Maggie Bob Makes: Quick Mushroom Curry

It’s National Curry Week , so it seemed as good an excuse as any to share with you my curry recipe.

Okay, I know this curry is a slight cheat in that it uses curry paste, but I don’t cook curry well enough or often enough to warrant a cupboard full of spices. So, this is my take on a quick and easy curry that tastes amazing anyway.

(Serves 4)

Vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced or minced
3 small red chillies, chopped (I took ones from my kitchen plant)
1 or 2 large carrots, cut into strips (julienne)
4 spring onions, julienne
1 bell pepper, julienne
2 tablespoons curry paste (choose a spiciness to suit your taste)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
300g button mushrooms, whole
1 tin coconut milk


  1. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in your pan and sweat off the onion, garlic and chillies.
  2. Add the carrots, spring onion and bell pepper, and fry gently for a minute, before adding the curry paste and cooking off for a further 2/3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and coconut milk and simmer (without a lid) until the sauce reduces and thickens (about 15 minutes).
  4. Serve with rice & whatever trimmings you like.

Sound good? Of course, the recipe is easily adapted to suit your tastes. Don’t like mushrooms? Swap for cubes of butternut squash or sweet potato (adjust cooking times to make sure these are cooked through). Devout carnivore? You could include some diced chicken breast in the mix – simply ‘brown’ off the chicken in the pan first, remove and set aside while you cook everything else, then add in along with/instead of the mushrooms and make sure you cook until all the pink is gone from the chicken. Or make it extra thrifty and rubber chicken – that is strip some leftover meat from your Sunday roast and chuck it in. That way you only need to warm the meat through as it’s already cooked.

So, what’s your favourite curry folks? Do you like to cook them, or are you more a takeaway menu kind of curry connoisseur?

(photo kindly taken by my friend Katie)

Maggie Bob Makes: A discovery… and a penguin

I was lucky enough to win a pair of tickets to the Knitting & Stitch Show at Ally Pally this weekend, courtesy of Fabrications and their Upcycling Academy. I’ve only ever dabbled lightly in knitting and crochet, but I’m almost as addicted to fabric as I am to paper, so I knew I was going to enjoy the show, but wow!

My friend Heather and I toddled up to Ally Pally on Sunday. I’ve been to the Stamp & Scrapbooking show there before, so I thought I knew what to expect – how wrong I was. The Knitting & Stitch show was vast, occupying 3 rooms of the (fabulous!) venue. Some of the space was given over to exhibition: my favourite was a collection of men’s knitwear by a student of Nottingham Trent university, all inspired by Hitchcock Villains. There was also a catwalk show of knitted fashions, and a number of hands on workshops (including the above mentioned Upcycling Academy), stands from various Guilds and associations (such as the WI, and Quilts 4 London), and of course the retailers. I managed to stay very restrained and only came away with a fist full of buttons, a clutch of ribbons and a small bundle of gorgeous fabric pieces (I’m addicted to fat quarters, the possibilities feel endless!). I also managed to accumulate the pieces for a brand new hobby – needle felting. I’m sure it’s old hat to some of you, but it’s a whole new game to me! I grabbed a handful of merino tops and a couple of felting needles (glad I got two, I’ve already managed to break one!). Desperate to try this new craft out last night, I whipped up this little guy. May I introduce you to Fuzzy the Penguin.

Such is the power of his cuteness, my sister has already staked her claim to him. So I’m going to neaten him up a little and pop him in the post.


So, does anyone else do needle felting? Got any sites on it you’d recommend? Or favourite places to pick up wool? I can hear my stash shelves heaving already!