ball of dough (you can use your chilled knife or your chilled hands to bring it all together), you’re done. Cover the bowl with a clean tea-towel and put it in the fridge to relax for half an hour before using.

Shortcrust Curry Puffs Shortcrust Pastry

Puffed Curry Puffs puff pastry

Curry Puffs

Your choice of pastry -either shortcrust or puff

500g of Potatoes

125g of Frozen Peas

1 Onion

2 Tablespoons of Curry Powder

25g of Garlic Cloves

25g of Fresh Ginger

3 Long, Whole, Fresh Green Chillies

7 Stalks of Fresh Corinader (Leaves only)

1 Tablespoon of Oil for Frying

Clean, but don’t peel your potatoes and then cut them into small pieces. I got between 16 and 22 pieces per baby potato.

Peel and finely chop the onion.

Bash the garlic and ginger together to make a paste.

Chop the chillies – I use a kitchen scissors because it’s easier.

Put the potatoes in a saucepan and add just enough cold water to cover them.

Bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down and simmer the spuds for about five minutes.

Drain.

Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion.

Saute for a few minutes, until the onion starts to soften.

Turn the heat down to medium.

Add the ginger garlic paste, the chillies and the curry powder and continue to cook, for about five more minutes.

Add the potatoes and peas and stir to coat the lot with spices.

Turn the heat down low and cover the pan.

Leave to cook for a further ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Scatter the coriander leaves in and stir to mix thoroughly.

Curry Puff Filling

If using your own pastry, roll it out to about 3mm thickness.

The puff pastry is pre-rolled, so just unfurl it gently and lay it out on a flat, clean, floured surface.

Cut the pastry unto rounds using a cutter about the size of the mouth of a pint glass.

Put a tablespoon of the potato mix in the centre of each pastry round and draw the sides up around the mix until you have half-moon-shaped parcels.

Lightly oil a few ovenproof dishes/baking tins/roasting tins.

Cook the curry puffs in an oven pre-heated to 180 for 325-30 minutes, until golden.