Friday, 9 March 2012

Chick Please

My first ever post on this blog spoke of my top five ingredients, here is one of my top five dishes. I truly wanted to make it sooner, but I did not think it fair to the other recipes! 

Today's been a bit of a weird day, and as the sun shows no sign of coming out day (I am clearly suffering from S.A.D- Seasonal Affective Disorder- aren't we all?), I really feel like eating something hearty and familiar. 

Introducing my coconut and crushed fennel seed rotis with aubergine and chick pea curry.

No other dish really embodies my melting-pot of influences better than this dish. It was something that my mum often made for us on the weekends, and was one of the first dishes I ever ate at my mother-in-laws house. The typical chick pea curry that my mum prepared was spicy and the chick pea curry that I later had at my in-laws used a lot of fresh coriander and was thicker in consistency. I loved the idea of fusing the two together and naturally over the years, I have adapted this to my own taste. To this day, is one of the few dishes that I could be utterly content eating everyday.

This is simple cooking at it's best. The chick pea curry is quite light in texture, but is packed with flavour. You just fry up some onions, garlic, fennel and cumin seeds until they are golden brown, and then add a tin of chick peas. Allow these to crisp up a bit then add some tomato puree, chilli and ground coriander powder. In a separate pan lightly sauté some diced aubergine pieces with fennel seeds and salt. Within about 5mins, they both should be done. A great tip I found when I added too much chill powder one time, was adding a spoonful of greek yoghurt really thickens up the mixture and now I always add a drop for a creamy finish. Garnish lavishly with coriander and keep warm. 

For the rotis- you need to finely chop onions and crush some roasted fennel seeds. Mix well and add your self raising flour. Then mix some coconut milk with water and need your dough. My mum is really the queen of kneading and shaping dough, and it always vexes her when I make my 'island rotis' instead of the circular shaped ones, but for me, there is nothing better than a rustically shaped roti! Whenever we used to make these together, I used to always stretch mine as far as they could go- trust me thin and crunchy definitely wins over soft and podgy! Plus, when these are fried, the little diced onions and fennel seed hit and fry in the oil, so you really get the best of your seasoning. 

Now for the best bit. Plate up and get down. Do the words scrum-dilly-umptous mean anything to you?

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