Monday, 24 July 2017

Aromatic courgette curry

So it's another recipe for meat-free days. I went into some of the environmental arguments for going vegetarian in my last blog entry but one real advantage for eating vegie is that it's just much cheaper than meat. It's not that I'm pleading poverty, and I've no intention of giving up meat any time soon, but there is something great about knocking up something like this which costs next to fuck all and takes little more than an hour.

I've twatted on about courgetttes and how great they are in a previous post, but what I was unaware of is that this humble vegetable is another import from the Americas. So, along with peppers, chillies and tomatoes, which were also brought over from the New World, European and Asian cuisine would have been so fucking dull before the Conquistadors made it to America. They also brought back syphilis, so, I guess that's a case of swings and roundabouts. And let's not forget that chocolate also came from the New World, so, on balance, it's a win for white Europeans, in addition to the devastation they wreaked on the native civilisations and the population as a whole on the other side of the Atlantic. We got a whole new pantry full of ingredients, they got genocide.

OK, we'll swap you horses, the wheel and Catholicism for the contents of your gardens

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 50 minutes

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 whole star anise
1 tsp ground coriander
3 cloves
4 whole green cardamom pods
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp whole fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1 10cm piece cinnamon stick
pinch ground black pepper
pinch  dried chilli flakes
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 large courgette, topped, tailed and sliced
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
100ml water
1 tbsp tomato puree
More spices
(clockwise from 12 o'clock: ground cumin, bay leaf, tumeric, cinnamon stick, ground coriander, star anise, cloves, chilli flakes, black pepper, cardamom pods with fennel seeds in the middle)

Heat the oil in a pan and add the spices for 2 minutes.

Throw in the onion, ginger and garlic, and fry gently for 10 minutes.

Add the courgette and stir-fry for another 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and water, stir then add salt to taste.

Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes

Serve with rice

Ready to eat 
(on right of plate with aloo gobi on left on a bed of plain, boiled basmati rice)

 This is a great dish to serve with aloo gobi that I posted a recipe for recently. This uses more earthy flavoured spices which contrast well with the richly fragrant nature of this courgette curry.

Courgettes are members of the pumpkin/squash family, the cucurbit. It's not all about versatile vegetables, mind. This family also contains the penis gourd which has made an appearance in this blog in a previous post.I'm not sure who dreamed up the idea, but they must have had a pretty eccentric outlook.
"That's a funny looking vegetable. Does it taste nice?"
"Not really. Not sure what to do with it"
"Well, if you dry it out it would make a great cover for your cock"

A decorative penis gourd from Papua New Guinea

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