In­dian sum­mer

The fi­nal rays of the sea­son’s sun­shine can be eked out a lit­tle longer by throw­ing the last of the har­vest into a sweet­corn and tomato curry spiked with chilli, along­side a tower of quick homemade cha­p­atis

The Guardian - Cook - - The Modern Cook - Anna Jones Anna Jones is a chef, writer and au­thor of A Mod­ern Way to Eat and A Mod­ern Way to Cook (Fourth Es­tate); an­na­; @we_are_­food

My sum­mer was far too short and I’m not ready to let go just yet. I’m wish­ing with ev­ery­thing I have for another few weeks of sun­shine, din­ners out­side, feet on grass, iced cof­fees. I don’t yet feel the lure of crisp au­tumn leaves, knitwear and bowls of soup ... it will come, I know, but for now I’m hell-bent on keep­ing sum­mer go­ing as long as I can.

So, this week I am do­ing all I can to en­cour­age an In­dian sum­mer, throw­ing the fi­nal spoils of warm weather into a quick curry with some soft cha­p­atis. My kitchen is still cheer­ful with bowls of toma­toes, cit­rus, squash and ears of corn. Late corn, less sweet than its ear­lier ren­di­tions, still in pa­per husks, is all the bet­ter for a gen­tle braise with some spice and a few toma­toes, easy cha­p­ati breads as a side­kick, which are even quite med­i­ta­tive to make.

Late sum­mer sweet­corn and tomato curry Serves 4

4 eggs Co­conut or olive oil 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp black mus­tard seeds 2 tsp fen­nel seeds 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped 3 gar­lic cloves, finely chopped A small thumb of ginger, grated 2 red chill­ies, finely sliced 4 corn on the cob 1 heaped tsp turmeric A pinch of cin­na­mon 3 tbsp co­conut cream 4 toma­toes, roughly chopped 2 lemons – 1 juiced, 1 quar­tered A small bunch of co­rian­der, leaves picked Yo­ghurt, bas­mati rice, cha­p­atis, to serve

1 Bring a pan of wa­ter to the boil, then add the eggs and sim­mer for 5 min­utes ex­actly. Drain the wa­ter. When cool enough to han­dle, crack the shells all over then run un­der cold wa­ter to cool com­pletely. Peel and put to one side.

2 Heat a good splash of oil in a large saucepan and add the cumin and mus­tard seeds. When they start to pop, lower the heat and add the fen­nel seeds and onion. Fry for at least 8 min­utes, or un­til soft and sweet, then add the gar­lic, ginger and 1 of the sliced chill­ies, then cook for 5 min­utes. Mean­while, cut the ker­nels from the corn and dis­card the cen­tres.

3 Once the gar­lic has started to brown, stir in the turmeric, cin­na­mon, co­conut cream and chopped toma­toes. Cook for 10 min­utes, or un­til the toma­toes have re­duced to form a thick sauce.

4 Add the corn ker­nels and 150ml wa­ter, sea­son well and leave to bub­ble away for 5 min­utes. Add the eggs and cook for a few min­utes un­til they are warmed through.

5 Squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon and stir through. Fin­ish by scat­ter­ing the re­main­ing sliced chilli and co­rian­der leaves over. Serve with a big spoon­ful of yo­ghurt, bas­mati rice and cha­p­atis and the lemon wedges.

Easy cha­p­atis Makes 16

450g whole­meal cha­p­ati flour ½ tsp fine salt Rape­seed or olive oil 300ml hot wa­ter

1 Put the flour in a large bowl, add the salt and stir to­gether. Make a well in the mid­dle of the flour, add 3 tbsp oil and mix un­til it re­sem­bles fine breadcrumbs.

2 Next, pour in around two-thirds of the wa­ter, then add the rest lit­tle by lit­tle – you may not need to add all of it – un­til you can knead the mix­ture into a soft and pli­able dough.

3 Lightly rub the dough with oil, so it does not dry out. Get ready for rolling: you will need a clean sur­face or a floured chop­ping board, a fry­ing pan, a bowl of flour, a rolling pin, a spat­ula and a plate for your cooked cha­p­atis. Put the fry­ing pan over a medium heat to warm up.

My kitchen is still cheer­ful with bowls of toma­toes, cit­rus, squash and ears of corn

4 Once ev­ery­thing is ready, di­vide your dough into 16 equally sized pieces. Take one piece of dough, roll it into a ball between your palms, coat it gen­er­ously with flour, flat­ten it into a disc and then roll it out to around 10cm wide. Dust with more flour then roll it out to the size of a small din­ner plate (about 16cm) and trans­fer it into the hot fry­ing pan.

5 Wait for the edges to look cooked, they will come away from the pan, and for bub­bles to ap­pear (about 30 sec­onds), then turn it over and cook on the other side for another 30 sec­onds. 6 Turn it over again and press it down gen­tly with the flat side of the spat­ula – for about 10 sec­onds, then turn it over again and do the same on the other side. Trans­fer to a plate while you roll and cook the rest.

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