Here’s my resolution: to make breakfast a curry for all ills
Abstinence rarely makes the heart grow fonder, so here's a way to actually enhance your life this new year
Damn resolutions. The idea of them is so much in that nasty punitive area of religious sin and redemption dynamics. And so they tend to centre around eating and drinking habits – in other words, deprivation. It’s a recipe for disaster, involving both rebound excess and bad tempers.
Abstinence rarely makes the heart grow fonder. And yet if one can find a resolution that’s actually doable, that seems like an excuse for some general life enhancement rather than self-flagellation, then maybe the whole project could make sense.
So my resolution is: more curries for breakfast. The deliciously indulgent answer to cutting down on the tasteless, nutrition-free cereals that my children hanker after. Curry is after all a default morning dish in many countries and it makes great sense: savoury rather than sweet is the first winning aspect, spicy to wake you up (actually more sensible than spicy at night) and, best of all, perfectly suited to be being made (in part or wholly) ahead.
Everything from a dhal to fish curry works, and with some yoghurt and/or grated carrot or chopped tomato on the side, has freshness as well. Here’s my favourite, and a good one to start converting people with, as it contains the familiar breakfast symbol of eggs. EGG MASALA WITH MINT & LIME RIND YOGHURT
The done-ness of the eggs is up to you, but I think it works best when they’re between soft and hard boiled. Serve this with flatbread, rice, or just on its own. The masala is made the day before, so only the eggs need harass you in the morning.
¼ teaspoon chilli powder ½ teaspoon ground turmeric 1 tspn ground cumin 1 tspn ground coriander Salt to taste (about ½ tspn to start) 3 tbs cold pressed vegetable oil, very mild olive oil or ghee
100g onion, peeled & finely chopped 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and finely grated 250ml tinned chopped tomatoes or equivalent fresh, peeled & chopped tomatoes 4 tablespoons chopped coriander leaf
4 (free range) seven- to-eight-minute boiled eggs, peeled & cut in half lengthways.
Mix together 1 cup full cream yoghurt, 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves and rind of one lime (or lemon), grated or zested.
1. Put first five sauce ingredients (¼ teaspoon chilli powder, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 tspn ground cumin, 1 tspn ground coriander and salt) in a bowl and mix.
2. Heat oil in a smallish shallow pot, and once hot add the cumin seeds. A few seconds later add the onion and ginger and turn heat low. Leave covered for a few minutes.
3. Once onion starts softening and browning, add spices. Cook for about half a minute, then add tomatoes and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Add half the coriander leaf, stir through and remove from heat.
5. When ready to eat, heat sauce and add the freshly boiled eggs. If eggs have cooled, cover pan and leave to heat eggs through, around 2 minutes.
6. Scatter remaining coriander over everything and eat immediately, letting eaters add their own yoghurt. A starch is optional, but really anything from toast soldiers to couscous would work.