So at last, something actually relating to food: my first recipe. It's in the vein of what I was talking about here. This recipe was devised out of necessity rather than desire. It comes from opening the fridge and seeing sweet FA staring back at you. It’s an attempt of making something out of nothing, so in that respect I feel it kinda succeeds. It's quick, easy and it tastes alright to boot. Here I’ve used basmati rice, but could be done with other grains such as cous cous or make it a dhal by using lentils. Just adjust the cooking times.
This amount got me two bowlfuls, so would do two people for a quick dinner.
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 whole cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds
4-6 cardamom pods
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tbsp gara masala
½ tbsp chilli powder
1 cup of basmati rice
½ cup frozen peas
1 spring onion
Finely slice the onion and garlic
Fill a kettle with about half a litre of water and put on to boil.
Heat the oil on a high heat in a saucepan.
Add seeds and pods to hot oil. Sometimes I crush them first with the bottom of a mug to release the flavour, but this isn’t necessary.
Turn down the heat and let the seeds fry for about thirty seconds before adding the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sweat for a few minutes until slightly softened.
Add the ground spices, then the tomatoe puree. Stir well and cook out for a minute or two.
Add rice and cover with the boiled water. Bring to a simmer and leave to cook uncovered for about fifteen minutes. Stirring occasionally and topping up with water if needed. But not too much, the idea is that by the time the rice is cooked the water should be nearly all evaporated.
When rice is tender, taste and add more spices if needed. Turn off the heat and add the peas and sliced spring onion. Stir through and leave for a minute and so. The heat from the rice will be enough to defrost and cook and peas.