Oh My God it’s Curry Week AND it’s Chocolate Week! All in the same week! Now that’s a good week. To celebrate, we’re sharing our curry and chocolate recipes. The curry one is cheap as chips. Or more accurately, cheap as chapatis. Which should leave you enough cash to not only eat out at your favourite Indian restaurant, but also to make our chocolate recipe.
Chapattis are the staple diet for millions in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. If you’ve never made them before, or even if you have, have a go this week and send us pics of the results.
OK, before we get started. 1) Chapattis need chapatti flour. If you can’t get special chapatti flour, use wholemeal flour, but sift out the bran. This is important. With the bran, they won’t roll properly, they will be hard and crispy and just wrong. Get sifting. 2) Chapatti dough needs to rest for a few hours, so plan ahead. 3) Chapattis are absolutely necessary for Curry Week, so don’t delay, get started today!
Makes enough for 2 hungry people or 4 not so hungry people
- 2 cups of chapatti flour
- Cold water
- You will also need a tawa (chapatti pan) or a heavy bottomed frying pan
- Mix the flour with enough water to make a soft but not wet dough
- Knead by hand for 10 minutes, or in a mixer/food processor for 3 minutes.
- Place in a greased plastic bag, or lidded container and put in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- To cook, pull off a golfball sized piece of dough, and shape into a ball. Flatten on your work surface. Roll out into a round, nice and thin, but no bigger than your pan.
- Heat your pan (no oil or grease at all please) and when it’s hot, slap on your chapatti.
- Start preparing the next chapatti, while keeping an eye on the one in the pan. When it starts to bubble up, flip it over to cook the other side. It should take a minute or less, so be watchful.
- When it’s done on both sides (don’t let it brown) wrap in a clean tea towel and keep warm.
- Cook the next one. Keep on going till you’ve used up all the dough. Serve while hot.
Tasty and nutritious, dhal is easy to make once you know how. And once you’ve got the right things in your storecupboard, it’s really cheap too. Of course, you can splash out and add other stuff, but this is the basic recipe. We’ve used split red lentils because they’re easy to get hold of and cook in no time. You should be able to get all the spices in the supermarket, but they are much much cheaper in Asian supermarkets. If you can’t get Asafetida, don’t worry, just leave it out. Right then, Curry Week, here we come!
Feeds 2 hungry people or 4 not so hungry people. With maybe some left over. Which you can freeze.
For the dhal
- 100g lentils
- ½ tin tomatoes, preferably blended, but not necessary.
- 2cm of root ginger peeled and finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 30g soft brown sugar (or whatever you’ve got)
- Small handful of fresh coriander
For the tarka (spiced oil)
- 25 ml veg oil
- 1 dried chilli snapped in half
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- Pinch asafoetida
- Put the lentils in a pan and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil and then simmer til they are soft. Keep an eye on them. If it’s looking dry, add more water, but don’t drown it.
- When the lentils are soft, add the tomatoes, and simmer til everything’s becoming a bit mushy
- Add the salt, ginger, turmeric, sugar, chili powder and coriander and mix well.
- For the tarka: In a small pan, heat the oil and add the chilli, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and asafoetida. Carefully head till the seeds start to pop.
- Pour the oil over the hot dhal. Stand back as it’s likely to splutter.
- Stir well and serve with the chapattis.
There you go, food for next to nothing. Though of course, if you want to add in more glamorous dishes to the meal, go for it. Chicken Madras? Mushroom Korma? Whatever takes your fancy – it’s Curry Week, after all! We’ll give you our chocolate recipe later in the week, just to make your week perfect!