I love growing garlic! It’s a crop that doesn’t need lots of attention and effort, stores well, and tastes WOW! I’m talking big fat juicy bulbs of garlic that have real flavour. And as a bonus it’s great if you pick it young and use it when it’s “green” much more subtle in flavour.
This year’s crop has been mixed, what with an exceptionally dry spring and discovering part of my plot has White Rot on it. So I lost the equivalent of a row of garlic. I could have openly wept! But I’ve put my head down, tried to do some research on this disease, manage the crop that I have by checking it regularly. And things seem ok now. In fact I’m planning on ordering in my garlic for next years crop. I like to plant it in winter.
Back to the food!
Part of managing the stored crop means that I check the bulbs regularly to see if they need using up. So every now and then I’ll pull a couple of bulbs out that look like they need using up – they don’t have any signs of the disease and are perfectly ok to use.
Our friend M came for dinner the other night, we were planning Indian food and I was in a dither about what exactly to cook, when BINGO! there was the garlic crop winking at me.
I’ve eaten this dish many times in restaurants, but until this week had never made it myself. You’d think garlic curry would be completely overpowering, the opposite is true. The tamarind gives it a gentle sourness and the garlic sweetens and softens up.
It went beautifully with some greens of chard and spinach quickly fried up and a simple pilau rice (plain basmati rice with some bay leaves, cloves, cardamom pods and black peppercorns).
Garlic Curry over powering? Not as much as you’d think! The cooking process softens and tenderises the garlic. Go on be BRAVE, give it a try!
- 200g peeled garlic cloves
- 1 tbls vegetable oil for shallow frying
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 dried red chilli – chopped
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 2 green chillies – chopped (deseeded if you prefer)
- 10-12 Curry leaves
- 4 medium sized tomatoes peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Tamarind paste
- 2 – 4 tbls water
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok.
- Add the fenugreek seeds and dried red chilli and fry for a minute.
- Add the sliced onions, green chillies and curry leaves and fry gently until the onions are cooked.
- Add the tomatoes and turmeric and continue to cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
- Add the garlic cloves, tamarind paste and the water. Stir well.
- Put a lid on the pan and gently cook for at least 20 minutes, the garlic needs to be soft and tender and the sauce should be nice and thick.
What to do with a garlic crop that doesn’t look like it will store well for the winter, make Garlic Curry and invite your friends!
Gardening Notes ~ I grew Early Purple, Provence, Iberian, Picardy and Albignesian and I bought the bulbs from these guys,