About us

We are two friends, one living in town and one in the country, who love to cook and entertain at home. We share a passion for our gardens and for the easy-going lifestyle of sub-tropical eastern Australia. And, yes, we both have garden ponds teaming with frogs.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Create your own curry banquet with...

… our easy town and country cook-at-home favourites. As much as possible we try to use low budget, low fat, fresh ingredients.
Curry with green tea dhal


Yellow chicken wings with baby corn, or Vegetarian yellow potato and corn curry
Spicy glazed green beans
Steamed rice
ŸGreen-tea dahl

(cooked with coconut milk and red capsicum)

For a vegetarian curry, use washed unpeeled potatoes cut into 4 or 6 pieces instead of chicken. This dish has an interesting contrast of textures - with soft, almost sticky chicken or potato and the crunch of baby corn. With steamed rice and greens, this is a complete meal for a family or an easy option for weekend guests. Best eaten out on the verandah (with a cold lager or crisp white wine) where you can watch the sunset. 

If you are planning this for visitors, cook well ahead of time as it improves in flavour when left to rest (and gives you a chance to tidy up and appear to be the perfect calm host). Even after two hours pushed to the back of the stove, it will still be warm enough to serve with hot freshly steamed rice. Or it can be made the day before. 

Serves 6 (with rice, dhal and a side dish of vegetables)
Time: 10 minutes preparation; 30 - 40 minutes cooking; 30 minutes resting time, minimum.
Easy but can be messy. 

1 kg chicken wings, about 7 - 8 whole wings, to make 14 - 16 pieces
Or 1 medium potato per person
fresh baby corn, about 20 spears ( or 2 cans)
1 red bell pepper/capsicum
1½ cups canned coconut milk
1 cup water
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
¼ - ½ teaspoon salt to taste
1/3 cup (80 ml) Yellow Curry Paste in previous post (or commercial mild red or yellow paste) 

For vegetarian curry, begin at Step 3.
1. Cut wings through joints and discard tips (or freeze for making stock). Trim away any pads of fat.
2. Put a heavy-based pan or large pot onto moderate heat, and lightly brown the wings. As wings tend to be fatty there is no need to use any oil. When just coloured, remove the wings; set aside in a bowl; drain accumulated fat/oil from the pan.
3. Return pan to the heat; add onion and cook until golden; then add curry paste, stirring well, and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add coconut milk all at once; bring to the boil, continuing to stir; then add water and salt.
5. Return chicken wings (or add potatoes cut in four) to the pan; simmer gently 15 minutes, stirring up from the bottom now and then (this is easiest with an egg lift or a wooden paddle).

6. Stir in the diced red pepper then place the baby corn across the top of the chicken and just push the spears down into the sauce. Simmer 10 minutes more with the lid on. (If using canned corn, wait another 5 min before adding, and cook for only 5 minutes). Taste for salt. Turn the heat off and let sit under the lid for at least 30 minutes to allow flavour to infuse before serving.
7. Serve simply. Put the pan straight onto the table accompanied by a large bowl of steamed rice and a dish of steamed greens. Garnish with Thai basil (or sweet basil, or fresh coriander, or chopped chives) and slices of lime.


1 large onion prepared as for stir-fry (halve top to tail, then cut in sticks lengthwise)
300 - 400 grams (good big double handful) green beans
1 teaspoon garam masala or mixed spice
1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons (40 ml) malt vinegar

1. Cook onion in hot pan with splash of oil until just softening.
2. Add spice, mix through and tip onion onto a plate.
3. Cut beans about 5 cm long. Cook in same hot pan 3 - 5 minutes.
4. Add honey and vinegar and stir well. The liquid should boil off fairly quickly.
5. Return onion to pan and mix with beans.
6. Tip onto serving plate. Garnish with sliced red chilli.

RED LENTIL AND GREEN TEA DHAL (for 6; takes 10 minutes)

Dice and lightly fry, in a 2 litre saucepan, medium onion, 1 tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon of dark spice mix such as garam masala or mixed spice. Add ¾ cup red lentils and 3 cups hot or cold water. Bring to boil and drop heat down to a simmer, and drop a green tea (or green tea with jasmine) bag in the pot. Stir now and then. Remove the teabag after 5 minutes. Continue to cook until lentils are soft and mushy.


2 cups of long-grain rice will serve 6 with other dishes. If you don’t have a rice cooker…

… place 2 cups long-grain white rice and 5 - 6 cups water (at room temperature) in large saucepan with lid. Stir to separate rice grains. Bring to boil. Stir again, once, and turn to low. When the water has settled to a slow simmer, put the lid on and come back in 12 minutes. Then if cooked or almost cooked, turn off the heat and put the lid back on to let rice finish absorbing any remaining liquid.

Now, call your guests to the table!

COUNTRY FROG TIP: When cooking rice, check the cooking times on the back of the packet. The time and the ratio of water to rice may vary between different types of rice and the areas of origin. I find the Vietnamese-grown white rice I often use takes a 2 minutes longer to cook than Thai white rice, and the grain tends to be firmer. Basmati rice (from northern India) absorbs less water than other long-grain rice.

Next time we will talk about how to make authentic one - minute chapattis at home - but without lighting a fire on the living room floor.

Written and compiled by two frogs

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