Confession: I might have burnt this a little.
Anyway, I’m sure you’ll forgive me, since I’m still giving you the recipe and unlike me, you’ll do it properly.
In many ways, this is a sort of poor man’s tandoori if you bake it in the oven, but of course nothing would do me but to barbecue the goddamn thing. Blame the sunshine. Blame the dear friends sharing it with me on the overgrown patio. Blame the beer, blame the wine, blame it on the boogie.
Does it matter?
Here’s a bhuna recipe and you can use it with anything. Meat, vegetables, captured vegans. It’s up to you.
For myself, I didn’t fancy going to all the effort of boning a vegan, so I bought some chicken instead and in the end we all agreed it tasted slightly veganish with nutty overtones and a strong demand to be heard.
Cumin seeds : 2 spoons
Coriander seeds : 4 spoons
Mustard seeds : 2 spoons
Dried chillis to taste. I like it hot but you might not.
Fennel seeds: 2 spoons
Fenugreek seeds: 2 spoons
Stir them constantly on a heavy frying pan at medium heat. Not too high or they’ll produce a poison gas that will kill everyone in the house. Just enough heat to darken them slightly but not enough to burn them.
They should come out nicely browned. In fact, I think I might have overdone it a bit with this lot, but it worked out all right in the end.
When they’re roasted, fling them into a food processor or else grind them up with a mortar and pestle until you get a nice powder like this.
The Other Stuff
You need some onions, ginger and garlic.
Skin them, chop them up finely and fry them in light oil.
Add some curry leaves and some tomatoes.
Let me confess that I had no fresh curry leaves and no tomatoes, so I cheated and just tossed in some dried curry leaves and a couple of cartons of passata. It didn’t seem to make a whole lot of difference.
Add your spices.
Add your meat, whatever it is. In this case, I used chicken.
Let it all cook away until it reduces down to a thick paste and the meat is cooked through.
Now you have a choice. You can just serve the bhuna straight from the pan with any accompaniment you like. It might be rice, it might be chapatis or for that matter it might be chips. We won’t get precious about it.
On the other hand, you can bake it all in the oven and it will come out very like a tandoori.
I chose to barbecue it, which might not necessarily have been the best decision since I managed to scorch it, but at the same time, nobody was complaining. That might have been due to the beer, it might have been due to the sunshine or it might have been due to the laid-back music, but I like to think it was due to the delicious food.
One way or another, we won’t fall out over it. Have a beer.