30 November 2012

GUEST BLOG: What a curry on!

By guest blogger TRACEY

Rob began the second of his latest sessions at the Approved Premises by reminding the group that the six lessons will introduce them to cuisines from different countries - and this week we were jetting off to sample the culinary delights of India. The importance of having a balanced diet was stressed and Rob explained the nutritional value of the foods we were using: naan bread for carbohydrate, lentils have fibre and chicken was the protein. The guys set to work by sprinkling the chicken thighs with salt and oil, then placing them in the oven to roast. 

Next, the production line for creating the jalfrezi began - lots of red and yellow peppers were sliced, along with four Italian palmero peppers for sweetness. Garlic and ginger were sliced julienne style and lots and lots of red onions were sliced then sautéed. The remaining ingredients were added once the onions had softened. Both Rob and I were impressed with the slick skill and ease displayed while chopping these vegetables - they've obviously being watching Rob very closely! The black mustard seeds, cumin and fenugreek seeds were lightly fried until the seeds started to splatter, then the turmeric and garam masala were added. The mixture was then stirred into the vegetables and left to simmer. Meanwhile, the lentils were weighed and left to cook in water, oil and turmeric for 30 minutes and once they had softened, the same spice mix was added. A coconut block was sliced and added then, just before the dish was served, some chopped coriander was stirred into the lentils. Both changed the appearance and enhanced the taste of one of my favourite dishes! 

The guys were visibly challenged at the thought of making naan bread, but once Rob talked them through the recipe and ingredients, they realised a tandor oven wasn’t needed with his infamous naan in the pan recipe! The delicious aroma of the spices and freshly made bread brought many to the kitchen and all left satisfied with the feast they came to share - and all for £1.70 per head!

More photographs from this session can be seen on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page.

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