At the top of our fridge, there are some items that have permanent residence. Jars come and go, but there will almost always be a selection of these: tahini, lingonberry jam, mango chutney, lime pickle, and curry paste. I see some Romanian horseradish paste, sambal oelek, some Norwegian appetittsild (pickled herring), and a mysterious pistachio dessert sauce we found in Sicily. It’s like tahini, but pistachio-flavoured and very sweet.
Last night we fancied something light. After a week of fighting a stomach bug, we thought we’d brave rice and a mild curry. I’d had this recipe for Sweet potato, spinach & lentil dahl recipe – BBC Good Food on my to-try list for ages, and thought I’d try something like that. Of course, when cooking this I totally forgot to add the sweet potatoes, so that’s still on the list. And we had korma paste lurking in the fridge (does it ever go off?), so I used that instead of making curry paste from scratch. Sometimes it’s just easier.
One onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
small splash olive oil
3 generous tbs korma paste
1/2 cup uncooked red lentils
450 ml water
2 zucchini, sliced and cut in two
150 g fresh spinach, washed and chopped
3/4 cup plain yoghurt (I used low-fat Greek yoghurt, as we had some left over)
salt to taste
Chop the onion and celery, sauté briefly in large pan and add korma paste. Another Indian curry paste would do nicely as well, I am sure. Add red lentils, water and zucchini, and let it simmer with lid on until the lentils are tender. Fifteen min or so, it took. When the lentils are tender, toss in the handfuls of fresh spinach, it will wilt in the heat. Turn the heat down and stir in the yoghurt. See if you think it’s spicy enough, or if you want to add more curry paste or salt. Serve with rice and naan.
I made coriander naan following The Pink Whisk’s recipe, which is very reliable. Recipe here: Naan Bread – Plain plus Garlic & Coriander | Baking, Recipes and Tutorials. Actually I just made the dough, my husband rolled them out and griddled them. That is a Meteor steketakke, a Norwegian-made griddle for lefse and other traditional flatbreads. Excellent for naan and pita bread as well.
Note: of course, no other major appliances (kettle, dishwasher, washing machine) can run while the griddle is on. Electricity in Italy can be temperamental, and most apartments have a 3kw contract, which does not have much leeway. It’s rock, paper, scissors, just with household appliances: washing machine + iron? Dishwasher running, and your guest says she’ll just pop the kettle on? You catch yourself running across the kitchen saying NOOOOOO……. Too late. There go the fuses again…..