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Posts Tagged ‘curry’

I blogged for four whole days! In a row! More blog posts than in the whole of 2017, 2018 and 2019. I wrote on Ash Wednesday and then all the way to Saturday. And then it was the First Sunday in Lent and I had small rest. A lifting of the fast to feast for the Lord’s Day.

And a very good Lord’s Day it was too, thanks for asking. We had more people than usual at the All Age Service, with more songs than usual and a great feeling of joy as we read through God’s Very Good Idea together:

This is God’s very good idea: lots of different people enjoying loving him and loving each other.

God MADE it.
People RUINED it.
He RESCUED it.
He will FINISH it.

One of the final pictures in the book is of a church family eating together. A good illustration, because is that is what we did after we went through this story. Because the first Sunday of the month is our Community Church Day.

gods-very-good-idea-feasting

We didn’t have pink tablecloths but otherwise this is a pretty good depiction

Community Church Day is when we invite people who attend our midweek church groups (toddlers, kids club, Open Church) to join our Sunday congregation for lunch, with crafts, games and a Bible story in the mix. Other members of the community are also invited – we always try to take some invitations around to neighbours.

A few of us bring food to eat, and everyone pitches in to help with putting up tables, serving food, wrangling toddlers, playing games, clearing up and sweeping the floor at the end. This Sunday we had chicken curry, a yellow dhal, roast gammon, a huge lasagne, a vegetarian pasta dish and carbs in pretty much every form (including an enormous pile of chapattis). The glorious mix of food was matched by the mix of people, a reflection of the wonderful variety of God’s good creation.

A day like that is part of God’s Very Good Idea: lots of different people enjoying loving him and loving each other. And our next Community Church Day is not on the first Sunday, because we’re going to celebrate Easter Day together: the very best part of God’s Very Good Idea.

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When the Vicar and I lived in Singapore, we had a lovely neighbour who was from Mumbai/Bombay. We celebrated the Millenium on her roof and shared recipes. And the Vicarage cat came to us through her feline loving contacts. Nomi also taught me to cook dhal. Spiced lentils is a staple of Indian cuisine, and there are heaps of different recipes. When I cooked this recipe for our Tamil church friends, though, they pleasingly said that it was ‘restauarant dhal’.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of toor lentils (not the oily ones) – these are yellow pigeon peas and can usually be found in specialist Asian grocers (or Tescos in our tow-un). If you can’t find them yellow split peas or red lentils would work as well.
  • pinch asafoetida (if you can find it, otherwise not a biggy – it’s meant to decrease the wind quotient of the lentils, but doesn’t really affect the taste)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 tbspn black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tbspn cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup of curry leaves – dried or fresh if you can find them
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped fine OR 1 tspn chilli powder OR 1 tspn crushed dried red chillies (use a smaller amount the first time you make this & increase next time if you’d like your dhal spicier)
  • 1 tspn turmeric powder

Cook your lentils in water according to instructions. I use a pressure cooker so I can cook them in about 15 minutes (plus all the time taken for the pressure cooker to calm down so I can open it without scalding my nose). When the lentils are cooked, you can add your asafoetida to make them less fartful. Then heat a good slosh of oil in the bottom of a frying pan. This oil will be flavoured and added to your lentils, so don’t skimp or you won’t be able to distribute the spiciness too well. I cover the bottom of my pan in oil – about 4-5 tbspns I guess. Heat the oil and then pop in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Once the leaves start to discolour and the mustard seeds start to get lively, add the garlic, chillies and turmeric. Once the garlic has cooked and taken on some colour, add the spiced oil to the lentils. And stir and serve. This is brilliant with rice, naan, chappatis or pitta. And freezes really well. Great for lunch or supper with another curry.

The spiced oil

The spiced oil

A pot of dhal

And a pot of dhal

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