A curry in a hurry…

…is not that easy a meal to do. So instead of spending the whole day peeling,  chopping and grinding spices in between wrapping up Christmas presents, I had a little potluck do and made everyone bring a dish. They all came up trumps. Angus and Clive brought some awesome homemade onion bhajis for us to start with and naan breads for the main course. Jenny (www.silverscreensuppers.com) had a rifle around in her freezer and brought Peter Finch’s lamb curry. Mr R made a lovely aloo palak and I made a tomato curry and a white cabbage side dish, with some rice. I am not a huge fan of plain boiled rice, so I used an old recipe for Pakistani rice, given to me by my chum Usman and adored by Missy B. Having soaked the rice, you fry up some black cardamoms, cloves, black peppercorns and bay leaves in sunflower oil, then add some thinly sliced onions and fry till they start to brown. Add the rice, then water or stock (I used vegetable) to about half and inch above the level of the rice. Bring to the boil, cover tightly and cook on a low heat for ten to fifteen minutes, then rest for another five minutes. The tomato curry was by Simon Hopkinson and was divine – quite a simple one really and a good way to make inroads into many of the jars of spices lurking in the cupboard. He also had a recipe for a kickass raita, of which I made far too much but into which we dipped the far too many mini poppadums I also bought. The cabbage is also a good one – which I discovered on a madcap overnight trip to Newcastle with my friend Sally earlier this year to learn Indian cookery at http://maunikagowardhan.co.uk/cook-in-a-curry/. Curry seems to be a particularly tricky meal to photograph prettily, so here are the least inferior quality pics (note to my guests – the fact that they are mostly of the dishes I made is only about the photography. Promise).

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It was a most convivial evening and rounded off with a gorgeous chocolate sorbet, also courtesy of Clive. Fabulous to have a big curry evening, knowing how much turkey and other traditional festive stuff we will all be gorging ourselves on over the next week or so.

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