A frugal meal on the other side of the world

Take one couple.

Move them to the other side of the world.

Have them fall on their feet and spend their first week housesitting for a dear friend in Hammersmith.

It’s a week filled with the nail tugging joy of stalking flats, negotiating with real estate agents, learning what to do with an Oyster card and seeking gainful employ.

It’s filled with a couple of accidental splash outs (walking 15km to make it to property inspections during a tube strike will drive anyone to margaritas at Wahaca).
And then some frugal repasts scraped together in one pan when everything went to pot.

This is what dinner on a budget in London looks like.

Moroccan mince with toasted flatbreads

Chop an onion. Fry it with some slivers of garlic and ginger and a splash of olive oil. Add a good whack (a heaped tablespoon) of ground cumin, coriander and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Grab a bunch of coriander. Finely dice some of the stems and add them in for some green gaiety.

To the fry pan add 300 grams of mince- either lamb or beef. Brown it in the spices until it smells mysterious and looks like rubble.

Take a carrot. Peel it. Then keep going with the vegetable peeler until you have ribbons of carrot. Add them in too.

At this stage you could also add a tin of rinsed chickpeas to bulk it out further.

Once the mince is cooked through add two large tablespoons of yogurt, some lemon rind and a large handful or coriander.

Serve with rocket (for extra greenery) and some toasted pita bits. If you need a bit more of a kick in the pants then add some extra chilli too.

Congratulate yourself for eating cheaply.

Start to plan where you’ll go for lunch when the employment situation is slightly more sorted.

* Nb, at least the real estate situation is looking brighter. From next Wednesday we’ll be setting up house 600m walk from Monmouth coffee and the Borough markets. This pleases us.

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