Today, I’m cooking curry. This can only go well.
I’m cooking curry because I’ve been assured by literally everyone I know that it’s easy, and cheap, and hard to get wrong. It’s filling and vaguely healthy, and slightly more impressive than my usual pasta, pesto and tomato combination. And people love curry, right? Just look at Brick Lane.
So, here goes. I’m following a recipe found on BBC GoodFood – (http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1555/chicken-sweet-potato-and-coconut-curry, if you fancy seeing slightly more precise instructions) and I’m hoping for the best.
Preparation + Cooking:
- 2 large chicken breasts cut into ‘bite sized pieces.’
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 teaspoon of curry paste.
- 4 tablespoons red split lentils.
- 300ml chicken stock
- 400ml coconut milk
- 175g frozen peas.
Serving: 2 adults and 2 children.
(The serving is debatable. We were three pretty hungry adults, and we still had at least a third of both curry and rice left over.)
We didn’t have coconut milk or curry paste and we’d run out of stock cubes… disaster. Luckily, all of these can be found pretty cheaply at any major supermarket (even if it did take me a while to actually find the curry paste) and so a crisis was averted and I got to feel all adult-like, steering a trolley purposefully through the aisles and checking things off a list. What more could anyone want from their evening?!
The preparation for this was actually pretty easy. I measured everything out first, in an attempt to avoid a last minute panic, and I also ‘prepped’ the sweet potatoes in the microwave to make sure that they cooked through properly. I found it easiest to heat the oil up first, and then cut the chicken (with scissors, because it’s less fiddly and I’m less likely to drop everything on the floor) directly over the pan. Once this was done, I added in the sweet potatoes, spooned in the curry paste and lentils, and then rushed madly to stir the stock and add the coconut milk.
I had a bit of a fight with the can opener but eventually managed to get everything in, although I deviated from the recipe slightly and added the peas during this stage. (I know, I know. Sue me!) I’d like to pretend that this was because of some culinary insight but actually I was half following the recipe and half singing along to Selena Gomez, so I can’t really take any credit.
I’d chosen to cook rice with this, although I cheated a bit and used our rice cooker. Apparently this is a ‘weird’ and ‘unusual’ thing for a student to have, but it meant I didn’t have to juggle another pan, and so I am eternally grateful.
I put it all together and voilà a scrumptious meal!
All in all, this went down pretty well. It might have been my tactic of cooking late so that my housemates were hungry, but the general consensus was positive, and I’ve been told I can add it to my slowly growing repertoire. Success!
The only slight downside was that there was still a lot left over, but – as everyone always tells you – you can just have it tomorrow for lunch.
Any culinary disasters?
- I am completely, utterly incapable of peeling potatoes. Apparently my first mistake was chopping the ends off and my second was trying to peel the whole thing at once. If you start halfway, I’ve now been taught, you get a ‘smoother peel’ and it looks less like a collision site. The more you know…
- The curry was quite watery, even though I added excessive amounts of lentils to ‘soak up’ the liquid. I think maybe this was because I used slightly too much stock (the numbers are small on the measuring jug!) but most of the reviews had the same complaint. Although this didn’t really matter because I served it with rice, it might be a bit annoying if you’re trying something else.
My struggles with the can opener, the potato peeling and the fact that I couldn’t get it to thicken no matter what I tried meant that this wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever made.
Housemate Rating: 6/10. ‘Really nice but quite watery!’ – Apparently I can make this again. Success.