Monday, January 19, 2009

Pop's Burn-down-the-Barn Curry

Naan bread which I made according to an authentic Indian recipe
Delicious vegetable curry with the sambles served seperately

My husband, who normally works away in West Africa, has been home for four months. It has been such a blessing for us to be together for such a long uninterrupted period, and of course, with a practical man around, there is not a broken or tatty thing in the house or garden. Window latches, hitherto swinging on snapped arms, broken cupboard door locks, blown light bulbs, sagging towel rails and much more have all been repaired, replaced or renovated.

Not only is my darling hubby a very handy handyman ;) he is also an innovative cook. (See Hash’s Homemade Hamburger Patties and Crumbed Camembert). Three evenings a week, while I’m at spinning or band practice, he makes dinner. One of my personal favourites is his delicious curry. He makes a meat curry for himself and normally ends up inviting our son and daughter-in-law to join him. He also makes the same recipe for me, using only vegetables.

Both our sons call him Pops, hence the name of his own personal curry recipe. Don't be misled or put off by the hot-sounding name; my husband loves alliteration...

As for the sambles: apart from the Maryland, I’m responsible for all the accompanying dishes. When in Kwa-Zulu Natal, we often eat out at our favourite Indian restaurant. While you wait, two men in a glass-fronted cubicle with an oven, bake naan bread for you. The first time there, I asked the bakers for their naan recipe which they kindly gave me. A dear friend of mine, Fazila Ebrahim, told me how to make Raita.

Oh, and because I normally get carried away with posts about my garden and pets, and take ages before I post recipes, I decided to post all the relevant curry – related recipes here today. I also felt it’s best to have them all together for easy reference!

Pop’s Burn-down-the-Barn Curry

3 Medium potatoes, peeled and halved
3 Onions finely chopped
1 Brinjal/Aubergine, peeled and quartered
6 Cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tbs freshly grated ginger
3 Tbs ground dhania
3 Tbs jeera powder
1 Tbs jeera seeds
3 Tbs ground turmeric
2 Tbs ground chillies
3 Tbs Masala
4 Pieces cassia, crushed
4 Pieces cinnamon bark, crushed
½ Cups dried lentils
2 Carrots cut into discs
1 Green pepper, chopped
½ kg topside mince/or stewing meat of your choice
Salt to taste
½ cup olive oil
Fresh dhania, for garnishing

Fry onion, garlic and ginger until golden brown. Add green pepper, carrots and brinjals. Fry for 5 minutes, add lentils and still well. Add meat, fry for a further 5 minutes. Add all the spices, stir and fry for a few more minutes. Add water until you have sufficient juice. Add potatoes and simmer for 45 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add fresh dhania and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve on rice with sambles. *

Maryland: chopped chillies, onion and tomato;
Desiccated coconut
Sliced banana
Readymade fruit chutney
Readymade Mango atcha
Readymade pappudums (optional)
Raita (See recipe)
Naan bread (See recipe)

Mint and cucumber Raita

45 ml (2 ½ tablespoons) freshly chopped mint
375 ml yoghurt
¼ finely diced cucumber
Salt and pinch of paprika

Add yoghurt to chopped mint, paprika and diced cucumber.
Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Naan bread

4 ½ cups cake flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1 x10g packet instant yeast
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
¼ butter, melted
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup warm water

Place flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl.
Add warm water, milk and egg to make a soft dough
Knead (adding a little flour, if necessary) for 6-8 minutes
Place smooth dough in an oiled bowl, cover and set aside
Allow 1 hour for proving, until dough is double in size
Punch down dough and knead in garlic
Pinch off small handfuls about the size of a golf ball
Roll into balls and place on greased tray
Cover and allow to prove, about 30 minutes
Meanwhile preheat oven to 180 °C/ 350 °F
Press each ball down into thin circles
Cook for 3 – 5 minutes, until puffy and slightly browned
Turn and brush uncooked side with melted butter
Grill for 3 -4 minutes
Remove from oven and serve immediately


  1. Jo, this looks absolutely delicious & I am so impressed with all your side dishes and homemade naan bread, too - scrumptious !

  2. Yes Lynda, his curry is delicious. The best is when he's finished, there is not a dirty pot or spoon in the kitchen! I hope your Internet problems are sorted out soon. Hugs Jo


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