Recipe: Campfire curry and roti!
We have been able to resume some of our work with youngsters on a one-to-one basis, both at the allotment site and the forest school site. Over at the forest school site, we’ve been doing campfire cooking, including this delicious vegetable curry with roti bread. The roti are pretty fun, as you cook them directly on the flames – but you can make them at home on a griddle or heavy frying pan.
Our campfire cooking is all about adapting ‘normal’ cooking, including modifying recipes to use what you have in, rather than feeling that you have to stick rigidly to a recipe. This is all good life skills training for our participants!
What we used in our campfire curry
one sweet potato
one vegetable stock cube
two teaspoons mild curry powder
8 green cardamoms
about one litre of water
vegetable oil for frying (we used more than you would at home because the campfire can be very hot, so we need to stop everything sticking!)
for the roti
about 500g of a half and half mix of strong white flour and strong wholemeal flour
about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
about 250ml cold water to mix it to a soft but not sticky dough
How to make the roti
The dough needs to rest, so make this before you do the curry.
Mix the flours, oil and water into a soft but not sticky dough. Kneed it for a few minutes, and then leave it to rest for about 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces (or more, if you want smaller roti), and roll each one into a little round, about 15-20cm in diameter. Keep them quite thin. Make sure you flour them so that they don’t stick to each other, or the griddle.
Start to cook the roti when your curry is nearly ready...
If you have a campfire, you need to find a glowing area, like barbeque coals, rather than flames, then you put the dough onto the fire for a minute or so each side – it will puff up like a little football!
If you are cooking it on a griddle or heavy frying pan, make the pan nice and hot, then cook the roti on each side until it has a bit of colour and puffs up. You can gently press around the edges of the bread with a clean tea towel to push the steam around the inside of the bread, which makes it puff up better.
How to make the curry
Chop up the onions and gently fry in a heavy bottomed pan in plenty of vegetable oil until they’re soft.
Add the curry powder and cardamom seeds and continue to fry for a minute.
Add all the other vegetables and fry everything together for a few more minutes.
Add the water and stock cube, bring back to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Put a lid on the pot. It’ll be ready in 20 minutes or so, but we left it until we were ready and had cooked the roti.
Enjoy your curry and roti, sitting under the trees and listening to birdsong!