Last Christmas, my sister asked for a cookbook: Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. I dutifully ordered a copy from The Book Depository, and waited for it to arrive. In the meantime, I turned on Food TV, and discovered a show of the same name. One episode saw Jamie cooking Peri Peri Chicken and Portuguese Custard Tarts, and I was drooling in front of the telly.
When the book arrived, I flicked through and saw, to my delight, that these recipes were in there, and promptly ordered myself a copy too.
So far, I think we’ve enjoyed 50% of the meals I’ve made from this book, and 50% have been so-so. I like the concept, and the recipes are varied so there’s sure to be something to suit everybody’s cooking style. I generally don’t make the full meal, but pick and choose depending on the season, and who I’m cooking for.
One recipe I saw on his show recently, that looked delicious, was for a vegetarian Rogan Josh curry. I checked my book, and yep, it was in there, so I decided to give it a go. We sat down with Tiny one Sunday evening and demolished virtually the whole curry – it was so good!
Here is my slightly-amended version of Jamie’s recipe. I also made his clove-scented Fluffy Rice, and some paratha breads to have with it, which were the perfect accompaniment.
Vegetarian Rogan Josh
2 onions, sliced
3 cups diced pumpkin (roughly 2cm dice)
1 small cauliflower, in bite-sized chunks
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional, depending on your spice preferences)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
handful fresh coriander, stalks and leaves finely chopped (reserve some leaves for garnish)
500g jar Rogan Josh sauce (I used a medium Tandoori Palace sauce)
400g tin chickpeas, drained
130g pre-washed baby spinach
natural yoghurt, to serve
Put a large saucepan on a med-high heat. Add a good lug of olive oil and add the onions and a splash of water. Cook, stirring, until softened.
Add pumpkin, cauliflower, chilli, garlic and coriander to the pan and stir well.
Add Rogan Josh sauce and chickpeas; season and stir well.
Cover and simmer, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, approximately 20 minutes.
Remove lid and check seasonings; add spinach and stir until wilted.
Serve on basmati rice*, garnished with coriander leaves and a dollop of natural yoghurt on the side.
* Jamie’s clove-scented Fluffy Rice: put 1 mug of rice into a medium pot; add a lug of olive oil and a few whole cloves. Cover with 2 mugs of boiled water; add a pinch of salt then cover and boil over a medium heat for 7mins. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for a further 7mins (lid on) before serving.
Original Recipe: Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals
This is a really delicious sounding curry. However, I really don’t like that cookery book; my girlfriend has it and it just doesn’t work for me. The format is all wrong, some of the recipes fall flat and, well, they take longer than 30 minutes… Oh well. This does sound yum though. Also, props for using The book Depository – it’s a fantastic site.
Yep – I’ve been a bit disappointed with the book myself. Half of the recipes I’ve tried have been tasty enough BUT take much, much longer than 30mins, and the others have been pretty bland. I’m also disappointed that a lot of his recipes use pre-made ingredients (like this curry – I refused to serve it with the pre-made breads when I knew I could easily (and cheaply) make my own – but that would take this well out of the 30min league!).
In saying this, I do like the concept of providing recipes for an entire meal, especially for people who might not be able to put together a balanced family dinner…however, it’s a catch-22 situation; if you’re new to cooking, there are no timeframes given, and your speed is not likely to be the same as Mr Oliver’s, which will result in over- or under-cooked meals.
This curry is probably my favourite thing I’ve cooked from the book, but I did change it to suit our family and NZ products.
Love love LOVE The Book Depository 🙂