Wednesday, 25 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week - Vegetable Curry

Today's recipe isn't a recipe exactly, because it is a great way to use up left-overs! The vegetables in this curry were cooked on Sunday – half were roasted for our Sunday dinner (more about that at the end of the week) and half were boiled and kept in the fridge.
So, left-over vegetable curry. I cheat and use a jar of curry paste, because frankly life is too short to be mixing your own.

It wasn't as orange as this in real life! Not far off though.

First, chop and fry an onion in a large pan. Then add as much curry paste as the jar indicates. I used about half, because we had enough vegetables for six portions. It isn't an exact science, you can add more later.

Fry the paste and throw in some Quorn pieces. Again, put in as many as look right, or you can leave them out. Mix around until all the pieces are covered in paste.

Now add in your vegetables. I always like to include potato in my curries, for texture and because they soak up flavour brilliantly. I've also got some sweet potato, carrots and broccoli (not an obvious choice, but it worked), and I roughly chopped a couple of mushrooms and threw them in too. Button mushrooms are best if you have them.

At this point you might want to add a bit of water, just to thin out the curry paste a little. Make sure everything is well mixed in and stir it around for a while. Then leave to simmer.

While all this is going on, I had my rice cooker busily cooking up some rice. Due to lack of supplies I used basmati rice, which doesn't cook as nicely as long-grain brown rice (to my uneducated eye, the long-grain variety looked shorter than the basmati, but what do I know?).

Once the curry has been bubbling away for a little while, taste it – preferably on a piece of potato. You'll simultaneously find out if the flavour is right, and if the vegetables are warmed through.

To my taste curry paste doesn't have enough flavour, so I normally look on the back of the jar to see what spices are in it, and then add some more of my favourites. Don't go overboard because flavours are much stronger cumulatively than they are in a single taste.

Eventually the curry will be essentially ready, the rice will be cooked, and it's time to do one of three things: add some chunks of Cheddar (a brilliant stroke from my dad's partner), add some sultanas (delicious sweetness to contrast with the spices), or add nothing at all and just serve. Enjoy!

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