What started out as an idea for a simple week-night meal turned into an Indian feast, complete with cumin rice, chipatis, mango chutney and my favourite lime and coriander salad. I got carried away, as I so often do. This was quite impractical, as we are trying to fit dinner around placement (Angelo), yoga (me), salsa dancing at the “beach” in Nottingham market square (both of us) and, most importantly, the first episode of this summer’s The Great British Bake Off. I can barely contain my excitement about this series, but more on that soon. To get around our hectic schedule, I ended up making dinner just after lunch, ready to reheat as soon as we are back from dancing and eat whilst watching the best TV of the summertime.
This curry is warm and spicy, but not hot, making it ideal for the chilli-phobes among us (i.e. Angelo). It is flavoured with garam masala, ginger, coriander and garlic. Sweet potato, spinach and paneer give variety of texture and the sweetness in contrast with the tender cheese is a thing to behold. The quantities of sweet potato, spinach and paneer can easily be altered to suit personal taste – I think next time I will use more spinach and less sweet potato. I also would have liked a fresh chilli in there. But, even without any alterations, this is a very good mid-week meal.
On a side note, it feels like this post is a little late in coming. This is because the recipe for a raspberry and almond cake I was so excited to put on here is, ever so frustratingly, just not quite there yet.
It all started when Angelo brought home an insane amount of almonds from the market in Derby. Four days later, I hadn’t managed to even make a dent in the bag, even after an asparagus-almond pesto spaghetti and eating rather a lot of almond snacks (they are the lowest fat nut, so this is ok, I tell myself). Being a true baker at heart, you can imagine my glee at the possibilities of making something cakey with all these nuts. The raspberries we had that week were lovely, and they go very nicely with almonds. It seemed like this cake was written in the stars.
Alas, it is not quite right. The chopped almonds are, at the same time, too small and too big. The cake is too dense. Delicious, but a bit of a work out for the jaw muscles. I need to regroup and rethink this recipe. Here are is a photo of the work in progress, to tantalise you for when the perfected recipe is finally released:
As I am heading to my Mum’s for the coming weekend and she grows some very tasty raspberries, I think a second attempt is on the cards.
Curried sweet potato, spinach and paneer
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2cm peice of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. curry powder
650 grams sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 2cm dice
about 400ml veg stock
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
100 grams spinach
225 grams paneer cheese, chopped into 2cm dice
Handful of chopped fresh coriander
Zest of ½ a lime
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fry the onion in the oil until softened – 5-7 minutes. Then add the garlic, ginger, garam masala and curry powder and cook for a further minute, stirring, until fragrant. Add the sweet potato, and enough stock to just cover the potatoes, the bay leaf and salt, and bring to the boil before leaving to simmer for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach and paneer and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the coriander and lime zest and stir through. Add black pepper and any additional salt to taste and remove the bay leaf. Serve with basmati rice.