Friday, 11 July 2008

Curries

At my shift at Pogos cafe yesterday I made a coconut, cashew, and chickpea curry.
Grind up your spices in a pestle and mortar: I used what I could find:
a couple of cloves
garlic
ginger
sea salt
turmeric
paprika
cumin
coriander seeds
cardomon ( I grind them a little and then take out the husks)

I fry vegetable oil with a handful of mustard seeds, taking care not to burn them as they become bitter. Then a handful of chopped onions. The spices. Some red pepper. Chick peas (these were soaked. I normally cheat and use tinned because they are softer). Then coconut milk. A big scoop of smooth peanut butter. Fresh coriander. Then, last minute inspiration, a couple of handfuls of cashew nuts.  
I served it with brown basmati rice and a cucumber raitha.
Alot of people ordered it, so I bulked it out with cauliflower florets and more coconut milk/spices. I would have added some roasted chilli, but they don't like their food too spicy in this cafe.
So I like the fact that the main ingredients all start with 'c'. It looked creamy and rich and spicy and yellow. I loved its saffron colour with fresh coriander leaves chopped on top. The weather is rainy here this July so this was the perfect compromise of a light n fresh summer curry which warms you up.
Pogo Café is a vegan café and social centre in Hackney. Its latest newsletter says:
Once more we invite you  to come and brave the whores, addicts and worse still the kids whilst you sip on one of our range of exquisite teas or slurp a soya milkshake.
The head waitress is Dvd: "I find if I tell people that I'm a gay vegan Jew in the first 10 minutes, it sorts out the chaff from the wheat". 
One of the cooks is Cl who is German but from near the Polish border. So she's a specialist in cabbage. She recently split with her boyfriend and had the usual female reaction to splitting up thing of chopping her hair off. Except that she has been coiffed in that typical anarchist lezzer punk way of having a shaved head with bizarre strands left long. Why would anyone want to look like they've got ringworm?
The other is Ca who is Irish. She is almost entirely orange. Orange hair, and big orange freckles all over. She makes a mean pesto sauce.

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