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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Post the Ninth (in which our heroine has a moan about the weather)

Have a look out your window there.  Go on, a good long one.  If you are staring at an unbroken vista of slate-grey cloud, then you are obviously one of my Irish readers.  According to my stats, I have a reader in the Maldives.  I kind of hate that person a little bit.  Here we are in August, supposed to be the apogee of Irish summer (even though it's technically Autumn) and all we have is rainy wind and windy rain.  Which we also had in July, June and May.  There was a nice week or two at the end of April, but that was pretty much it.  I, for one, would love to know what the Irish as a people have done to offend the weather gods so much.  It must have been heinous.  I will admit to having dropped history like a hot snot after the Junior Cert., but even still, I'm pretty sure there aren't any genocides or rape-of-the-Sabine-women type episodes in our past that would merit such a punishment.  It's enough to make you wish for winter again.  But only if it's another brilliant winter like last year - bring on the snow!

The shite weather is causing a phenomenon called the Curryolis Effect in our house.  This is a little-known natural occurrence whereby you crave the sweaty armpits, red face and runny eyes that should really be supplied by hot weather, but which you have to generate artificially with hot food because summer has apparently abandoned us for all time.  I'm only a week into this blog and I'm about to post my second curry recipe.  How depressing.

Chicken & Chickpea Curry - serves 4

2 onions, quartered                       4 fat garlic cloves
3cm ginger, peeled                        1 large red chili, roughly chopped (seeds & membrane left in)
Bunch fresh coriander                    2 tbsp hot curry powder
Half tsp turmeric                            2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt                                        1 chicken stock cube
500ml boiling water                        4 or 5 chicken fillets, cubed
Tin of chickpeas, drained

1) Stick the onions, garlic, chili, spices, salt, curry powder and half the coriander into a food processor and blend to a puree.  Tip the mixture into a large pot and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

2) Crumble in the stock cube, add the boiling water and bring to the boil.  Add the chicken, stir, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is tender.

3) Chop the remaining coriander and stir into the curry along with the chickpeas.  If, like me, you love chickpeas and if, like me, you've already eaten half the first tin out of the colander, feel free to add another tin.   Heat through and divide between four bowls, swirl over some natural yogurt and serve with rice and poori breads.

Poori - makes 10 (WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!  Highly addictive little bastards, these)

175g self-raising flour                      1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil                         1 tbsp natural yoghurt
3-4 tbsp water                                Oil for frying

1) In a large bowl, combine the flour, oil, yoghurt and salt.  Mix well and add enough water to make a soft dough.  Cover with a tea-towel and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

2) Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead well for 3-4 minutes or until smooth.  Divide into 10 balls and roll each into a very thin disc around 8cm in diameter.  Like-a dis:

3)  Heat about an inch of oil in a deep frying pan til it browns a cube of bread in 30 seconds.  Or, just guess when it's hot enough, like I do.  Carefully slide a poori into the pan.  When it puffs up (isn't that cool!) turn it over and fry for another minute.  Drain on kitchen towel and keep warm til they're all done.  They should be lovely and soft, not crispy at all.  Serve immediately.

You can thank/curse me later, when you're spreadeagled on the couch wondering whether it was really necessary to eat four of the damn things...

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