There’s a David Gray song that has very recently been totally ruined for me. The slow, aching longing that makes This Year’s Love so very beautiful is completely lost when one cannot help but sing the words “this week’s lunch” instead of “this year’s love”:
This week’s lunch had better last,
Heaven knows it’s high time.
I’ve been waiting on this lunch too long…
I blame it on my Sunday ritual of cooking up a large vat of something to see me through busy weekday lunch breaks. Soup used to be my staple (this one or this one perhaps) but, for no particular reason, I’ve been eschewing liquid foods this winter in favour of rice or lentil based dishes.
My current favourite (and the dish I’ve made for this coming week) is the following vegetable biryani. Though not terribly authetic, I love this dish. It’s nutritious and it’s filling and it’s tasty. And that’s just what I need to perk me after a morning’s teaching.
(makes 4 lunch-sized portions)
1 onion, chopped finely
1 tblspn ghee or vegetable oil
2 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 tspn cinnamon
1/2 tspn turmeric
1/2 tspn pepper
1/2 tspn ground ginger
1 tspn salt
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper (optional)
1 carrot, chopped
5 button mushrooms, chopped
400g tin of chickpeas
1/4 cup red lentils
1/2 cup basmati rice
2 1/2 cups water
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup frozen peas
Handful of coriander, chopped
- Fry the onion in the oil until almost softened. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes more.
- Add the garlic, spices and salt and fry for another few minutes.
- And the chickpeas, lentils, rice and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and put a lid on the pan. Simmer gently for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is cooked.
- Add the peas and tomato. Stir through and replace lid. Leave for 5 minutes.
- Stir through the coriander.