Saturday, 27 April 2013

Frugal Cooking

I always love a bargain and I found a couple today. We spent the morning at synagogue celebrating a Bat Mitzvah which was lovely. I love the way that everyone always helps out to support the person who is celebrating a special occasion, often without being asked. When there are constantly reports in the newspaper about communities falling apart and people walking by when they see someone in trouble, I am happy to say that this is certainly not the case where I live. I remember a time last year when we were all snowed in. As we were outside shovelling snow,  a lady who lives round the corner from us happened to be walking past and she told us that her neighbour was desperate to get to the hospital to sit with her desperately ill mother but she couldn't get her car out. So everyone who was out in the street walked round to the lady's house and dug out her car. She was able to get to her mother and sit with her as she passed away. That's what makes a community special and somewhere to cherish.

This afternoon, we popped into our local high street. I think it's one of the loveliest high streets in the country. Here is one of the buildings that we walk past on the way to the shops.

This used to be a hospital and now houses the poor elderly of the community. We pottered around the shops, buying supplies for the Duke of Edinburgh Award trips that my children are on next weekend. We also went to the Saturday market and managed to get some bargains - 29 satsumas (yes I did count them) for £1 and 4 punnets of raspberries for £2.

The only problem is that I'm the only one in the house that eats satsumas. I may have turned orange but the end of the week. We're planning to have the raspberries with home made pancakes tomorrow night - yummy.

When I went to put the raspberries in the fridge, I found a block of paneer (a bit out of date). I hate to throw anything away so I decided to make a paneer curry for dinner from my Prashad cookbook. I made the paneer masala and here is the recipe:

Blend together 6cm root ginger (peeled and roughly chopped), 4 cloves of garlic and 3 fresh green chillies. In a saucepan, fry this mixture and one chopped onion. In the meantime, chop 350g block paneer cheese into cubes and fry in some il until browned. When the onion mixture has browned, add 1.25 tsps salt, 1.5 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp ground coriander and 0.5 tsp ground cumin. Cook for 30 seconds then add 1 tin chopped tomatoes. Fill the tin half way with water and add this too. Cook down for 5 minutes then add the cooked paneer and some frozen peas. Cook for a further 5 minutes. You can add some butter to make the sauce creamier but I decided to miss this out. At the end of the cooking time, add half teaspoon garam masala and leave for at least 15 minutes to all the flavours to mix together.

I served this with rice (2 cups rice and 4 cups water covered in a saucepan, brought to the boil and leave to simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed). My children find this curry too spicy so my dd had rice and sweetcorn and ds had egg fried rice. We had a lovely evening watching Doctor Who followed by the Voice. I normally hate these talent competitions but the fact that the decision is made on a person's voice rather than their looks really appeals to me.
Hope you all had a lovely day.

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