I do the cooking in our house – both by choice and necessity. Don’t get me wrong, Nicolette can cook, it just takes her frustratingly long. She’d start a meal at two in the afternoon and finish the spaghetti bolognaise at eight at night. She follows a recipe to the letter: I can’t (and refuse) to do that! There are very few things I love more than to take a recipe or two, plagiarise them and create a new dish. Good writers borrow, GREAT writers steal: The same goes for the kitchen.
This is my food philosophy: Enjoy the whole process. If you’re a gardener, plant your vegetables and fruit. If you like hunting, shoot buck, slaughter it. But enjoy food. Food should be real.
Here is my first recipe:
Nicolette told me she’d like a curry, as we had about 400ml plain yoghurt in the fridge that had to be used by the end of the week, as well as deboned, skinless chicken breasts. I decided to look in the greatest curry cookbook known to man: CURRY LOVER’S COOKBOOK by Mridula Baljekar. This chick CAN COOK. Unless I bake, I change recipes to improve them. I made a conscious decision never to change one of Mridula’s recipes after making her Kerahi Chicken, which was brilliant. Tonight, however, I didn’t have all the ingredients and I had to use the yoghurt. Therefore I changed a recipe from my curry bible…
Kashmiri chicken curry, Somerset West Style
Prep time – 20minutes
Cooking time – 20 minutes
• 60ml All Gold tomato sauce/ ketchup
• 25ml thick tamarind juice/ 5ml Worcestershire sauce
• 5ml honey
• 400ml plain low fat yogurt (NOT FAT FREE. NEVER USE FAT FREE STUFF!!!)
• 500g deboned & skinned chicken breasts cut into just bigger than bite-size chunks
• 1 large onion finely chopped
• 5 ml salt
• 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
➢ 5ml garum masala
➢ 5ml jeera (cumin)
➢ 5ml dried ginger
➢ 2.5ml tumeric
➢ 15ml Oom Samie se winkel Masala (or any other masala)
Mix the tomato sauce and spices into a thickish paste in a glass bowl that is big enough to marinate the chicken in. Add the tamarind juice and honey and mix well. Add the yogurt and mix. Combine the chicken and allow to marinate for about 20 minutes. (Tip: Clean & chop the onion and garlic at this point).
Gently fry the onion in vegetable oil for about 7 minutes until translucent. Prevent the onion from browning by adding the salt after about two minutes. Add the garlic and fry (VERY GENTLY – take care not to burn garlic, ever, it’s disgusting) for about one minute.
Add the chicken mixture, a bit of water and bring to a simmer until the chicken is cooked and tender. This will take about 10 minutes. Test seasoning (add salt and pepper if necessary).
Serve with tomato and banana sambals and piping hot basmati rice.
Recommended wine: Delheim Gewurztraminer