Friday, January 18, 2013

Coriander and Mint Relish (The Big Easy)

It was curry night and I didn’t even need to make a curry. Someone else was bringing it. Awesome. I probably could have got away with some basmati rice and shop bought pappadums, but that’s really not my style. Going completely over the top and over-catering is more my style.

This is the relish from the book (photo by Jason Thomas)
The only problem with this dish was that I made it at about nine in the morning, so it meant I couldn’t have a glass of wine as I cooked. I had a cup of coffee instead.

Apart from the obvious coriander and mint, the special thing about this relish is that it is made with toasted coconut and spices. It make it into a very substantial relish, practically a meal unto itself.

And this is mine. The chilli sticking out of it is purely for food-bling, I'm too much of a girl to add real heat.
I heated the oil, added the spices, coconut and sugar and cooked until the coconut went a lovely pale brown. The recipe warns that you must watch it constantly because the coconut burns easily.

I do have a tendency to get distracted in the kitchen, so while I was tossing my ‘nuts, I pretended I didn’t hear the baby screaming, and ignored the fact that the three year old had fallen off the couch. It could wait.

There was more of this toasted coconut, sugar and spice mix, but I ate it

I tend to double any spice quantities in any recipe (except chilli, which I halved in this one) and I admit to playing loose and fast with exact quantities in general. However, I would strongly advise against using more mint sauce and lemon juice than the recipe suggests, as I did, and it ended up a bit waterlogged.

I've never used onion flakes before, and now I am not sure what to do with the rest of the jar. Suggestions anyone?
Once the spicy coconut mixed had cooled, it went in the food processor with all the other ingredients until everything was all whizzed up and finely chopped.

Mint tends to overpower things, which is why it’s the flavour of toothpaste I suppose. The expectations are rather high, so remember this when it is up against another herb in a recipe. This recipe uses half as much mint as coriander, and I probably should have thought about this a bit more before playing the ‘oh whatever, chuck it in’ game with the herbs.

Looks like Christmas, tastes like summer

My thoughts:
Usually I only tend to follow baking recipes strictly, otherwise cakes never rise, biscuits end up the size of dinner plates and muffins can be used as shot puts. With savoury dishes I tend to use the recipe more as a guideline, rather than a rule (a la Pirates of the Caribbean).

In my humble opinion, this is one of the few savoury dishes where you should actually follow the recipe to the letter. Don’t muck around with the quantities, and if it says ‘watch the pan’, then for heaven sakes, watch the pan.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to find more out about the recipe.

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