What do you do when someone comes round unexpectedly and you’ve not planned a meal?
Apparently, according to Martha Stewart, you improvise. I’ve never paid Martha Stewart much heed, but I got the quote from the awful but entertaining 90s horror film Bride of Chucky. In the film the advice is applied to a murder, not to an actual dinner, but that doesn’t make the statement any less true. Improvisation is usually the way to go when people show up to your house on a day when you had planned to get rid of your left-over swede that was just about enough for 1.
I recently had someone over more or less unexpectedly and seeing that I still had an aubergine and some spinach in the fridge, spinach and aubergine curry seemed pretty convenient. Unfortunately, however, I realised that I was out of rice only after I had already started making the curry and my guest had already arrived.
So I had to improvise, like Martha Stewart says I should – or rather, like Tiffany from Bride of Chucky says that Martha Stewart says I should. I briefly considered having a shot at making chapatis or naan bread, but dough scares me – I don’t like the way it sticks to your hands and becomes impossible to handle. Thankfully I had some tatties left, so I could make Bombay potatoes. Bombay potatoes are delicious and they give the false but convincing impression that you’ve actually gone out of your way to make something more interesting than plain rice.
For 2, you’ll need:
- 4 potatoes
- oil for frying
- a quarter of a tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp of turmeric
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 2 tsp of ground coriander
- generous pinch of salt
Peel and cut, then boil the potatoes until they’re just about ready to serve. In the meantime, heat the oil in a wok on medium heat and add all the spices and the salt, frying gently. Add the potatoes and stir so that they’re all completely covered in spices and oil and looking yellowish. Fry further until the potatoes are soft and melt on the tongue, then turn the heat up for a last minute to give them a nice crispy outer layer. Serve with curry of some description.