Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sri Lankan Prawn Curry

Leave my boyfriend to go spend the last of our Sri Lankan Rupees before boarding our flight home is usually asking for trouble and I have to be honest, some of the ingredients I'm still a little puzzled by
and have no idea what to do with them! But for a select few along with whatever I could find in the cupboard and fridge / freezer, I put to use what I learnt at a Sri Lankan cookery class in Mirissa, and cooked up a deliciously fragrant, cheap curry.

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 inches of ginger, grated
1 green chilli, sliced
2 tsps of turmeric
2 tsps of brown curry powder (from Sri Lanka)
1 cinnamon stick, broken into bits (from Sri Lanka)
4 green cardamom pods (from Sri Lanka)
1 cup of frozen prawns (or your chosen meat / fish)
1/4 of a butternut squash, peeled and cubed (optional)
1 tin of coconut milk
1 cup of rice

1. Fry the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened.
2. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and spices to the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes, ensuring that the onion is coated in all of the spices.
3. Next add the butternut squash and fry for 5 minutes, again coating them with the spices.
4. Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
5. To make the perfect rice, add 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water to a pan with a lid and leave to cook, without removing the lid, on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes depending on the pack
6. After about 20 minutes cooking time when the butternut squash has softened, add the frozen prawns and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
7. To finish I added spring onions for decoration, deep fried some poppadoms we bought in a  Colombo food market, and severed with a dollop of pumpkin chutney made by my boyfriend's aunt! De-lish!

Yelly-fi-felly-food-belly x

Monday, 11 August 2014

The other Tooting Chicken Shop

Anyone who has recently moved outside of Zone 2 will know that there are certain areas estate agents push (and push) and whether you choose to believe their spiel about it being "an up and coming area" or "the next Shoreditch" is up to you. My past experience with a certain group of Coca-Cola supplying rahs, is that most of the time they are telling a load of rubbish and will almost certainly drive you to an area you didn't ask for, for a price you didn't agree.    

So it took me by surprise to find that actually, Tooting is pretty up and coming. I'd been to the Tram and Social before, but anyone who's walked the short walk between there and the station, knows that the choice of shops are really limited to Wilkos and a take-away chicken shop.

But dig a little deeper and just around the corner you will find several trendy bars and a chicken shop of a different kind. 

With a continuous stream of hungry customers forming an orderly queue out the door, at least 25 chickens rotating on a spit and 30-40 shoulders hunched over beautifully succulent pieces of chicken, the Chicken Shop on Tooting High Street is something of a must-visit in Tooting.

The menu is simple - chicken (quarter, half or whole) and sides. Even the wine is simple, just choose your colour. Having no choice of wine may not be to everyone's taste, but as the name suggests, you're not there for the wine.

Once seated, our orders were swiftly taken by the waiter that greeted us. The same attentive waiter gave the personal touch by using the name we booked under and also took the time to run through the menu - although simple, and pretty much non-existent except for the board on the wall, this could perhaps baffle some. 

From then the bar staff looked after us, and once the food arrived I don't think I stopped to have a conversation as my animal instincts kicked in and I began chewing the succulent meat off the bone, making sure no chicken was left.

I can't decide whether the the chicken blew me away so much that the sides of crinkle cut chips and coleslaw didn't stand or chance, or in fact they were just average. Even so, I smothered the chips in the hot sauce and washed them down with the wine, and left the restaurant full and happy.

The prices are not to be sniffed at either - £4 for a quarter, £8 for half and £14.50 for a whole chicken! Just be prepared to wait as they don't take bookings, but every cloud and all that as they do let you put your name and number down whilst you wonder off to the pub. Result.

Yelly-fi-felly-food-belly x