I can map my moods against certain behaviours, certain things, certain foodstuffs. Chipped rose-bronze Rimmel nail varnish I don’t have the energy to redo. Paperwork I can’t be bothered to complete. Ready-meals that I purchase in bulk, rather than rise to the effort of cooking. Not sure what’s sparked this particular round of depression off, but me and the Grey Horse have been facing-off across the paddock fence again, and she keeps threatening to kick the gates down and join me for a proper, old-fashioned, Human vs Mental Health, Fists vs Hooves fight to the death.
Pulled myself together this afternoon (having eaten all the ready-meal vegetarian cottage pies. And all the kettle chips). Boiled, fried and mashed some black-eye beans and vegetarian bacon into a paste suitable for refried beans-and-salad tortilla wraps. Sacrificed vegetarian sausages and mince to Heuvos a la Flamenca, to create a pot of bubbling scarlet overlaid with creamy baked eggs. And I turned to the tastes and spices of the Middle East, in this case an Eygptian recipe, in the hope that the scorching sunshine burned into the spices and lentils might work to blow away some of the mist.
Original recipe nicked from the British “newspaper” the
One large onion, chopped into rings.
Olive oil or vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, one finely chopped, one whole but skinned
Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
Chilli powder, mustard powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and cinnamon powder.
1 cup red lentils (I assume this, the original recipe did not specify and you could have some fun trying different types – I intend to)!
1 cup rice
1 cup cooked macaroni pasta
Fry the onions in oil until caramalised. Remove from the heat and drain the oil into a bowl for re-use.
Pour half the onion-oil into a pan or wok and add the crushed garlic. Cook for a few seconds and add the tomatoes, puree, chili powder and some water. Cook on a low heat until the sauce is thick and well-combined.
Cook the lentils in water with a dash of salt and the whole garlic clove. Cook until soft.
Add the other half of the onion-oil into a saucepan and add the cinnamon, mustard, coriander and cumin. Fry briefly, then add the rice. Stir for a minute or so, then add a can-ful of water and some salt. Bring to the boil. put the lid on the pan, then cook for 10-15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
Mix the rice, lentils and macaroni, with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the tomato sauce and the fried onions. Serve.