Team lunches are somewhat an institution at the FvF office; they bring together the whole team over home-cooked food and serve as the perfect opportunity to share well-loved recipes with everyone.
So with that in mind, five members of the FvF team took to the chopping boards to dish up their version of an Indian meal. After all, what’s better to while away the last remnants of winter than a steaming bowl of Indian curry?
Pleasing both the vegetarians and “carnivores” in the office, the dishes included a balmy vegetarian chickpea curry, as well as a flavorsome yogurt chicken curry – the former full of fresh ginger and aromatic spices, while the latter contained a complexity of spices contradicting the rather straight-forward technique used to prepare it. The two curries were accompanied by fragrant basmati rice and a yogurt-based raita, soothing the palate and standing up to its spicier counterparts.
And because caring really is sharing, we’d like to share the recipes with you, to recreate at home. So without further ado, here they are:
Chickpea Curry (serves 4)
1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
3 cans of chickpeas
2 white onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
1/2 fresh chilli, de-seeded and chopped or 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander and cumin powder mix
1 tsp masala powder
1 1/2 cans coconut milk
100ml vegetable stock or water
1 handful fresh cilantro
Start by heating the oil or ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, red chilli powder and powdered spices and stir continuously for about a minute, so as to not burn them.
Once the spices have turned brown, add a small amount of coconut oil and the chickpeas. Keep stirring.
Add the rest of the coconut mild and the vegetable stock.
Once the sauce has started to thicken, cover the saucepan with the lid and lower the heat. Let it simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
Season and serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander.
Yogurt Chicken Curry (serves 4)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 medium onions, cut into wedges, then sliced 1/8 inch thick
600g of deboned, dark chicken meat
2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne or hot chili powder
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt to taste
2 fresh medium tomatoes, blanched and pureed
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 handful chopped cilantro
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. When the oil is hot, toss in the garlic and stir quickly for ten seconds to release the flavour. Add the sliced onions and reduce the heat to medium and cook for ten minutes, stirring frequently. The onions need to turn a nice golden brown but not burn. This is key.
Raise heat to high and add the chopped chicken pieces. Sauté on high heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chicken is lightly browned. If there seems to be too much moisture, continue to sauté until most of the water has evaporated.
Throw in the spice mixture and salt and stir-fry for a few minutes until the spices have been well dispersed and you have an amazing odor coming from the pan. Add and mix the pureed tomatoes then turn down the heat to low and mix in the yogurt. Once everything is thoroughly integrated, bring the whole mixture quickly to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the chicken becomes tender.
The final consistency should be like a thick gravy. Keep an eye on this, so as not to cook off too much of the water, as the sauce is key to enjoying this dish with rice or naan. If the sauce gets too thick, feel free to add a bit of water.
Finish the dish by stirring in some cilantro, reserving about half for scattering on top to give it a nice punch of contrasting color.
Cucumber & Coriander Raita
250ml natural yogurt
½ cucumber, peeled
2 tsp green onions, chopped
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
Mix together all of the ingredients, season to taste and serve chilled.