You know, I like the idea of moving around and traveling and living in different places, but f*cking hell I hate the act of moving. I hate packing and throwing things away and putting my things in storage and delivering them and then unpacking and then buying everything I threw away. I've been doing that for the past four years, moving houses every 4 years. Urgh and the one thing I always have to do when I move into a new place is restock my pantry. This is both fun and heartbreaking as it's just a lot of money. I just go and buy everything at once -- all my spices and my condiments and pulses and it's...so much money. I know it's saving in the long run but in the short run it makes me very sad at the till. But anyway, with a well stocked pantry I can make wonderful spiced dishes like this!
I love Ottolenghi -- he's like my teacher for spices. Here he makes a very simple condiment that's made with frying equal quantities of caraway, cumin and fennel seeds in oil. This can be for anything, I put it on courgettes this evening. Mmm. Hmm I think I still need to get some ground coriander and cardamom seeds.. and then I should be all set...
Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi
140g mung beans
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp chili flakes (I used powder)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
a bunch coriander leaves, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into batons
Greek yogurt, to serve
Grated lemon zest
Bring a pot of water to the boil and put the mung beans in. Cook for about 25 minutes, they should be cooked but still have al dente.
While the beans are cooking, put the carrots in a shallow pan and cover with water - just barely covering them. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tsp of sugar and 1 tsp of salt. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for about 8 more minutes. They should be caramelized but still have a crunch to them. Drain excess liquid.
When the mung beans are done, drain. Put some olive oil in a shallow pan over medium high heat and when hot, add all the seeds. Stir constantly until they start popping. Then toss in the peeled garlic cloves, chili, the drained mung beans and the carrots. Serve with dollops of Greek yogurt, coriander leaves and lemon zest.