Well the spring-time party is well and truly over in Melbourne! After all those blue skies and daffodils, today we had gale-force winds, rain and hail.
While I was sitting on the tram quietly congratulating myself on wearing my raincoat to work today, the tram came to a stop and the lights went out. This wasn’t the usual minor blip in our journey, the tram had lost all power, and the driver announced that we’d have to walk through from Smith Street to Brunswick Street (which ended up being 15 minutes in the bucketing rain) to catch a re-routed tram.
And then a bus in a traffic jam
Once on the tram, I found out that it wouldn’t be rejoining the High Street route until Preston – waaaaaay past my stop! I needed to get off and catch a bus. I stood at the bus stop for almost 20 minutes, watching the bus stuck in traffic in the distance. It took about 12 minutes to move about 100 metres!
Too tired to cook anything clever
Needless to say, by the time I arrived home soaking wet and tired, I just wanted to get dry, curl up and go to sleep.
But there was nobody else to cook dinner, because the kids were still out battling the elements on their BIKES, the poor things! And B was still trying to get home.
I was so tired, I couldn’t even think straight – I’d had thoughts of the delicious cauliflower pesto I cooked last week, but remembered I had asparagus, eggplant and avocado to use up before they went horrible.
In the end, I forgot about everything and settled for an old family standard. It’s a curry I learnt from my sister when I was in my early 20s. It came from an old cookbook that I think might have been called Meals Without Meat – and I bet she still owns it.
Of course, I haven’t seen the written recipe in years, and I’ve changed it a lot, so it probably doesn’t resemble the original at all by now. All I know is it’s easy, and everyone likes it, and I can almost make it with my eyes closed, so it was just what I needed today. It will now be known as…
Rainy day curry
- oil for frying
- 1 chopped onion
- About 3–4 cups of any other chopped vegies you have on hand. I always TRY to include cauliflower and pumpkin, and it’s great with Brussels sprouts too. This time I used potato, carrot, pumpkin, cauliflower and (shhhh!) eggplant…and oops, no greens!
- A prepared curry paste. I used Margaret Rowland’s Indian Curry.
- Some kind of legume. I love to use a tin of chickpeas.
- 1/2 a bottle tomato puree or a tin of crushed tomatoes
- coconut cream or coconut milk – I had a small tin (see the picture).
- ground almonds. I used about 2 tablespoons.
First put your rice on to cook, whichever type you like to use, and whichever way you like to cook it. I used white rice cooked by the absorption method. (I was too tired to walk to the pantry and search for the Basmati I would normally use.)
Fry the onions until they’re soft.
Add 2 tablespoons of curry paste (or whatever quantity works for your chosen brand). This one needs a little bit of water added to help it mix in a bit.
Toss in the rest of the vegetables (I don’t even put the quick cooking vegies in last. I just chuck them all in at once).
Stir them around to cover in the curry paste.
Add 1/2 cup of water and the tomatoes or puree.
Take a seat and rest you head on the kitchen table while this simmers with the lid on until all your vegies are tender – about 20 – 30 minutes. Just check and stir it occasionally.
Stir through the coconut milk/cream, and the ground almonds.
Serve the curry over the rice, and if you have any energy, it’s great to add bits and pieces like mango chutney or pappadums (I was too tired for any of that tonight).
If anyone’s looking for me, I’ll be heading off to bed early tonight – but, of course, as usual I won’t be able to sleep until the rest of the family are home safe and dry. It might be a late night…