Guest post: Noel’s Curry Corner!

Noel's Curry Corner

Last week, I promised you a surprise – and here it is, a guest post from my lovely boyfriend Noel. I’ve already mentioned how much I love sharing food with my family and friends, and so it seems very natural to me to share this space with them as well. So here is what is hopefully the first of several guest posts! He’s also kindly edited this introduction to include his thoughts…

Noel loves curry – I think it’s probably his favourite  (we are in America you have spelled this wrong) food (maybe after kebabs…)(You would make a rubbish PR exec but there is nothing libelous here). We have eaten a lot of curry together in restaurants (You passed the test and moved to level 2), and now Noel has perfected his curry recipe, and is ready to share it with you – in Noel’s Curry Corner. He’s been pretty excited about this, and even has his own theme song – which involves singing ‘Curry curry corner’ to the tune of the theme tune of the Chuckle brothers’ hit-TV show ‘Chucklevision’. (Think we should have kept this one between us, please don’t take up PR) So here it is – Noel’s Curry Corner!

Toasting the spices

That was quite the introduction, thank you. I have edited it slightly in red. It is true that I have a passion for curry. Love the stuff. Some people have said that I left the UK on Doctor’s orders because of my curry intake.  I took those people to the best curry place in the world: Spice Lounge in Summertown, Oxford, and infected them with the curry bug. My spice addiction got to such an extreme that they put a new curry on the menu to satisfy my hunger based on the naga chili.

When I arrived in Boston I didn’t feel homesick for family, friends and my girlfriend (sorry guys). What I truly missed was my one true love The Spice Lounge and its fiery goodness. I set about on a quest to find decent curry. I worked my way through Yelp and was disappointed each time. Most of Boston’s curry offerings have been mediocre and surprisingly expensive.

Preparing the chicken

I spoke to my boss back in the UK and told him I wanted to return home, telling him that I couldn’t handle the lifestyle changes that I was being forced to make in the US. He talked me down and I had a brain wave. Why don’t  I make my own curry? I did some intensive research for recipes, spoke to my guru for spiritual guidance (cough* Googled “chicken vindaloo”)

After approximately 12 minutes of searching I stumbled across this recipe

Cooking a curry at home is not difficult once you have stocked up the cupboard with the required spices. My tip is don’t buy the spices at your standard supermarket/grocery store. It will cost you loads and you may as well fly back to London, jump on the X3 bus and then get a taxi to the Spice Lounge.

Instead, hunt down your nearest Indian supermarket. Luckily for me I have 3 on my doorstep. Here you can find every spice under the sun, in quantity and not very expensive. With a fully stocked cupboard you can now wage war on crappy curry. Once you have the ingredients you can cook cheaply, only needing to buy garlic, onions and the protein of your choice. I have also substituted potatoes during meat amnesty’s to make tasty meals super cheap.

Curry after it's been reduced

Before you begin you need to get yourself “in the zone”. I typically like to get all my spices ready on the plate and then chop them into patterns and possibly words, if you are feeling super adventurous. This is more difficult than you might think and took me as long as the actual cooking.

Thank you and goodnight from Noel’s Curry Corner.

Chicken Vindaloo

The Chicken Vindaloo

Serves 4 normal sized portions

Ingredients

Vindaloo Paste

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 or 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2cm cube of peeled ginger
  • 3 tbsp distilled vinegar (normal recipe asks for white wine vinegar I don’t have this in stock)
  • 1 tsp sugar

Vindaloo Base

  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed or blended
  • 3 finely copped onions (original recipe says red onions but I have had great results with you common yellow onion, use whatever you have in stock)

Other Ingredients

  • 3 red chilies ( I use the dried out ones and de-seed, be careful though this is really, really hot. Dried out does not mean that they don’t pack a punch as Sarah and myself can testify)
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 800g good quality chopped tomatoes or chopped tinned tomatoes (the original asks for 500g of tomatoes, I have found that 800g works fine and this means you get an extra portion of curry)
  • 1-2 tbsp of tomato purée to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This is where the magic happens

Step 1:  Heat the oil in a large pan or whatever is clean and large.  Add the garlic and onion and cook on a medium heat for around 7-10 mins. Don’t let them burn or brown too much.

Step 2: After leaving the garlic, onions and oil to do their thing heat all of your dry spice powders in a shallow frying plan for around 5 mins or until they begin to smoke a little.  This should release their flavours and make your house smell like curry for 3 days. (curry is the world’s strongest aphrodisiac)

Step 3: In a small dish mix the vinegar, ginger and sugar.

Step 4: Mix the spice powders with the vinegar, ginger and sugar into a thick vindaloo paste.

Step 5: Salt and pepper the onions &  garlic & then add the chicken to them. Cook for a few minutes until the chicken starts to color.

Step 6:  Add chilies, tomatoes and tomato puree and begin to stir in the vindaloo paste.

Step 7: Salt and pepper to taste.

Step 8: Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1hr +. The curry might dry out depending on how watery the tinned tomatoes were that you put in. If it is starting to look dry then add a cup of water.

I would serve this with Basmati rice and also some lime pickle (you can find both of these at your local Indian supermarket).

This curry tastes even better the next day and freezes very happily.

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3 thoughts on “Guest post: Noel’s Curry Corner!

  1. I think if the language colleges don’t work out, Noel’s Curry Corner has the makings of a great restaurant. Possibly even Noel’s Comedy Curry Corner (though of course that wouldn’t scan with the Chucklevision theme song…) 🙂 Loving your work, you two. And while vindaloo is a bit strong for me, I’m totally going to try out the aubergine involtini. Nom! xxx

    • Haha, yes it’s good to know we have options!! Have you become totally French now, Lorna – can’t handle spicy food?! Hope you enjoy the involtini, they’re one of my favourite things I’ve made recently. Missing you guys lots xxx

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