Some time ago, a bright spark noticed that we were getting in late from work every Friday and, lacking inspiration, digging out Take-away menus and ordering in our dinner. "What's wrong with this?" I hear you ask, well nothing apart from the standard of our local pizza/curry houses is far from wonderful. Some would say because they all share the same complete lack of quality you at least know what you are going to get. I was getting fed up.
I wanted the food that I was ordering, but not the quality I was receiving so I took it upon myself to rectify the situation and our new tradition of the "Friday night Take-away" was born.
First, choose your desired meal from your standard take-away menu, realise that you can cook it better and cheaper at home then cook it. I realise that the spontaneity of stumbling across what you want after a few post work drinks with your colleagues has now been removed (unless you have a truly well stocked larder) but knowing what you want to eat tomorrow is no hardship.
There are few things more satisfying than a home made pizza. Egg fried rice will never taste the same again. You can choose how much cardamom to put in your favourite curry. You get the idea.
Which brings me to Tonight's Menu. It's Friday and so there will be no Take-away. Instead there will be:
Tandoori Chicken with Chana Saag and Basmati Rice.
The chicken is marinated in yoghurt, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder and roast in as hot an oven as you can manage. If you have a tandoor in your kitchen use it, after all that is what it's for. Also, if you DO have a tandoor in your kitchen WOW, please let me know how you got it in through the front door.
Spinach and chick peas are a wonderful accompaniment to any curry and don't take too much time or skill to prepare. Soften onions, garlic and ginger in a little oil and add the spinach until it has wilted, tip the whole lot out onto a board and chop as if your life depended on it. Put the spinach pulp back into your pan and add the chick peas (I use tinned) a few tomatoes salt and garam masala. Bring back up to a simmer (there will be plenty of liquid in the spinach) and finish with a few tablespoons of yoghurt.
For an authentic experience you can spill half of your curry into a foil container and let it go cold before serving, I prefer mine piping hot with rice and a cold beer.