Thank you Ilana for introducing me to Cupboard Love Curry Night!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Friday night off - curry night!
This post is something of an aside, since I didn't cook anything from Jamie's book... but it has some relevance, because I am becoming very familiar with the contents of Jamie's book and I feel that he has missed out something vital - a curry section. Chicken tikka masala, as we all know, was invented in Britain and is practically the nation's favourite dish. But how many people actually cook their Friday night curry? I ask this not to blame anyone for ordering a takeaway - I write as someone who actually gets cravings for takeaway curry. But I also love cooking and curry is easy and rewarding to cook - you can be lazy about measuring precise quantities, you can make it almost from the store-cupboard, it tastes fantastic. So. In the last few months I have been experimenting with curries. I love Jamie's herby, fresh Thai green curry from The Naked Chef; it might be inauthentic but it has such amazingly vibrant flavours. I also love Gordon Ramsay's Malaysian curry from The F Word. I love Pete's lamb curry from Jamie's second book; I love a selection of choices from Vicky Bhogal, Madhur Jaffrey, and so on. But the last few curry nights have seen me repeatedly cook from Tom Norrington-Davies' brilliant book Cupboard Love, which the lovely Ilana is cooking her way through. Ilana is a star because she isn't afraid to admit when she doesn't like the kinds of food we are all supposed to like if we want to be taken seriously as foodies (Stilton, red wine, pancetta, that sort of thing). She has a funny, compellingly honest style of writing that uncannily echoes that of Tom N-D in Cupboard Love. Anyway, I had read about Ilana's curry nights and they made my mouth water. So I tried Tom's chicken tikka, with masala sauce - the sauce is to die for and I am sure it is what has made me cook chicken tikka masala three times now, despite being someone who would never order chicken tikka masala in an Indian restaurant. Man could live by that sauce alone. But it does go well with the chicken. This time, after seeing a stunning pic on Ilana's blog, I also made Tom's aloo gobi, albeit with more gobi (cauliflower) than aloo (potatoes) because I had cauli to use up. And it was very nice indeed.