Friday, August 04, 2006

Spicy Tomato and Courgettes

Mid week I like to have a few quick and cheerful dishes up my sleeve so that we still eat well and with lots of variety but it's good if it's not too complicated and time consuming - or messy from the lovely boyfriend's point of view as he's the one left with the washing up mountain (a fair division of labour I think!) When I lived alone I would almost always have a grilled steak or pork chop with salad - quick, simple, healthy and still one of my favourite meals. But you live with another and compromises have to be made - one of mine was that my sweetheart doesn't like to eat meat every day. Coming from Australia's vast meat consumption culture as I do it took me a while to believe him but now I no longer automatically default to grill and salad as my easy option. Though I do sometimes.

So now I have an ever evolving repertoire of pastas and rice dishes and egg dishes and curries and stir fries that keep us going. I like the clean hot flavours of a lot of Asian food - and it is a good source of inspiration for meals with little or no meat. Tomato and ginger are a brilliant combination - they meld to create a strong base for other vegetables and make a good liquid to soak into rice or noodles. Grating the courgettes means they cook quickly and add another texture to the dish. Serve spooned over bowls of steaming basmati rice.

Spicy Tomato & Courgette Sauce

1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 curry leaves, crushed between your fingers

1 tin peeled, chopped tomatoes
2 tbspns of ginger, peeled and grated

1 tbspn vegetable oil
750g/1 1/2lb courgettes, grated
Salt and pepper

Sauté the onion and garlic on a gentle heat for 10 minutes or so until it starts to colour. Add the grated ginger and fry for another minute or two then add the tomatoes and curry leaves and simmer gently for about twenty minutes. Add the grated courgettes and stir through. Cook for another 10 minutes to just meld the flavours then serve with rice.

Dinner in half an hour!

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