Birmingham and curry, they seem to go hand in hand. I moved away from the midlands about 18 months ago and really love living in Wales, I go back to see family and friends and pat the dog but apart from that I like to stay in the old farmhouse with the heating on.
Birmingham has a large diverse community living there and the way you know is by how many different styles of food are being cooked there, most places have an Indian and a Chinese nowadays but in Birmingham you can eat around the world. My favourite is Damascena, if only they delivered to here… a beautiful menu of middle eastern food which is a mix of veggie, vegan or meat so everyone is happy. The falafel is amazing as is the hummus and the decor is stunning, you feel transported to another place. You can find them in Moseley and in the town centre and another branch is opening soon in Harbourne. ( The link will take you to the website.)
Wagamamas is the latest eatery to put some vegan choices on the menu, not many but enough, but sadly no desserts. This dish is spicy with typical Chinese curry flavours with tofu that has a lovely crunch on the outside. The service was super and very quick, if you are in a hurry it is perfect. We went to the branch by St Mary’s Church but there is also one near the Grand Central Station.
If you like coffee or chai latte, try to find Java, you can find them in Moseley and in Birmingham near to Victoria Square, the drinks menu is a great mix, they have soy milk and I have been assured that they are soon having almond milk as an alternative soon. They do usually have a vegan choice when it comes to cakes, I enjoy the banana cake which can be toasted so it is warm and has a slight bite to it.
Another good vegan place is Cafe Soya, it is a Chinese restaurant in the Chinese part of town, it’s not just vegan, it is meaty too, but has a great mixture of sauces to put with the fake meat they have and have a several pages of flavours to choose from, they also do soya milk shakes and I think desserts too!
As you walk around Moseley you can smell Jerk Chicken being cooked on the grill, the Carib Grill is a fine place to eat, but it is mainly chicken and fish so it depends on what you are wanting to eat. The dumplings are good, but I think mine are better 😉
Anyway I did say curry in the title so I better write about curry… I love it, I would eat it every day, I think I eat Indian food about 3 days a week in some form, not to spicy though just enough to warm me through.
So this weekend I made a lentil curry and a potato and cauliflower curry, they had the same base sauce which I am going to share then you can make your own with either veggies or meat. Sometimes we are put off by long recipes so I do try to keep them simple and leave it so you can add your own touch to it, we all have our own tastes so what I like spice wise may not be yours, so feel free to tweak 🙂
Potato and Cauliflower with Slaw.
Almond milk or of your choice
White wine vinegar
The base sauce is made using a butternut squash that has been chopped and roasted till caramelised on the edges, this gives a nice slight sweet flavour.
I then put it in the food processor with enough almond milk to cover and blitzed it till it was smooth, you may need to add a little more milk, but you will be adding some water to the pan so don’t worry to much.
In a good sized heavy pan or wok, put some oil of your choice in, just enough to cover the base, as that warms up pop in a finely sliced onion and leave till it starts to caramelise.
While this is happening prepare either the veg or meat that you are cooking.
When the onions are ready add the curry powder I used a large teaspoon full for a nice warm flavour and allow to cook for a minute before adding the sauce and stock cube, the cube has its own seasoning so you may not need salt, but check it for your own preference at the end. Add a cup of water to loosen the mixture add more if needed.
Now you can add your filling of choice, you may want to fry them off first it is your choice, I like the veg to absorb the flavour.
While this simmers away you can make your slaw.
Grate the carrot and slice the cabbage finely and put to one side.
Mix the maple, soy and vinegar together with the chilli and mustard seeds. Warm a pan and fry off the cabbage and carrot just to warm through then add the dressing at the end, the mustard seeds should pop and then it is ready. Pop in a dish to share if you are feeling generous 😉
When your veggies or meat are cooked, check your seasoning and when you are happy serve with a flat bread or rice and some pickles and you will be very happy! The curry feels creamy without the dairy, which is great.
I hope you try the recipe and if you are in Birmingham try the places I go, we could have coffee!