After throwing such a very lovely party on Saturday night, The Hostess was feeling a little fragile. Since I had mitched cleaning up duties and then had the cheek to return the next day to hoover up some leftovers, I felt it was only fair that I cook her some Recovery Curry for dinner. Before she could interject with the whole 'but the X Factor final blah blah blah' thing, I, very selflessly I feel, said that I was happy to participate in the watching of X Factor (little did she realise that she would be watching to the sound of annoying questions and derogatory remarks). And so, for the menu - to The Book, where I dug out another old favourite, particularly in times of post-party recovery, Malaysian beef rendang, torn out of the pages of a magazine I would guess roughly three years ago, and much cooked since.
A very simple and pleasing amalgam of spices begins the journey: a half teaspoon of cloves, a half teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground fennel, 2tsp ground chilli, 1 tsp ground coriander.
I find of rubbing the spices into the cubed beef to be an extremely pleasing one.
Mmm...brown thyself, oh lovely Irish beef...
But THEN, what did I do - I had one of my 'absence of green' panics and grabbed the broccoli. Now, if my little brain had being working more the way it should, I would have popped this in in the last few minutes. Never mind, I got my injection of green anyhow, even if it had dulled considerably by the time the food hit hungry mouths.
Then in with 150g of dessicated coconut and a hearty mush of 5 shallots, 5cm ginger and 4 garlic cloves, along with a tin of coconut milk. The recipe also specifies a tin of coconut cream, to be added at the end, but I like to pour bits in as it cooks, which should take about 40 minutes on a nice low heat so as not to end up with mad tough beef.
My dad has a habit of declaring, when we sit down to anything that my mother cooks, that you'd never get anything as nice in any restaurant that you'd ever go to. I always think that, with curry, take away might be a fun treat every now and then, but nothing compares to a curry that you knock out yourself from scratch at home. And lets not forget that it costs less and probably takes less time.
The X Factor final was incredibly dull. Lucky I had the curry to keep me happy. If not entirely quiet.