Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #4: Curry Rogan Josh
This was our fourth official cooking/blogging experiment from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. The weather this weekend has been cooler, so we thought something warming was appropriate. We also had some pumpkin and carrots to use up from the veggie box, so one recipe leaped out at us: Curry Rogan Josh, Fluffy Rice, Carrot Salad, Poppadoms, Flatbread, and Beer. (I love that Beer is in the meal title!) No dessert with this one, but it made a huge feast’s worth of food.
Quick verdict: The only substitution we made was using Kent pumpkin instead of butternut. Time-wise, we were worse than last week with an elapsed time of 48:02. There are definitely things we’d do to save time next time though. Overall I rated it 9/10, while the Snook rated it 8.5/10. (Personally, any recipe with two whole bunches of coriander/cilantro is A-OKAY by me!) However, we both agreed that the lemon pickle SUCKS. Read on for a photo essay of the preparation.Pre-start prep: We got out all the necessary ingredients, tools, and cooking vessels. This week we also needed the food processor and a kettle full of boiled water. The kitchen was clean (well, as clean as it gets) and everything wiped down and ready to go. The oven was turned on and a big saucepan put on the stove to heat.
First up are the ingredients for the curry: onions, squash/pumpkin, cauliflower, chilli, garlic, coriander, Patak’s rogan josh paste, chickpeas, baby spinach, and yogurt.
Ingredients for just about everything else! Basmati rice and cloves for the rice; almonds, carrots, chilli, coriander, ginger, and lemon for the carrot salad; chapattis and turmeric for the chapattis; and lemon, mustard seeds, turmeric, and chilli for the lemon pickle.
Pans ready to go. The big one is for the curry. The saucepan is for the rice. The frying pan is for toasting the almonds and later cooking the lemon pickle. (Note: This was a BAD CHOICE for the pickle. More on that later.)
Our crappy food processor, ready to go.
Time to start cooking! The Snook immediately got going on the curry. Here’s the onion starting to cook.
Chopping up the pumpkin. Jamie didn’t peel his since he used butternut, but we had a Kent so the Snook peeled it.
The pumpkin’s cooking now…
Meanwhile, I was working on the carrot salad. I know from experience that our food processor is CRAP at grating things, so I did them all by hand on a box grater. I just used the processor to whizz up the chilli, coriander, and ginger.
Here’s the whizzed up flavourings mixed up with the grated carrot.
The curry continues. He’s chucked in cauliflower, chilli, garlic, and coriander at this point.
And with some more additions: curry paste and chickpeas. We put the lid on and let it cook.
Now for the rice. The Snook was skeptical of cooking the rice on the stove and lobbied hard for us to use our rice cooker. I told him we had to stick to the recipe, but if we did it again, we’d use the cooker. (I don’t know why Jamie didn’t mandate using one; everybody’s got one, right?) Anyway, rice, water, and a couple cloves.
I got my almonds toasting for the carrot salad…
And the Snook got the chapattis going. He scrunched up some greaseproof paper and soaked it in water, then spread it out on a cookie sheet. The chapattis are each drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with turmeric.
He’s stacked them up and wrapped the paper around into a little parcel, which then goes into the oven.
To finish the carrot salad, I added olive oil, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
My almonds are toasted!
I finished the carrot salad with heaps of coriander and the toasted almonds. I have to say, I am not traditionally a fan of raw carrot, but I could tell already this was going to be a winner!
It was time to start the lemon pickle. Here’s the Snook chopping up a whole lemon.
The frying pan received a glug of olive oil, then the spices for the pickle.
And that’s when all hell broke loose! See all those little specks on the stove? Yeah, the mustard seeds started popping like popcorn and zinging all over the kitchen! I’d suggest using a saucepan in the future and maybe clamping a lid down for the first few seconds.
Now he’s added the lemon and he’s giving it the required ten seconds of cooking.
The finished pickle in the bowl.
Checking the curry. It’s looking good!
The rice cooked for seven minutes and then steamed for seven more. To my surprise, it turned out great! Fluffy and perfect, with a tiny bit of flavour from the cloves.
The chapattis have come out of the oven, still in their paper package…
And the poppadoms are ready with their yogurt and olive oil dipping sauce.
The finished meal! The curry was garnished with yogurt and coriander leaves. We served it with an ice cold glass of the Snook’s homebrew, of course.
Tasting notes: The Snook thought the curry was “good, but not great.” He liked the carrot salad and the chapattis. The pickle earned a big thumbs down. “It had potential, but it was… not right.” I actually thought the curry was quite good, and I’m happy we had three generous portions left over for lunches. The carrot salad was excellent, and I can definitely see myself making that again for barbecues and picnics. I do agree with him on the pickle though. Much too bitter and strong. We ended up throwing most of it away. Maybe we needed a sweeter lemon? If we were going to do the meal again, I’d leave out the pickle, do the rice in the rice cooker, and possibly do the curry in the pressure cooker since that was the thing that took the longest. I also like that this meal was vegetarian, and you can easily adjust the spiciness level if needed. It’s a great one for a party feast!
Stay tuned next week for another recipe from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals!