9 May 2012

GUEST BLOG: Jalfrezi joy

By guest blogger TRACEY

Wow, Alison was on fire sharing her curry tips at the Approved Premisies session on Wednesday 2 May! The group prepped the veg for the jalfrezi, using spoons to scoop out the butternut squash seeds, chopping the ginger into Julienne strips, and top’n’tailing the fresh green beans for added texture and colour. The room then filled with the delicious aroma of popping dry-fry cumin and onions and both staff and residents were drawn to the kitchen to observe and place orders! Some stayed and watched how the addition of tomatoes, chilli, onions and carefully measured spices created an amazing base sauce for most curries. The pork was cubed and fried in spices and then left to one side. Meanwhile, the cauliflower and sweet potatoes simmered and spinach blanched. Finally, all ingredients came together in the wok where spring onions, chickpeas and green beans were added, which resulted in an appetising and hearty jalfrezi.

The group also created a tarka dhal using washed split red lentils and were introduced to asafoetida (a spice used as a flavour enhancer alongside turmeric). The cumin seeds were popped again and oil was added instead of ghee (the clarified and traditionally used fat) for its health properties. Onion, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, coriander, garam masala and fenugeek were fried, and the softened  lentils added. Just before serving, freshly chopped coriander was sprinkled in. I think the group were pleasantly surprised how substantial and nourishing this meat-free and extremely cheap dish could be.

Group members particularly enjoyed making the ‘naan-in-the-pan’, although the smell of the yeast was not to everyone's taste! But again the group were self-impressed that they had made something so authentic and comparable to what they’d get from a takeaway! The chopping line regrouped to make Alison’s refreshing and tasty salad of tomatoes, cucumber and coriander - the perfect accompaniment to our lunchtime meal fit for a king… and a few other subjects!!

There are more photographs of these tasty dishes on our Facebook page.

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