Curry Nights La La La!

This curry is a bit of a fiddle to prepare but it is well worth it. It’s richly flavoured with the usual suspects but the addition of mace and cloves adds a bit extra that makes all the difference.

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  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • A splash of veg oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large black cardamoms, use the seeds
  • 1 inch piece of mace
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ cauliflower, chopped into thumb-sized chunks
  • 1 handful green beans, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 5 tomatoes, skinned and chopped

Peel and chop the potatoes to large bite-sized chunks. Heat some oil in a large pan (a cast iron frying pan is best for this) and toss in your potatoes and cumin seeds. Very slowly sauté the potatoes until they are golden and softening inside (test with a thin knife). This will take around 30 mins.

While the potatoes cooking (and don’t forget to keep turning them!) heat a splash of oil in another frying pan and gently fry the sliced onions with the bay leaves, cardamom seeds and mace until they are brown – this might take 20 mins.

While you are stirring the pots and the onions, mix the ground spices (garam masala, cumin, coriander, chilli and paprika) with a little water to form a paste.

When the potatoes are done, transfer them to a casserole dish and place in a warm oven and wipe any burnt cumin seeds out of the pan. While the onions are finishing off (keep an eye on them!), add a splash of oil to your first pan again and toss in your cauliflower. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon over the cauliflower and add the cloves. Then add the beans and sauté on a medium heat until the cauliflower start to colour in places. Then throw in your chopped tomatoes, reduce the heat and let the tomatoes cook down.

The onions should be browning by now. Five mins before they are done add the red pepper and cook until soft. When the onions and pepper are nicely cooked add the curry paste and stir, add a little water if it sticks. Then add the garlic and ginger and stir for a few mins. Then transfer this mixture to the tomatoes and cauliflower and cook down a bit more until it reaches a thickish consistency. Then spoon onto the potatoes, stir once and return the dish to the oven while you decide what to make to go with your curry – naan bread, chapatti or if you want a big carb hit – rice! Nice! The curry will be piping hot and ready when you are… Don’t forget to take out the bay leaves, cloves and mace!

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