March 7, 2008
I feel bad for this doyenne of celebrity cookery. Gnarled by the press. Pooh-poohed by her peers. Bored stiff of doling out mind-bogglingly perfect and precise recipes for years, she decided to reinvent herself as NBF of the common people, the time poor types. Except no one told her we’d moved on from the Seventies.We are still looking for shortcuts. But we also care about what we put in our bods. And the convenience/health equation is a delicately balanced one. Of course it can get terribly complicated. Eat oily fish. But not farmed fish. From the Atlantic. Chicken is low fat. Unless battery farmed. Organic can mean just that or not.Tricky, that. She thinks we need “leadership”. In the form of a controversial cookbook that uses ready tinned beef mince and potato mash powder that is flying off our shelves.I think we need to make up our own blooming minds. Tinned beans? Yes. Powdered spud? No way, I say. Here’s my half way solution. A super healthy Lobhia Masala, black-eyed beans curry that is made from the canned stuff and other healthy and fresh ingredients.
Chop the onion into small pieces. Chop the tomato roughly. Mince the ginger and garlic as small as you can.Now bring the oil to heat over a high flame and when it’s hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle up.
As they do toss in the onion, garlic and ginger and stir fry until it turns a pale golden yellow. Then, add all the powders apart from garam masala, and the chopped tomato.Fry this on high for about five minutes, until you see the oil from the masalas being released on the sides of your saucepan.
When this happens, stir in the beans and a cup of hot water and leave to cook on a medium flame for about five minutes.Finally stir in the garam masala and salt.
This is delicious as a complete beans and rice meal or in a bowl with some toasted pitta bread for dunking.