Instant Curry, Shepherd’s Pie, Apricot muffins and No Rambling – just the food


I spend most of my time up this Italian mountain making curry. Anything that tastes of SOMEthing. This is my quick curry recipe. Takes ten minutes, always delicious. So, if there are going to be three big onions in it then it would serve about four people. But, obviously, it’s all adaptable and you’ll make it how you like it.

Very Easy Curry

Onions, garlic, chilli, ginger, whatever spices you like (have got), chicken, can of tomatoes, cocunut milk….

Put three large-ish, chopped onions and six peeled cloves of garlic in the blender with a peeled thumb of ginger, one small red chilli and a couple of glugs of cold water. Blend to a paste. (Honestly – I don’t usually bother to blend this but just chuck the chopped ingredients into the pan with the chicken and I don’t brown and then remove the chicken usually either).

Fry your skinless pieces of chicken (thighs are the tastiest, I think, but it doesn’t matter) in some oil until browned then take them out of the oil and put them aside.

Put your onion and garlic paste into the hot oil with whatever spices you like. I’d go for – a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and coriander, ten peppercorns, a couple of crushed cardamom pods and then, honestly, anything – poppy seeds, mustard seeds, garam masala, curry leaf powder, whatever you’ve got.  Sweeter? Dump a few handfuls of toasted, dessicated coconut in there and add some cinnamon. Makes it a bit milder.

Fry until the spices look a bit browned, lob the chicken back in and add a can of tomatoes OR a carton of coconut milk. OR BOTH! Then simmer for….five minutes if you’re hungry, half an hour if you can bear it.

You could use prawns or lamb instead….or potatoes and cauliflower, aubergines.

Then plain rice and a tomato, cucumber and onion salad with fresh coriander. Also salt and peppered yoghurt. Want to chop some cucumbers into it? Why not! Oh, wait. I usually make chapatis. Brown flour, water and salt. Roll it out, fry it dry in a hot frying pan, then take it out and put it on top of the gas flame to puff up. Want to be fatter? Brush with melted butter, fold and roll again, do this a few more times then fry in butter (don’t puff up over the gas ring, the butter will catch fire). This really is delicious but, you know, not that low cal.

12 Muffins – This recipe is in a book I bought for the kids and it has photos of all the ingredients and photo instructions. This page is the most splodged and sticky. This is what we make the most.  My daughter’s got a little muffin machine and sometimes in the morning I wake up to the smell of muffins. Sometimes. Not that often. Pretty rarely.

115g butter, 285 plain flour plus a tablespoon of baking powder (why? easier to use self-raising), 85g caster sugar, 220 ml milk, I add vanilla essence, whatever fruit or chocolate you like. Blend everything except the fruit or chopped chocolate. Then stir in the latter. Bake in muffin cases until they’re raised and golden.

Shepherd’s pie. I KNOW you know how to make shepherds pie. But just in case. Make a bolgnese sauce (wait, is this cottage pie? whatever. beef or lamb, same process), frying garlic, onions and minced meat until brown, adding a can of tomatoes, salt, pepper, a spoonful of Bovril or Marmite (or a stock cube or both), some soy sauce. Put mashed potatoes on top of this, mashed with butter. Controversially, I don’t both to peel the boiled potatoes for mashing. I mean, life is short, etc. It’s just as nice, I promise. Put a lot of grated cheese on top and grill or bake the whole thing until the cheese looks like the photo.

About Anna Blundy

Honorary psychotherapist with a Masters in Psychoanalytic Theory and another in Psychodynamic Clinical Psychotherapy. Novelist - Author of the Faith Zanetti quintet - The Bad News Bible, Faith Without Doubt, Neat Vodka (US - Vodka Neat), Breaking Faith, My Favourite Poison. Also a memoir of my father, Every Time We Say Goodbye and my most recent thriller - The Oligarch's Wife
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