“South Indian Pepper Chicken” from “Leon 2”

Tom: I’m really full.

Anna: You don’t get to eat curry very often do you?

Tom: I take every opportunity I can get. I like spicy food, but unfortunately the food decision-maker in the house doesn’t

Katrin: My dislike of curry has been a long-standing thing. I don’t like spicy, I don’t pepper, but I can eat Thai occasionally as long as it has a clean flavour. The flavours of Indian cooking just don’t work for me.

Anna: Do you like chilli con carne?

Katrin: No.

Anna: It must be the cumin. You don’t like cumin. To be fair, cumin does taste a bit like dusty socks…  Anyway, this menu was terrible for you.  Keralan pepper chicken curry, and the Dalston sweet potato curry again.  Genius. I’ve known you  12 years and I didn’t know you didn’t like curry.  I do now.

Katrin: Well, I ate the Dalston / Hoxton curry with lots of rice and it was ok. It would never be my first choice, but it was edible.

Anna: What did you think of the chicken curry?

Tom: I expected it to be more peppery. I love lots of pepper so I could have taken a lot more. But it was very nice. I really liked the vegetarian one, because of the sweet potato. It gave it a nice twist.

Anna: You’re right, the chicken could have had more pepper. The recipe doesn’t say how much to put on, just ‘a lot’, so it’s down to personal choice. If I was making it for you again, I’d know to use more pepper!

Peter: The consistencies and colours of both were relatively similar, so they sort of blended into each other.  Same as Tom, I expected it to taste more of pepper, but it was nice. Fresh flavours. Thighs were the right cut to use.  Nice and tender.

Anna: Well I preferred the Dalston curry tonight, but I’m still bored of cauliflower. I’m not dying to eat the leftovers tomorrow.  The chicken curry was nice. It was easy enough, and I’d consider making it again. Just not for Katrin.

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“South Indian Pepper Chicken” from “Leon 2”

“Black pepper tofu” from “Plenty”

Anna: I’d noticed this recipe straight away because it had lots of pepper and chillies in it, and the photo in the book looked very yummy.  And because he describes it as ‘quick and easy’ I thought it would be good to do on a weeknight.  I was wrong.  It took me over an hour to make, most of this time used in preparation.  Halving the recipe I still had to peel and slice 6 shallots, 6 garlic cloves, 4 chillies….. then fry up a huge quantity of tofu so it took 3 batches.  And sadly the tofu pieces perhaps predictably turned into sponges of oil.  I used up about half a roll of kitchen towel trying to drain them.  I took the liberty of halving the amount of butter stated to fry up the shallots after seeing all that oil, but it was still 35g.  Ugh.

Peter: I didn’t realise it was 35g of butter! That’s 17.5g each…..

Anna: It should have been 75g!!

Peter: I was looking forward to a Szechuan-like taste, which was present, but it probably didn’t require so much pepper.  With the rice it was quite filling.  Just as well it arrived when it did, I was beginning to black out.

Anna: I stir-fried some spinach too, to give us some veg.  The first few mouthfuls were nice but to be honest, I feel a bit sick now.  Would you like me to make it again?

Peter: I don’t think you’re going to are you?  Maybe something like it.

Anna: No.  I’m not going to make it again.

“Black pepper tofu” from “Plenty”