Having recently moved into my flat and living on my tod for pretty much the first time ever, I have decided that I need to cook more of my dinners from scratch; got to be better than just banging a ready prepped meal in the oven / microwave.
I’ve done this half-decent chicken pasta thing and last night I did prawn chow mein (was good but I might have overdone the red chilli a bit ). Open to all suggestions as long as they are:
a. easy to cook
b. not too expensive
c. tasty as fuck
Just wack on a big one-pot dish at the start of the week and work your way through it. It means only 1 evening of proper cooking, the rest of the week you just heat things up.
TV is away this week so I made myself a big pot of curry (potato, lentil, veg, coconut based) which will keep me going for lunch and dinners this week. I’m really not bothered about eating the same thing over and over, so it works for me. I normally rotate the carb part, one day naan, another rice, another cous cous etc.
Toast off cumin and coriander seeds then grind them up (or use already ground stuff if you want)
Soften chopped onions, add chopped garlic and chopped ginger (or use the premade pastes which are fine and can be frozen quite handily in ice cube trays in ready made portions)
At that stage add your spices, you’ll need to experiment a bit with what you like but I tend to like a teaspoon of turmeric, 3 teaspoons of cumin and 2 teaspoons of coriander, add chilli powder/cayenne/paprika or whatever to your taste at this stage as well.
Add in a bit of tomato puree and mix it all up into a paste.
At this stage add the thing you want to make the curry out of (chicken, chickpeas, aubergine, cauliflower, potatoes or whatever) and give it the requisite amount of cooking
Add a tin or two of chopped tomatoes and then top it up with water or stock, stir it and then let it simmer away for a while to let it thicken, sometimes if it’s a bit too watery I like to chuck some lentils in to add a bit more bulk and thicken it a bit as they absorb the excess liquid.
Keep tasting it to see if it needs owt, often whack a bit of lemon juice in at the end if I’ve overdone it on the cumin
Add a bit of garam masala at the end, mix in some chopped fresh coriander if you like it.
Eat it with rice or whatever.
Good thing about it is you can just dick about finding out what you like and what you don’t. The basic technique doesn’t change but it’s fun nailing down what you like.
There’s a few three/four ingredient cookbooks around which are great for this type of meal. Once you’ve learned a c-c-c-combo that works, you can constantly change it a bit to make loads of different dishes.
One of my faves is fried chorizo, with a starch of some kind, and a vegetable. I’ll quite often fry some chorizo, then fry off some chickpeas in the same pan and add loads of kale or cabbage. Or boil some pasta at the same time, finish that in the frying pan, then stir through some broccoli and finish with parmesan. That sort of thing.