Taking Fluffy's advice, I took on Delia Smith's How to Cook, supposedly much simpler than Keda Black's Classics. I had a go at the first recipe, “Egg and Lentil Curry with Coconut and Pickled Lime.”
Contrary to Fluffy's suggestions, this recipe was hard. Incredibly hard. Largely because the numerous obscure ingredients weren't stocked by Tesco. (What the SHIT is “lime pickle juice”? And which oil is flavourless?) Or at least, the Huddersfield Road branch, the largest in the North West, didn't have any of these oddities. They also had no creamed coconut, and tyically I forgot to write down every bizarre ingredient necessary for the meal. Fennel seeds, coriander and groundnut oil all got left off.
If Delia had laid out her recepies with not just a list of ingredients but a list of untensils required as well, this would have been easier. I don't own a zest peeler, so getting said shavings from the lime was a huge ballache. I'd have gone and bought one before starting cooking, instead of clumsily using a cheese grater.
Towards the end of the recipe, Delia drops this phrase in- “serve with rice.”
Thanks, love. You could have fucking put it in higher up in the instructions. It's a bit late now.
I also felt that Delia's method of instruction to be awkward. A full paragraph of how-to information is difficult to read, especially when you're to-ing and fro-ing from book to hob to ingredients. Why not put the instructions in bullet points like Keda Black does? Am I the only person who'd find this much easier?
I'm just pissing and moaning about the process now. The eggs cracked mid boil. Shelling them took ages and I still left bits of shell on, as I found mid-eat.
The verdict? Too dry. Too spicy. So bad I actually couldn't finish it.
So, an all-round disaster of a meal, basically. Not least because I scratched my balls after handling the chopped chillis. You do not want to do this.
I've had a look at the next meal in How to Cook and it looks considerably easier (and tastier). So I'll stick with it for the moment. But even including secondary school home-ec abominations, this was by far the worst meal I've attempted to cook.