30 April 2013

Fried Bread Curry! ... plus a review of "Toast" by Nigel Slater

~  Menu  ~

Roti Upma
Dollop of Sour Cream
(I know - it should have been yogurt!)
White Wine Spritzer

Well I have just eaten A Very Interesting Thing which was also quick, cheap and used leftovers but I doubt very much that it was healthy. - fried bread curry!

Upma is a actually a South Indian porridgy dish usually made with semolina but also with lots of other things that will mush down such as rice or bread.  I don't like porridgy things so have never tried it and so didn't feel I could rightfully include the bread version in my bread section of The Leftovers Handbook (which does contain at least 16 ways to use up leftover bread***).  Recently however I have noticed a few Upma recipes using dried or fried bread which retains quite a bit of crispness so decided to give it a go. 

Roti Upma for 1 ~ inauthentic recipe because I didn't have all the right ingredients!

2 separate ½ tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
1-2 slices bread - stale is good - diced or torn into pieces
(for me a small slice of sourdough and ½ an old roll I found in the freezer!)
¼ tsp mustard seeds
1 hot red chilli chopped
(I keep a bag in the freezer, they are easily chopped from frozen)
½ onion finely chopped
¼ inch ginger finely chopped
1 pinch turmeric
(I am ashamed to say I had no fresh ginger or turmeric so replaced these with a ¼ tsp curry paste which worked very well)
5 or so cherry tomatoes, quartered
a handful of cashew nuts
fresh coriander, chopped plus a sprig or two to garnish

~   Heat ½ tbsp oil in a frying pan then fry the bread in it till turning crisp and golden. Set aside.
~   Add the second ½ tbsp oil to the pan and then the mustard seeds and wait till they start popping.
~   Stir in the onion (and the ginger if you've got some) and cook till starting to go translucent then add the chilli and the tomatoes.
~   When the tomatoes start to mush down stir in the turmeric and/or curry paste and cook together a minute or so.
~   Taste and season then stir in the bread, cashews and chopped coriander.

I stopped at this point because I don't like pappy meals but you could cook the mixture down a bit and maybe add a little hot water to achieve a more porridge-like consistency.  As I say, it was great and next time I feel I have been eating too healthily I intend to balance things up by making it again! 

In other news ... Toast by Nigel Slater

As you may know I am a member of The Kitchen Reader, an online foodie book club, and this month's book has been Nigel Slater's excellent "Toast".  I have, in fact, read it before but it easily bears re-reading.

Nigel and I are much of an age (OK, I am a little bit older) and his reminiscences about food are my reminiscences too; Cream Soda, Cheese and Pineapple, Salad Cream, Arctic Roll (we weren't as posh as him but we still had the odd Arctic Roll, I can tell you!) even how ice cream wafers stuck to your bottom lip.  All so familiar and, because of that, a bit sad but in a good way!

The is more than just a nostalgic foodie read, however, it is the story of Nigel Slater's early life including the Prawn Cocktail and Black Forest Gateau years that I also remember so well.  The book is very personal and very poignant, his mother's untimely death, his discomfort with and resentment of  "Auntie Joan" the new woman in his father's life who was a much better cook than his mother (a double edged sword I should imagine) and his first catering job. 

In short this book is a very good read indeed and not just for foodies, the over 50s and people who like toast!

Talking of books have you yet downloaded my Free eBook "219 Cooking Tips & Techniques"  which includes a link for "Easy Ways to Pimp your Food" (also free!)?

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Sue said...

Fried Bread Curry sounds good, and your photo makes it look brilliant, I'll have to give that a go.

Toast is one of my favourite books, but I'd say all of Nigel's books fall into that category actually if I'm honest. I love the man, although I do wish he'd shave this silly beard off!!

The Dvd of the book is brilliant too, with Helena Bonham Carter as the 'wicked step mum'.

Suzy - Sudden Lunch said...

Has he got a silly beard - I haven't seen him recently but I can't imagine it would look right! I've seen the DVD too.

debs said...

well I have to say-this looks much nicer than it sounds!another good one for left over bread!thankyou!