One reason I enjoy on-line cooking clubs is that it is an incentive to try new things, especially the ones I've been meaning to try for a while. And "by a while" I mean for a long time -- months, maybe years.
I recently discovered I Heart Cooking Clubs or IHCC. Mostly, they feature one chef for about six months. We just started cooking our way through Ellie Krieger's repertoire of healthy recipes. Every so often IHCC tries a new theme. Maybe it's for the variety; maybe it's a chance to revisit a previously featured (and beloved) chef. This week, we are cooking recipes from Nigella Lawson.
I bought Nigella Kitchen a few years ago. I have enjoyed reading her essays about home cooking and the kitchen. I can relate to her relaxed attitude towards cooking and I love the variety of cuisines and styles of cooking. I've thought a lot about the many mouth watering recipes in the book, but have only managed to use two of the recipes in the book. That is why I am happy that IHCC gave me the kick in the a... I mean, the opportunity to pick a new recipe from the book and actually cook it.
I chose South Indian Vegetable Curry. You can find the recipe on page 154 of Nigella Kitchen or here. I don't often make curries and I don't use much coconut milk or tamarind paste in my cooking, so this was my chance to try something new. My husband and I are also trying to eat healthier, which means more vegetables.
Basically, the recipe is really easy to make. There is a lot of chopping, but nothing complicated. I made a few modifications to the recipe. I like a little heat, but my husband likes very little to no heat, so I held back on the red pepper flakes and used only half of a jalapeno pepper. The recipe lists 5 kinds of vegetables, but you can change the combination any way you want. I would have like to use green beans as called for in the recipe, but the green beans at the grocery looked kind of sorry, so I used mushrooms instead. My husband doesn't like cauliflower that much, so I halved the amount and threw in potatoes as well. I served the curry over couscous.
I had "wet tamarind seedless" from the local Asian market. It had the consistency of paste, so I guess it was the right stuff. It didn't seem very seedless though, so I pulled my punch and only added a half tablespoon. In retrospect, maybe I should have done a little more research or added more in. At any rate, the taste of the tamarind was subtle at best.
Overall, I would say this was a success. My husband liked it and so did I. Next time, in addition to adding in the full tablespoon of tamarind paste, I'd probably add less liquid. You can't tell from the photo, but the dish was very soupy. My photo makes the dish look quite dull. I guess in this case, picture is not worth a thousand words, but this dish is tasty and filling.