As always, a recent dinner time rolled round and I had a ‘meatless meal’ on the cards. We try to eat meat-free dinners at least twice a week, for our health, budget and the planet. This time I decided to fallback to one of our reliable cookbooks – one of the Hairy Bikers ‘Diet’ Cookbooks. I like to refer to them as ‘Hairy Dieters’ books, since it just kind of makes sense to me.
Now I admit, I’ve made this before now but I thought it was time to pop up a review of it on this blog. Seems like one of my most popular posts is the my review of their Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Sauce so maybe you want more!
I went ahead and made the entire recipe for this. It says to serve four, but neither of us is dieting and it was just vegetables. I figured one – my veggies weren’t going to risk going to waste and 2 – if we didn’t eat it all, I’d have a quick and easy lunch for work!
None of the ingredients are too ‘out there’, with the exception of cumin seeds. Personally I always have these in the house, simply because I love Indian spices and flavours, so cumin seeds come up quite often. The rest is pretty standard, although generic: 1 aubergine, for example. 1 large aubergine? 1 small? Who knows. I just used the one I had, which I’d say was medium sized. Like Goldilock’s favourites, it wasn’t too big or too small.
It lists both garlic and ginger (fresh) to be included – I have a jar of garlic-ginger paste in my fridge, so I substituted chopping and mincing for a tablespoon of paste for ease and speed! I also didn’t have the requested 100g of green beans, so I substituted 100g of frozen petit pois. The world didn’t end.
As I said, I didn’t bother halving this. The calories listed per portion, when serving four, was just 91. Now, given the generic ingredients, I’ve no idea how that was calculated! However, this served 1 hungry man, 1 hungry woman, and did 1 lunch. So I’d say it’ll serve 2 adults and 1 child probably. Maybe 4 if you all have plenty of rice, naan or other flatbreads as well.
The taste test
Not bad! The ‘gravy’ made is quite dark but not really that spicy. I’d even label it as mild – they’ve definitely played it safe with the heat level. There’s no nuts or coconut or ghee involved, so the flavour isn’t too deep either. Since I had no fresh coriander, there was no aromatic layer either, which was my own fault. However if I’m brutally honest, I’m not sure that a handful of fresh coriander would really level it up that much!
I didn’t feel like I was eating an authentic curry, but it’s so vegetable-packed I felt good about eating it anyway! There were empty bowls at the end, and we had enough left for my lunch the next day. I would make it again, because it’s quick, healthy, simple and does have flavour. However I wouldn’t make it if I was craving a good curry or serving guests.
Note: I’m writing this of my own free will. I bought the book from a group that comes to my workplace. No money or freebies received.