Thursday, 20 November 2014

Fresh, lively jalfrezi

This is the best freshest liveliest curry ever. I make large quantities (surprise!) and freeze it in 250 ml batches. That and a 300g bag of frozen prawns = perfect curry for two. For this one, you need to have already made your green masala paste as well as your balti and garam masala. These quantities make about 1.25 litres, which is enough sauce for 5 curries for 2.

You will need:
  • 8 tablespoons of ghee or oil
  • 15 cloves of garlic
  • 3 inches of ginger
  • 3 small / 1.5 huge onions
  • 12 spring onions
  • 5 tablespoons Balti masala
  • 3 tablespoons green masala paste
  • 1.5 red peppers
  • 1.5 green peppers
  • 6 fresh green chillis
  • 150 ml fragrant stock (2 mins prep, 20 mins simmering - here's the recipe) or water
  • 3 tablespoons garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander
  • 4.5 teaspoons cummin seeds
  • 1.5 teaspoons lovage seeds (or fennel seeds if you can't find lovage)
  • 1.5 teaspoons coriander seeds

You'll also need...

Your wee 250ml tupperwares lined up and ready to receive.

Right, time to start! We'll do a bunch of chopping and measure out the spices, then some frying, then divvy it onto portions to freeze - apart from tonight's

I reckon that's about 3 inches of ginger.

Garlic, anyone?! If you missed the chef trick for peeling these babies fast, it's here.

Garlic and ginger chopped up together, nice and fine

Garlic and ginger ready in a bowl; seeds measured out, 4.5 tsp cumin, 1.5 coriander, 1.5 fennel (for triple quantities)

Slice the onion thinly and chop the spring onion fairly thinly. (I didn't use the onion chef trick. I should've.)

About this fine for the spring onion

I try to slice the onion as thinly as humanly possible. Or Meganly possible, at any rate.

Inside your peppers, you may sometimes find a bearded elf. This is lucky and a sign that the whole of the next year will be replete with success.

To make "small diamond shapes", I cut the pepper in strips long ways then cut across at a slight angle. Close enough to diamonds...!

Last thing to chop - the chillies. You can put these in same bowl as the peppers, because they go into the cooking at the same time.

Chopped-up chilli. Careful now...

All the ingredients prepped! Time for a little sit down and a cup of tea, methinks.

Melt the ghee / heat the oil on medium-high heat. If you've never cooked with ghee, it's AMAZING! Only started using it this year.

When it's hot, add the spices, followed almost immediately by...

... the garlic and ginger, give it a good stir, and almost immediately (about 30 secs) add...

... both kinds of onion. Stir well, and keep stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes. I'll give it a little longer because my pot is quite crowded.

The rest of my ingredients are alert and waiting.

When the onions are quite soft and it's already smelling wonderfully fragrant, ...

... add the peppers and chilli. Careful if you inhale the steam, you might get a nose full of chilli! I'm turning the heat down a tad now.

Add the masalas - 3 tablespoons of green masala paste and 5 tablespoons of Balti masala powder. Turn the heat down and stir in well.

Add 150 ml hot water. I usually have some fragrant stock made up and frozen, but I'm out of it, and really there's plenty flavour here already!

Simmer on a low heat for ten minutes. My middle ring's lowest setting is still way hot, so it's on a smaller ring now. And I can do some clean up!

Forgot to chop the coriander! Now's as good a time as any. That and the garam masala are the final stage. Okay, back to cleaning up...

Checked the sauce, stirred well to stop it sticking, moved it to the tiniest ring on the lowest setting. Still getting used to this pot; it really retains its heat!

Last additions: 3 tablespoons of coriander, 3 of garam masala (for triple quantities). Just stirring it in...

And now it's on a tile on the outside table to cool down fast (food safety: cool things as fast as possible). I haven't added any fish or prawns cos I'm just freezing the sauce, and will add whatever to each batch - prawns, fish, veg, anything that cooks fast. Once it's cool, I'll freeze it on those little tupperwares.

And... we're finished! (My mum taught me you're only finished when the kitchen is clean and the dishes are washed!) Just in time for the comedy!

And here it is, reappearing later for a curry fest:

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