The Art of Festering – and nearly instant food

Mentioned this notion before: that some things are best left to their own devices to develop taste and unctuousness by natural processes. This is probably akin to the biological and physical actions called ‘rotting’ in other situations, but let’s not dwell on that.
Supper tonight was a perfect example of many things: the virtue of making a curry from the finest ingredients (in this instance the remains of a leg of lamb that had first been baked on a bed of vegetables to which a can of beer had been added; plenty of herbs and three hours on a very low oven – thank you for the inspiration Rick Stein), not eating it all at once (another virtue indeed), and the festering effect of freezing.
I hope no-one out there’s in the camp that decries microwaves and freezers as devices of the culinary devil. For us they are essential to eating well, cheaply and sometimes fast.
So take the curry: one click top box full of lamb with aubergine and defrost, along with a couple of portions of frozen mixed rice (wild, brown and organic white) cooked to store a week ago. Now, there were last night’s left over potatoes (red salad ones as it happens) and they got diced and thrown into the lamb to reheat.
Now this sort of meal can easily be lacking the fresh veg we need – so I made large bowl of raita: peel and chop half a cucumber; finely chop about a third of a red onion; sprinkle with salt; then fold into thick plain yoghourt. Now you don’t want anything too posh for the yoghourt: it mustn’t have any sense of sweetness for my taste, so the extraordinary River Cottage yoghourt that tastes as though it’s made from double cream is no good. Sprinkle on a quarter teaspoon of garam masala and a pile of chopped coriander and you’re done.
Make sure curry and rice are piping hot. Serve in deep bowls and feast. Chapatis, nan breads et al will bulk out the fibre if you need too …. but they really need to be home made so no time tonight ….


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