Having mused in my previous blog about the flavours we tend to eat as a family, another one that we tend not to eat is curry. I do kind of wish I liked curry because it seems like such a useful dish to throw together and it can clearly use so many different ingredients. It seems like a great way to use up gluts of all kinds of surplus vegetables too and it strikes me that is a cheap way to feed a crowd. But alas, I don't like spicy food much and really can't stomach chilli. Fortunately, my husband is the same so at least we don't have to worry about being incompatible in that regard.
I do fear, however, that I may be sheltering my girls from curry and it could be something they would enjoy given the opportunity. And, let's face it, what's the chances of them getting through life without someone suggesting they all go out for a curry?!
I remember the first time that happened to me so off I dutifully went and was persuaded that a chicken korma would be tolerable. Well, it wasn't and I found myself nibbling on popadoms and wishing the night was over. It was then over 20 years before someone else invited me out for a curry so off I went again and this time found the chicken korma a little more tolerable and actually actively enjoyed the onion bhaji starter.
As it happens, we do occasionally buy a packet of "Indian snacks" from the supermarket because my husband and I do quite like an onion bhaji and even a samosa or two if not overly heavy on the chilli. It turns out neither of our girls much care of these and my youngest absolutely hates them - or anything else with coriander in for that matter. The eldest has found she likes Japanese curry and is quite partial to katsu curry but she's not keen on the Indian combination of spices. I don't know whether I should be congratulating myself for rightly avoiding these foods all their lives or wondering if it is because I have that they don't like them.
Anyway, the result is we don't eat curry ever as a family but I do occasionally make a bhaji or pakora to offer as a side dish should anyone fancy giving them ago. And during the summer months, the vegetable of choice for a pakora is courgette.
Courgette Pakora (makes around 12)
1 small courgette, grated then squeezed to remove excess moisture
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
50g plain or gram flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Chilled fizzy water
Put all the ingredients in a bowl, adding just enough fizzy water to make a thick, coating batter. Heat some oil in a small pan then deep-fry small balls of the batter, 3 or 4 at a time, until they float and are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper before serving.