I was thinking about which of the many parallel threads of life I should mention here and decided to go for something that has (almost) nothing to do with the c-word which dominates pretty much everything at the moment.
Here we go:
Need about one hour to prepare, two or so to bubble then servable with rice, usually tastes even better the next day.
- One large pot (with a lid)
- a frying pan
- a rice cooker or another large pot with lid.
- one or two onions
- two or three garlic cloves
- Spices: cumin, curry powder and cinnamon, salt, pepper
- 2 large tins of skinned tomatoes
- veggie broth and 300ml water
- dates and dried apricots
- five apples
- a courgette/zucchini and maybe an aubergine
- secret ingredients (a few drops of worcester sauce, teaspoon of honey, corner of dark chocolate)
- basmati rice
Empty both tomato tins and 300ml water and veggie broth into the large pot (I usually put the large pot at the back to keep things tidy 🙂 ). Chop up about ten dates into slices and about ten dried apricots into quarters and add them. Salt and pepper. Secret ingredients can be added now to taste and let this heat to bubble.
In frying pan now add chopped onions and garlic with oil and liberally spice with cumin, curry powder and cinnamon. Fry until glassy but not too brown and tip into large pot. Now using the frying pan again with residual oil, take about half the courgette (=zucchini) and half the aubergine both in fine slices or smaller and fry them up hot, salt, pepper and spice (using the mix) liberally until browning up then also put in large pot.
Finally chop up and remove core from the apples into roughly centimetre sized pieces and put these into the large pot.
Put lid on to reduce fluid loss and reduce heat until it just boils.
Stir every now and then and do something else for about one and a half or more hours then turn off. Reheat before serving.
The easiest solution here is a rice cooker, the other solution is my version of persian rice using basmati rice:
Fill a large pot with at least half water or more with a dash of salt and bring to boil. Add amount of rice you need (one smallish cup per person and a bit for luck). Boil this briskly for only a couple of minutes (not long!) until al dente (ie beginning to soften). Remove one mug full of water from the pot. Empty the rice into a sieve. Add a good dose of oil and the mug of water back into the large pot. Tip the rice back in and make a pyramid inside using a wooden spoon. Make vertical holes in the rice pile with the handle of the spoon. (Possible add a squirt of lemon juice or a dash of fruit juice). Now fold a tea towel to be just larger than the pot, lay it over the opening and put the lid on. Leave to slowly finish on very low heat. The water escapes slowly via the tea towel and it needs about half an hour to finish. There are all sorts of variations on this including removing some rice which can be coloured with safran in a frying pan or similar and mixed back in but that is up to the cook to decide next time.