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Lizzie Bennet’s Anniversary Curry (I nearly made a right D’arse of it)

January 28, 2013

I do declare, as Elizabeth Bennet might have said (happy birthday Lizzie – 200 today and still as full of eclat as ever), but declaiming one’s success in the kitchen might be perceived as swollen headed. After all, why share mediocrity with the world and expect anything other than incredulous yawns in your face (my typo-ridden fingers actually wrote ‘yams in your face’ then, which is just as appropriate, I suppose). So … yeah. Sometimes recipes succeed. Sometimes they don’t. And sometimes they taste like rancid grit in dishwater. I feel it unnecessary to share the latter two with y’all – but I think it only fair to reveal a few of my more haphazard successes. This one was definitely more by chance than design. I wanted to make a fresh, light curry to break a day’s fasting (I’m on the 5-2 diet), but ended up … well. Not. Instead it was rich, creamy, tangy … and will be much improved with practice! (Clue – don’t follow this recipe as it’s quite annoying. Give it a read through and then do your own thing with it).

   It looked like this. O yes. Just like this. If ‘this’ had been put through a blender.


2 tbsp sesame oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 aubergine, sliced to 5mm

2 garlic cloves, chopped large

Fresh coriander

baby tomatoes (8? 10?)

175g paneer

3 baby peppers

Lime pickle

Harissa paste

Tomato paste

1 x tin chick peas

1 x tin coconut milk

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp ground coriander



  1. Pour 1 tbsp sesame oil into large frying pan/wok-type-deal and fry with the garlic pieces
  2. Remove onion onto a plate. Add another tbsp oil, then spices, followed by aubergine slices, salted. Fry until aubergine is softened and well coated in the spices.
  3. Add the onion back into the pan. Look dubious.
  4. Add baby peppers and fry til slightly softened.
  5. Add tomatoes, fry for another few minutes. Stare at pan. Look dubious. Taste. Make face.
  6. Scout around kitchen cupboard. Light upon chick peas. Think. Frown. Shrug. Chuck chick peas in with everything else. Look even more dubious.
  7. Add heaped tsp lime pickle. Shake head. Scout around cupboards some more. Discover forgotten packet of paneer.
  8. Chop half the packet of paneer into cubes and add to slightly grizzly looking curry. Ransack cupboards in growing dismay. Discover elderly tin of coconut milk.
  9. Add venerable tin of aforementioned. Stir and simmer for a while. Taste. Make face again.
  10. Add heaped tsp harissa paste. Simmer. Stir. Taste. Make slightly less dubious face. Add little bit more harissa.
  11. Add more salt.
  12. Simmer while cooking rice. Become pleased with golden hue curry is now adopting. Less pleased with slop-like texture of onions and aubergine. Taste. Make surprised and pleased face 🙂
  13. Add generous squirting of tomato paste. Stir, simmer some more.
  14. When rice ready, serve golden-hued and slightly sloppy curry with rice.
  15. Take cautious mouthful. Find it pleasingly hot, and jauntily tangy.
  16. Stuff face. Drink beer.

It retrospect, the main problem was not knowing what I was doing (NO!!) and therefore allowing the aubergine to become a little overly soft. But then again, it’s possible a firmer texture would have meant less flavour. It’s also possible that this only tasted good because it came at the end of a 24 hour fast, so if anyone does decide to give it a bash (or something similar) then do let me know what you think. I liked it’s tangy richness – but it could definitely do with an improved texture. Perhaps it just needed something a bit firmer to balance it out, like carrot (but too sweet?) or potato.

Anyway – no matter what you’re eating tonight on this anniversary of Lizzie n Fitzwilliam – happy munching! And while you’re doing it, why not give that ol’ Pride and Prejudice a revisit. It’s really, really quite good you know. Even without the zombies.

I want this tea towel

I want this tea towel

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