Makes 3-4, depending on how generous you are with your portions.
Estimated cost per serving: £1.10 (this is a real guestimate, I used stuff from my allotment this time, so I’m not sure of store prices)
You will need:
Rice (I was going to measure this for you guys, but I broke my scales. I usually do enough to cover the bottom of a small saucepan and just a bit more. Which is a terrible way to measure rice, and doesn’t scale up well. You’ve probably made rice before. Do what you’d usually do)
One carton/can of chopped tomatoes (I’m a fan of Sainsbury’s Basics Chopped Tomatoes, which are only 31p!)
4 or 5 small potatoes (I used King Edwards)
1 good sized white onion
One tub of Cauldron Marinated Tofu (aka How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Tofu)
2 cloves of garlic
3 teaspoons of hot curry powder (could be mild if you’re not as into spicy as me)
Some coriander (I don’t measure this so… I’m gonna say a teaspoon?)
Some whole seed cumin (ditto)
A little ginger would work in this, and sweet potato would be awesome, although a bit carb-tastic considering you’ve already got potatoes and rice going. And broccoli, of course, broccoli is awesome.
Get a large saucepan on a medium heat and add a little oil. Peel and chop the carrots into fairly chunky slices, put into the saucepan. Next cut the onion and put that in – smallish slices, I’d say, but it doesn’t really matter; however you fancy, really – I tend to vary. Next chop the garlic. I usually cut off the root end then crush the garlic with the flat of my knife, which is good for getting the flavour out and loosening the skin. Remove skin and chop in fine slices. My rule for veggies is usually to go hard to soft, but almost everything I cook starts with carrots, then onion, then garlic. Carrot is usually the hardest, so that goes first, but you want the onion and garlic in early for flavour, and because the moisture in the onion will help stop the other vegetables sticking and burning.
Next, chop up your potatoes into small cubes – 1-2cm. Potato’s a hard vegetable, and we’re not boiling it, so if the cubes are too big it may not cook properly. I peeled mine as they came straight from the allotment and I was too lazy to really scrub down all the mud, but if you can I’d keep the skins on for flavour and nutrition. Throw the potatoes in, chop up the parsnips and add those too.
Now you want to put your rice on. Put the rice in a small saucepan and add a generous amount of water. Put it on the hob on a high heat. Don’t pre-boil the water in a kettle as we’re gonna use how long the rice takes as out timer from here on in. You’re using some pretty hard veggies this time and they’ll need time to soften.
Once your rice is going, add your chopped tomatoes and stir them in. Now add the tofu. I promise, guys, Cauldron Marinated Tofu is not like the relatively flavourless/slimy tofu you may have tried and failed to make something interesting with before. It has more texture and firmness and a strong savoury taste. I’ve actually got to like other kinds of tofu, too, but Cauldron Marinated Tofu was my gateway drug.
Now add your spices – the curry powder, coriander, and cumin seeds. Stir in well, then put a lid on and turn down to a low heat.
Now your meal is basically looking after itself. Stir the curry occasionally, but leave the rice alone. Once it starts boiling, turn it down to a medium heat and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t boil over, but don’t stir. Stirring rice agitates the starch that’s frothing off the rice as it softens and will make your rice more sticky than is desirable for this kind of meal.
Once your rice is boiling it should take about 10mins to be done. Your curry should be done at about that point, too. Poke a potato cube with a knife to check – it should slide off easily. Drain the rice in a colander and swirl some water over it to wash away any starchy residue.
Rice on plate. Curry on rice.
A lot of people think of potatoes as empty calories because they’re Just. So. Carby. But they’re not nearly so bad for you when you’ve not deep fried them into chips or crisps. Quoth Nutrition Facts:
This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of Iron, Copper and Manganese.
Did you hear that, guys? Potatoes are a very good source of iron and a good source of vitamin B6 – two things veggies should look out for as they can run a bit low in one’s diet.
Parsnips are good for vitamin C, potassium, folate, and manganese. Tomatoes are really good for vitamin C as well as vitamins A and B6, and various other minerals; not as good as broccoli or potatoes for iron, but packed full of goodness in other ways. Carrots are really good for Vitamin A, K, and E.
The tofu is a great source of protein and a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.
This is a pretty carby meal, but it’s low on cholesterol, saturated fat, and salt and full of vitamins, minerals, and protein.