National Vegetarian Week – Foodie Friday

Hello again, it’s National Vegetarian Week! During lockdown I’ve avoided supermarkets until recently, using veg delivery and meat deliveries from Covent Garden (see April’s Melody’s Kitchen). However, I’ve started to venture out occasionally now into my nearest supermarket and I have to say they are managing the social distancing very well indeed. So now that I feel very safe, I’m able to top up my store cupboard which was starting to look rather bare.

Store Cupboard Vegetarian Curry

I do like to keep tins of chopped tomatoes, baked beans, sweetcorn, pulses and such like, as you can rustle up a quick and tasty meal very easily. As it’s National Vegetarian Week here’s an easy one pot vegetarian curry using store cupboard ingredients, plus any old veg you happen to have lying around! It’s the sort of thing I make just before I have to go shopping again, to use up vegetables that are past their best. I happened to have some naan bread in my larder to go with it, but you could try making your own flatbreads which was a recipe I’ve given you before and have reproduced here again.Vegetarian

Top tip

If you want to add green veg (I used cauliflower, but you could use broccoli, green beans, courgette etc), blanch first for a few minutes, drain, set aside and add towards the end of cooking. Any root or similar veg (I used carrots and butternut squash but you could substitute potatoes, sweet potatoes, even parsnips etc whatever you’ve got) you chop small and add in at the beginning.

Ingredients (serves 2 -3)

This list of ingredients can be varied according to what you have in your fridge and larder and you could easily add left over vegetables too. It’s a very forgiving recipe!

A handful of cauliflower florets (or another green veg)
1 tbsp oil
1 onion peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped, or a squeeze of garlic puree.
1 tbsp of medium or hot curry powder, (could substitute with curry paste)
375ml vegetable stock.
60g long grain or basmati rice
½ a 400g can of chopped tomatoes (use the rest in another dish)
1 large carrot (or other root veg) peeled and chopped
A chunk of butternut squash if you have it, peeled and diced.
400g can of chickpeas (borlotti beans, cannellini beans, black eyed beans or butter beans all work well)
60g frozen peas
2 tomatoes quartered (if you have them)
Squeeze of lemon juice

Method

Blanch the cauliflower or other green veg in boiling water for a few minutes, then drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, deep frying pan or wok and cook the onion gently for about 5 minutes until golden. Stir in the garlic and curry powder and cook for 30 secs, stirring.

Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, rice, carrots, squash and any other root veg you’re using and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then. Top up with a little water if it seems to be sticking or getting too thick.

Stir in the chickpeas (or beans) frozen peas, cauliflower or other green veg and quartered tomatoes, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Season and squeeze in some lemon juice if you have some.

If you have some natural yogurt and a bit of cucumber you can make a cooling sauce, by grating the cucumber, squeezing out the juice, mixing into the yogurt with some black pepper and a pinch of paprika.

Garlic and Cumin Flatbreads

Into a bowl add 125g of self-raising flour, a grind of sea salt, ½ tsp cumin seeds and ½ tsp garlic pepper (or garlic granules and black pepper). Stir well to combine. Add in 70ml of water and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Mix with a flat bladed knife until a dough forms.

Turn out onto a floured worktop and gently knead until it comes together. Don’t over knead or it will become heavy and tough. Divide into 4 and roll or even pat into rough circles about 12 cm diameter. Heat a heavy based frying pan. Brush one side of a flatbread with a little oil and place in the pan, oil side down. While it is cooking and puffing up, brush with oil and then flip it over and cook the other side. They are done when slightly golden with darker patches. Serve with the curry or as a starter with dips. Delicious!

I hope you enjoy this easy curry and have fun trying out adding all sorts of old and left over veggies to it. It will be different every time!

Melody x