Thursday, February 28, 2008

Celeriac and swede curry

I am pleased to see that Delia Smith, in the controversial How To Cheat at Cooking (more about this book later), recommends the spices from Seasoned Pioneers. I have mentioned them here and here, but without prompting such a notable sales spike.

At this time of year, one can get bored with the root vegetables that come every week in the vegetable box. (I should be fair and say that Growing Communities varies its offerings well.) But I never tire of root vegetable curries. I apologise to vegetarians: I do like the flavour of chicken stock, or a stock cube, in dishes such as this. For 2.

2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp Seasoned Pioneers black cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Seasoned Pioneers ajowan seeds
Groundnut or sunflower oil
Celeriac and/or swede and/or turnip, peeled and cut into fork-size pieces (I should have weighed the vegetables I used -- but you know how much you want, don't you?)
150 ml chicken stock, or half a Knorr chicken cube and 150 ml water
1/3 tsp cayenne (or more, or less, according to taste -- the Crazy Jack brand is good)
1 tsp Seasoned Pioneers garam masala

Fry the onions, garlic, cumin and ajowan seeds in a tbsp or two of oil (enough to prevent the vegetables from catching), until golden. Meanwhile, steam the root vegetables until tender. Throw them into the pan with the onions, along with the stock, cayenne, garam masala and salt (you may not need much salt if you have used a stock cube). Cook very gently for five minutes. The vegetables will absorb and thicken the liquid; you may want more.

Garnish with chopped chillis, if you like.

Curries may seem to be daunting dishes to cook. This one, screamingly inauthentic, is quick and easy, and tastes better than the offerings in a good many Indian restaurants.


a.c.t. said...

Are the S.P spices any beter than the others? Would be interested to hear your take on Delia's book.

Nicholas Clee said...

They are the best I've used -- but I admit that my experience is not exhaustive. Other curry powders tend to have a curry powdery flavour; SP's (the Sri Lankan one I tried) is pungent and delicious.

I am planning to write about How To Cheat in my New Statesman column, and shall post a link here. Was interested to read your comments.