Tuesday, 24 January 2012

271: Life's a riot with Saag versus Saag

My good friend Big Bad Bri would appreciate the post-title Billy Bragg reference. However, given he's a man that considers warming his Ginsters pasty sophisticated he's unlikely to be passing this way again.

In an accident formed by a lack of planning and presence of a bargain, during my shopping I ended up with, a particularly large butternut squash and 4 bags of spinach. I also had a load of spuds. So, using my tried and trusted use-everything-I've-got recipe chosing method, that'll be Chicken, saag, squash and potato curry coming up. A purist would say this is one or two ingredients too many. Tish & piff!

As regular visitors will know, I love a curry. The more attentive may have also spotted that basically I have only the two methods of cooking currys - using water/stock and with tomatoes. As a result of this, the heated debates in the VegBox household have been:
  • The efficacy of fiscal easing
  • Just when am I going to put those curtains up?
  • And getting back to the plot - and the truth - which is best the stock or tomato-ey curry?
So I decided to test it (not fiscal easing, nor my rudimentary DIY skills). Reason being there was too much to fit in to even my largest pan. Cooking both together was a winner, because it seemd a lot quicker than cooking two seperately. Trying to do the recipe in a time-line style:

1) Halve and deseed the butternut squash. Dust with salt, pepper and cumin seeds and in the oven to roast ~@180c
2) Choppped 6 medium onions  and slowly fried. Then adding in garlic, chillies, curry powder, garam masala. Split this into two big pans adding extra tumeric for stock curry and ginger and paprika to the tomato-ey curry base
3) Chopped ~12 medium potatoes in to bit sized bits. Par boiled half of them
4) (whole lot-a chopping going off here) Chopped and fried 8 chicken breasts to seal and add a little colour
5) Add enough chicken stock (2-3 pints) to cover and add potatoes and chicken to one pot. Add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, par-boiled potatoes and a pint of water to the other. Bring to a simmer
6) With any luck the butternut squash should be soft by now. If not have yourself a cuppa. When it is soft, remove the skin, chop and then add to the a-simmering curries. Simmer some more. By now the chicken will be cooked through, so check the taste and adjust with extra spices if needed. Repeat until happy.
7) Add spinach 5-10 miuntes before the end; depending on how much bite you want to it.
8) If you've got one, squeeze a bit of lemon in to the tomato one right at the end

Making myself a rice levee, here are they are. Cooking two curries at once was definately a winner; it seemed to take only 1 1/2 times as long as cooking one curry on its own. Which is a result. You can just about tell from the photo that the spinach went in to the tomato curry earlier than it did in to the stock one.

Somehow in describing this, it looks like I just cooked two curries and them we ate twice as much. I would like to point out that I there ended up being 10 meals in this lot.

So, building this story to it's not so exciting climax *drum roll*.... what was the result, which curry won?

Well, everyone had a favourite - but it came out at two votes each - so looks like both will be repeated alternately going forward.

1 comment:

  1. Take out the chicken and they both look like curries I'd love to have waiting for me when I got home from work. Wouldn't dare vote, but would be happy to lick the plate clean.

    What, I want to know, happened to all those cakes you were meant to be making?


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