I spent literally all day in the kitchen today. First, I cooked in the Cowley Cafe – our volunteer run, anarchist social centre in Brighton – with Lucy who made this excellent curry that’s simple and delicious, and involves pineapples so what more would you want?? The cafe is a friendly and funny place – today we had a TINY old lady come in, eat only the crust of the pie I made, and tell me how nice people are at the Cowley. Aaawww. And we had not one, but two, separate, men show us their tattoos.
Then I came home and baked 100 cupcakes and a vegan cheesecake that I’m selling to a couple places. Now I am out of the kitchen, finally, and sitting down to write up a recipe. This is getting stupid.
Dhansak curry for 4
For the curry, first you need to make the dhansak masala (the spice mix). To do this get all the following spices, dry fry them in a pan til they’re fragrant, wait for them to cool, then grind them. One of those spice grinders is best but I used a blender (Oh p.s.this will make loads of spice mix, but you can keep it in a jar for other times):
8 dried red chillis
2 flat teaspoons cumin seeds
5 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
6 teaspoons fennel seeds
4 cinnamon sticks
24 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 green cardomom
1 black cardomom
Meanwhile, chop a potato and 2 carrots and cook them with 250g red dhal (rinsed), in double the amount of water. Not too much or it’ll go sloppy, but if it starts going dry, add more. Keep a lid on. Cook til the potatoes are tender and the dahl is smooth.
In a frying pan brown 2 chopped onions really well, then add a clove of crushed garlic. add 2 tablespoons of the spice mix, one tablespoon of dried coconut and a teaspoon of turmeric and some fenugreek leaves if you can be bothered. Mix it all up.
Then add this to the dahl mix, along with a tin of chopped pineapple and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of fresh crushed ginger, some salt and some fresh coriander. Serve with rice – yum!