Commiserate with me.
The world is covered in cheese and I can’t touch it.
After a really bad bout of the flu recently, I am now lactose intolerant. Who knew this was even a thing? Not me. But it is. #LeSigh.
It remains to be seen if it will be a temporary or permanent thing. Just one of those things where you need to wait and see. (Although in most cases, it seems to be temporary. Fingers triple crossed!).
In the meantime, I’ve being trying to convince myself I could a be a vegan… (Sort of. I mean, I could still eat eggs…). But truly, I’m heartbroken. 20 years a vegetarian and not for one moment have I ever had any desire to explore veganism. There’s not much I love more than cheese (and butter, and ice cream, and so on)…. But cheese!
Right now, I’m holding onto hope that my ever faithful digestive system once again begins producing the lactase enzyme, and focusing on the good stuff I can still eat. Last, I made my favourite curry, tonight it’s stir-fry, and after that I’ll be making my way through My Darling Lemon Thyme’s cookbook. And wishing I hadn’t lent my Green Kitchen Stories to my sister… (Heya, P.s. Sis, can I have that back? Thanks).
So let’s get to it, shall we? I’m not exaggerating when I say this is my favourite curry recipe. So much better than any Indian take-out or restaurant meal I’ve ever had. There are a few steps, but none is all that difficult. Promise.
1 Small butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 Cauliflower, cut into florets
400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned
1 tbs garam masala
Olive oil (enough to coat the veggies)
1 bunch each of coriander, mint and basil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 thumb sized pieces of ginger, peeled
1-2 long green chills, seeds removed
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 lime, with extra wedges to serve
1 can coconut milk
Rice, papadums or naan to serve.
(I like it with Jamie Oliver’s Easy Flatbread, which you can find here. Normally, I use goat or sheep yoghurt, but last night I made it with coconut yoghurt and it worked out just fine).
1. Start by placing your cauliflower, pumpkin and chickpeas in a baking pan. Toss with the garam masala, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes (depending on how chunky you’ve cut your veg), at 200c. I normally cover the veggies and chickpeas with foil for the first 20 minutes, to avoid burning.
2. Ok, next get out your blender. Throw in your basil (including stalks), coriander stalks, plus half the leaves, and mint leaves. Blitz. Now add your ginger, garlic, chillies, zests and juices. Blitz. Finally, blitz in your banana. Smells amazing, right?
3. Swirl a little oil in a large pan, over a medium heat, and fry your curry mixture for a minute or so. Here, Jamie suggests you add in 2/3 of your veg and chickpea mix, reserving the last 1/3 to serve on top at the end, however at this point, I always just put the whole veg and chickpea batch into the curry. each to their own. Add your coconut milk, along with 200ml of water and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Serve with the reserved coriander leaves, lime wedges, rice, papadums and/or flatbread. We also normally have this with yoghurt on the side, last night we used coconut yoghurt.
Also? this curry keeps really well for leftovers the next day.
Have you ever had an unexpected side effect after an illness? Or had to give up a food you had a deep, almost-spiritual attachment to? It’s just so bizarre!
[A word on reproducing recipes. I looked for this recipe online so I could simply link it, but couldn’t find it, hence deciding to reproduce it for you here. It’s that good. Seriously. As far as my research goes, it’s fine to publish a recipe in the context of a review (which I’ve tried to do – truly. Five out of five stars). Also, I’ve written the method in my own words (methods are subject to copyrighting, but not ingredients lists), and included photos from my own process. I’m also not claiming in any way this recipe is mine. Full credit to Master Oliver! I’d also suggest that if you like this, have a look at his books, or magazine, (if you don’t already own them all. Like me). In particular, my favourites are his 15 Minute Meals, and his second book, Return of the Naked Chef. But really, it’s hard to pick favourites… Alternatively, he has a regular section in Australia’s Delicious Magazine (where the recipe originates). It is hands down my favourite foodie magazine. My generous sister has given me a subscription for my last two birthdays. I hope this continues…. Hi again Sis.]