Jennee’s Sunday Spread… Beetroot curry a la Peter Kuruvita and some damn fine spiced potato cakes

Damn red. Damn tasty
Damn red. Damn tasty

This week Jennee thought she would do her regular Sunday cook-up in Saturday as she had a date with another purdy girl, for her birthday, on Sunday. Also, she was, how you say (an Eastern European accent works well here), champing at the bit to redeem herself after not really being in any kind of fit state to attempt a cook-up last Sunday… or even hold a coherent conversation… or even sit the correct way on a toilet seat. Point being; I think she’s really starting to enjoy her time in the limelight, sitting back, watching the accolades come rolling in.

This week the debt owed to the food gods has been paid in full. This girl is on fire… not literally of course, because that would make me some kind of sadist or something similar as I sit here typing away while my wife goes up like frigging Guy Falks! Anyway, Peter Kuruvita from Flying Fish Restaurant, SBS TV and cookbook writing fame has helped Jennee out with this one. He does not know Jennee and did not make a special trip to our house to help her cook (I don’t think), but through the power of internet based knowledge, he has personally handed her this pixelated recipe. Although her eyes are not even sharp enough to recognize the pixels… it’s not a Commodore 64, after all.

Yes, Peter showed my Jennee how to make a Sri Lankan beetroot curry (original recipe here), and then Jennee showed Peter that she likes to free style with recipes and this was the result. To be honest, it was quite a surprise how tasty this beetroot curry was. But I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me though. I mean, I love beetroot and I love curry. (Realisation hits) Shit! That’s right. That is how wars are started, folks. Open your mind. Free yourself of prejudices. Try the beetroot curry. Rush now child… ze Germans are coming…

We had the beetroot curry with steamed rice, spiced potato cakes, eggplant pickle, cucumber yoghurt, fresh chilli and lemon.

Still damn red
Still damn red
Potato cakes in the foreground. Jennee toasts her efforts in the background
Potato cakes in the foreground. Jennee toasts her efforts in the background

350 g (12 oz) small beetroots, washed & trimmed
50 g (1¾ oz) ghee
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 small green chillies, finely chopped
1 sprig curry leaves, leaves picked
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated or chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
3 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon caster sugar
200 ml (7 fl oz) coconut milk

• Cut the beetroots and stems if using into 1cm (1/2 in) pieces.
• Heat the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion and green chilli for 6-8 minutes or until translucent. Add the curry leaves and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes or until fragrant.
• Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer over very low heat, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes or until the beetroot is tender.
• Season to taste and serve.

(if there’s any left they go great guns with some poached eggs and chutney for breakfast the next day…)
4 med-large potatoes, boiled until just cooked
½ red onion, finely diced
1 handful coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander seed
4 curry leaf, chopped
a pinch dried chilli flakes if you want
a pinch of salt and pepper
1 egg

• Grate potatoes while they are still warm
• Mix it all together
• Form into little potato cakes
• Fry in a bit of oil on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side, or until brown and crispy