Advertisements

Tag Archives: indian curry

Organic Coconut Beef Curry with Cauliflower Rice

The word ‘organic’ is often associated with being trendy, modern etc…. but we often forget that ‘organic’ is how our forefathers ate.

The rampant commercialization and globalization has led to an increased use of chemical fertilizers, additives etc…. in our everyday food to a level so high that it has led to serious health consequences. It’s time we paid more attention to what we ate, where we buy our produce from, how our food is grown and manufactured or we will leave behind a highly toxic planet to our future generations. Not to forget the wide range of diet and lifestyle related diseases that we seem to suffer from these days.

I try and buy organic and local as much as possible. Sometimes it’s not practical or available and sometimes the ingredients are higher priced that we have a second thought; after all most of us have a budget to live by. But it’s not something impossible either; it just begins with a small effort to be more conscious whenever you shop.

Lack of information or rather, trusted information was the biggest challenge I faced when it came to buying organically grown produce or ingredients. During my research, I came across Australian Organic Limited (AOL), a not-for-profit member owned organization established in 1987.

“Australian Organic Limited (AOL) is the leading industry body representing all certifiers and certified operators; and advocates for the betterment growth interests of the certified organic industry by lobbying government and driving awareness.”

Through AOL, I was able to learn more about certification, how the organic industry works, brands and companies that specialize in organic produce within Australia etc…. You can also read up on the latest news within the industry on the AOL website or become a member of the Australian Organic community if you wish to be more actively involved.

Recently, I was sent a copy of the Australian Organic Recipe Book (2nd edition) which includes a recipe collection featuring certified organic produce and ingredients. The recipes have been created by chefs and also the AOL ambassadors (2019) – Luke Hines and Elle Halliwell.

The recipe book also comes in a digital version which can be downloaded here; there is a small fee for purchasing both the print and digital copy. You can also download the first edition of the recipe book here.

What I liked about the Australian Organic Recipe book is the fact that all the recipes are perfect for everyday cooking for all times of the day. It’s a small book, not one with hundreds of recipes like most traditional cookbooks. All the information regarding the organic ingredients use is available so that you know which brand to look out for while shopping.

And just to give you an idea of how delicious and easy the recipes are, I am sharing one here – Organic Coconut Beef Curry with Cauliflower Rice.

The organic beef used in this recipe (in the cookbook) is from Sherwood Rd Organic Meats which specializes in certified organic, 100% grass fed lamb, beef and goat. Apart from these, they also sell other organic meat and meat products.

Since their shop is located in Brisbane, I could not buy directly from them but instead bought from my local market vendor who specializes in organic beef. If you are in Brisbane, do check out their stores or you can use any organic beef for this curry.

With my Kerala (South India) roots, a coconut milk based beef curry is a highly regarded one. This particular recipe veers slightly from the traditional one which can be complicated for those who are not familiar with the cuisine.

But this coconut beef curry is super simple and comes together with just a few ingredients and basic spices. And pairing it with cauliflower rice is a brilliant idea.

For those who haven’t tried mock cauliflower rice, you must give it a go. Not only does it mimic rice but it is delicious and really healthy too. Instead of the plain version outlined in the book, I used my Tempered Cauliflower rice recipe to pair with this coconut beef curry. Loads more flavour guaranteed!

When you are shopping this weekend, add these ingredients to your list and treat yourself to a delicious, mildly spiced, warm and comforting Organic Coconut Beef Curry.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg organic beef chuck; cut into cubes
  2. 2-3 tbsp organic coconut oil
  3. 1 large onion; finely chopped
  4. 3 garlic cloves; crushed
  5. 2 ½ tsp curry powder
  6. 2 tsp coriander powder
  7. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  8. 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
  9. ½ tsp garam masala
  10. 1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to heat preferences)
  11. 1 tsp cardamom seeds; crushed
  12. 1 ½ tsp hot paprika
  13. Salt, to season
  14. 2 cans coconut milk (270ml each)
  15. Fresh coriander sprigs; for garnish
  16. 1 fresh chilli; to serve
  17. Fresh lime wedges; to serve

Method:

  1. In a large, heavy bottom saucepan, heat coconut oil and add the garlic and onions. Sauté till the onions are soft and take on a light brown colour.
  2. Add all the spices and cook on low heat for 1-2 minutes taking care not to burn.
  3. Add the beef pieces, season with salt and cook on medium heat for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1 can coconut milk; mix well to combine and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. After 30 minutes, add the second can of coconut milk (or as much as you need depending on how much gravy you prefer) and continue to cook till the beef pieces are tender.
  6. Check seasoning and add the coriander leaves. Mix and remove from heat. Keep for atleast 15 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with cauliflower rice topped with red chillies and lemon wedges.

Tempered Cauliflower Rice, full recipe here.

Advertisements

My Recipes as Fresh Meal Boxes – a Collaboration with Feastively

2018 has been such an exciting year for me on the work front. So many interesting opportunities and collaborations have come my way this year, most of which has pushed me clearly beyond my comfort zone but enabled me to take my food dreams one step further.

And one such exciting opportunity has been this collaboration with Feastively.

My Recipes as Fresh Meal Boxes – a Collaboration with Feastively; thespiceadventuress.com

My Recipes as Fresh Meal Boxes – a Collaboration with Feastively; thespiceadventuress.com

Feastively specializes in fresh meal boxes that are designed to help you cook a delicious dinner in three easy steps and just 15 minutes. Based on the meal plan and dishes that you choose on a weekly basis, all the prep work is done, packaged and delivered to your home.

Earlier this year, the company got in touch with me to find out if I would be interested in transforming some of my signature recipes from the blog into a fresh meal box format. I was surprised but couldn’t be more excited. This was almost like cooking personally for all of you (nothing could give me greater joy)!

Since I had tried out Feastively meal boxes last year, I was already aware of the quality of their meals. And I was quite impressed with the taste of many of their dishes. But making the decision was still hard because I wanted to be sure that my recipes delivered the same flavour as how I would cook at home, when it gets transformed into a fresh meal box.

But Feastively provided me with the kind of support to enable this and make the project a reality. A lot of testing and tweaking has taken place behind the scenes on their end as well as mine to ensure that each signature dish that is showcased has my stamp of approval and will deliver in terms of freshness, quality and flavour.

And finally the day has arrived; Indian Kheema Masala (Beef Mince with Potatoes, Peas and Rice) is now available through Feastively.

My Recipes as Fresh Meal Boxes – a Collaboration with Feastively; thespiceadventuress.com

One of the most popular recipes on my blog, I am so glad this was the first dish that made it to the meal box. If you were to make this dish from scratch, it will easily take 45 minutes to an hour. But now with the Feastively fresh meal box, all that you need to do is three easy steps and dinner ready in 15 minutes.

The whole spice infused caramelized onion and aromatic base is what takes the longest to cook in an Indian dish like this which has already been prepared for you. All that you need to do is cook the potatoes, peas and beef mince, add it to the mildly spiced sauce followed by yoghurt to get a delicious beef mince masala in no time at all. Serve it with a side of steamed rice for a hearty, flavoursome dinner. A glass of red would just make it perfect.

My Recipes as Fresh Meal Boxes – a Collaboration with Feastively; thespiceadventuress.com

It’s pretty simple to use Feastively. First, you opt for a meal plan based on the size of your family. And then add the recipes from the week’s list to your plan. The recipes are changed on a weekly basis so that there is something new to try and boredom doesn’t kick in from eating the same dishes. The dishes are also spread out across several different cuisines, all of which are Aussie family favourites.

The biggest advantage of using a fresh meal box service like Feastively is not just the amount of time you save but also the fact that it is way healthier than your local fast food or takeaway. There are no preservatives or additives, just fresh and seasonal ingredients prepped and put together for you to reduce cooking time.

While the Indian Kheema Masala is the first one to be launched, there are others being tested which will soon be introduced into the weekly menu. And if you have any dishes or recipes from the blog that you would like to see on Feastively, please do comment below and we will try our best to incorporate it.

So please do try it out and let me know your feedback; it would mean a lot to know what you think about the dish.

My Recipes as Fresh Meal Boxes – a Collaboration with Feastively; thespiceadventuress.com

 

Dahi Bhindi (Indian style Okra/Ladysfinger in a Yoghurt based Gravy)

Okra/bhindi/ladysfinger – my absolute favourite vegetable. In fact if you ask me what would I like my last meal on Earth to be, I would say chappathi, lentils and okra (just the way my mom makes).

I have loved every single okra preparation I have had till now in my life. Guess I love this veggie so much that even a bad dish wins approval from me. My love for okra is quite legendary at home that my siblings often tell my mom not to ask what I would like to eat (when on vacation) as I would say an okra dish.

While I enjoy every style of okra preparation, one of my all time favourites is the stir fried one with lots of onions, garlic and chillies. This okra/bhindi raita is another favourite of mine; pairs so well with a simple pilaf.

But today, I am sharing an okra dish that I have had only at restaurants till now. Dahi Bhindi or okra in creamy yoghurt based gravy is a popular dish in the Northern parts of India. Best paired with chappathis (Indian flatbread), this dish is an absolute winner if you love okra.

Dahi Bhindi (Indian style Okra/Ladysfinger in a Yoghurt based Gravy) - thespiceadventuress.com

Most people are put off by the slimy texture of okra and there are a few tips by which you can prevent this. The first tip is to wash and dry the okra well. After draining the excess water, I use a kitchen towel to completely dry the okra before cutting it which greatly helps to reduce the slimy texture.

Also, lightly frying the okra before adding it to the gravy helps to prevent it getting slimy. In a non stick or cast iron pan, add the okra pieces and lightly fry with no oil (or with just a tsp of oil) on low heat. I always follow this method if I am using the okra especially for curries or gravies.

Another tip is not to stir the okra around too much while cooking. Always cook on medium heat and stir only occasionally.

Dahi Bhindi (Indian style Okra/Ladysfinger in a Yoghurt based Gravy) - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. 400gms okra/bhindi/ladysfinger, remove head and cut into half
  2. 1 Spanish onion; finely chopped
  3. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  4. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  5. Salt, to season
  6. 1 cup thick yoghurt
  7. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  8. 2 tbsp coriander leaves; finely chopped
  9. Ground masala
  • ¾ cup freshly grated coconut
  • 3-4 green chillies (adjust according to heat preferences)
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 5 shallots/small onion or 1 small red onion; chopped 

Method:

  1. In a non stick pan/kadai, heat 1 tbsp oil and lightly fry the okra till half done. Remove and keep aside.
  2. Grind all the ingredients given under the ground masala to a fine paste like consistency and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan that the okra was fried, heat the remaining oil and add the mustard seeds. Once it begins to crackle, add the chopped onions. Sauté till softened and translucent.
  4. Then add the ground masala, turmeric powder and season with salt. Cook on low heat till the rawness of the ingredients has gone away and oil begins to appear at the sides.
  5. Beat the curd well and add this to the masala; mix well and add enough water to get thick gravy.
  6. Then add the okra and cook on low heat till done.
  7. Remove from heat and add the coriander leaves; mix well.
  8. Keep for atleast 15 minutes for the flavours to develop.

Note – The gravy can thicken on standing or when refrigerated. Add a little water while reheating to get the desired consistency.

Dahi Bhindi (Indian style Okra/Ladysfinger in a Yoghurt based Gravy) - thespiceadventuress.com

Adzuki Beans and Potatoes in Charmagaz Curry

‘Charmagaz’ refers to an assortment of four different seeds – watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber and pumpkin (all members of the Cucurbitaceous plants).

These seeds are quite popular as delicious and healthy snacks but are extensively used for cooking in the Rajasthani cuisine of India. Just as nuts are used to add texture and creaminess to a gravy or curry, a paste of these seeds are used to lend creaminess to the dish and at one-fourth of the cost.

One of my favourite snacks from my childhood was these seeds; I would also add sunflower seeds to the list. Snacking on seeds is extremely popular in the Middle East and that’s how I picked it up. But quite recently, I tumbled upon the use of these seeds in rich, flavourful Indian curries.

And this piece of wisdom came from this amazing blog; Sanjeeta is a well known food blogger, photographer and stylist. She had posted a recipe for mushroom charmagaz and that’s how I learnt how to use these seeds.

The charmagaz remains the same, but the recipes are highly varied so you actually get two ideas on how to incorporate these healthy seeds into your diet. And these are easily available at all Indian stores or you could buy a mix from any shop selling seeds and nuts, especially the Middle Eastern ones.

Adzuki beans and potatoes in charmagaz curry; this dish is high on nutrition. There’s protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, essential fats and a whole lot of other nutrients from the seeds. Paired with wholewheat rotis and a fresh, garden salad on the side; this one is a delicious, flavourful vegetarian delight!

Adzuki Beans and Potatoes in Charmagaz Curry - a healthy vegetarian delight - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Ingredients:

1. 1 cup adzuki beans; soaked overnight
2. 2 large potatoes, cut into cubes
3. 3 tbsp charmagaz; soaked in warm water
4. ½ tbsp poppy seeds; soaked in warm water
5. 3 dry red chilli; soaked in warm water
6. 3-4 tbsp milk
7. 1 large onion, finely chopped
8. Half of a ripe tomato, finely chopped
9. 3 garlic cloves
10. 1 inch ginger
11. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
12. 1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
13. 1 tsp coriander powder
14. ¼ tsp cumin powder
15. 2 tbsp oil
16. 1 dry bay leaf
17. 3 cloves
18. 1 inch cinnamon bark
19. Salt, to season
20. 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method:

1. Soak the charmagaz, poppy seeds and dry red chilli in warm water or at least 30 minutes.
2. After 30 min, drain and grind to a paste with milk, garlic and ginger. Add water, if necessary. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add the bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon bark. Cook for a few seconds on low heat till fragrant and then add the chopped onions.
4. Saute till light brown and then add the spice powders. Cook for a further minute and then add the tomatoes. Saute till all the ingredients come together and a mushy consistency is achieved.
5. Then add the ground paste and mix well to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, season with salt and add 2 cups of water. Bring to boil.
6. Then add the adzuki beans and cook till ¾ ths done. Add water to loosen up the gravy if too dry.
7. Add the potatoes and cook till done (at this stage, the beans will be soft but not mushy).
8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
9. Serve warm.

Adzuki Beans and Potatoes in Charmagaz Curry - a healthy vegetarian delight - thespiceadventuress.com

Adzuki Beans and Potatoes in Charmagaz Curry - a healthy vegetarian delight - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

Arbi/ Baby Taro in Spicy Yoghurt Curry (Chembu Moru Curry)

Food spells memories, for all of us. But there are some dishes, the very thought of which opens an overwhelming floodgate of memories. This dish does that to me!

I have eaten this baby taro in spicy yogurt curry, (otherwise known as chembu moru curry in my native language) as long as I can remember. Though I am a great veggie lover, there are a few which are my strong favourites of which taro or arbi features at the top.

2

All through my childhood, my mum used to prepare this traditional Kerala curry which goes perfectly with steamed white rice; add a side of fried fish and it is bliss on a plate. (I am sure the ‘Mallus’ are drooling at this stage).

But once I left home for higher studies, this dish became a rarity in my life. I used to crave like crazy for this chembu moru curry but to no avail. I still remember distinctly the first vacation when I went home and my mum had made this for lunch. I sat there with an overwhelming feeling looking at my plate, not wanting to finish the meal wondering when I will get to eat it next. Even though I was so grateful to my mum for understanding my hidden desires, I never even thought of thanking her on that day. A simple thanks would have made her so happy, but it took me years to learn the art of saying ‘thanks’ to my parents.

And every vacation, this dish would be a feature on the day I arrived home or at least the next one. Even after marriage and learning to cook this dish, my dad would source these for my mum when he knew I was visiting saying ‘she likes it so much, make it for lunch’ much to the chagrin of my siblings (they do not share my enthusiasm for this taro in spicy yoghurt curry).

3

It’s a little hard to find the same variety of baby taro as used in Kerala, and I have to rely on the frozen ones. I have tried this dish with the locally available taro which tastes delicious too but whenever the memory strikes, I have to make the same using the frozen ones.

And every single time, I make it today and feed my son, I say a silent thanks inside to my parents for showing their love in such simple ways.

5

Ingredients:

1. 200 gm Baby Taro/Arbi /Chembu; peeled and diced
2. 2 cups yoghurt/curd(thick curd which is not too tart is best)
3. 4 tbsp grated coconut
4. ¾ tsp Red chilli powder
5. ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
6. 3 sprigs Curry leaves
7. 2 cloves Garlic
8. ½ tsp Jeera/cumin seeds
9. ½ tsp Mustard seeds
10. 3 Dry red chilli
11. 2 tbsp Coconut/vegetable oil
12. Salt, to season

Method:

• Cook the chembu/arbi pieces along with red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and half of the curry leaves in a deep pan or pressure cooker.
• Blend curd, coconut, jeera and garlic with a little water (the consistency has to be creamy and slightly thick, not runny)
• Once the arbi/chembu has cooked, add the curd mixture and bring to boil; remove from heat.
• Meanwhile, make a tadka using mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chilli and add this to the above.
• Serve hot with steamed rice.

1

4

Do you have a special dish like this in your life? Which one would it be?

Adzuki Beans Curry with Kadai Spice Blend

Adzuki beans are small reddish beans commonly used in Japanese and Chinese cooking. In fact, the name ‘adzuki’ is of Japanese origin. In the East Asian cuisine, these red beans are common in sweets and desserts, often used as a paste or boiled with milk to make a reduction.

In India, dishes using adzuki beans can be commonly found in Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Referred to as Lal Chavali in Marathi which literally means red cowpea, chori in Gujarathi or ravaa’n in Punjabi, these beans are often used in chaats (Indian street food). I am not quite sure if there are other traditional dishes using these beans. If you know anything more about it, please do write to me and let me know.

I first came across adzuki beans at the local market; though the beans looked familiar to many others, I knew I had not cooked or tasted it before. So a pack of these came home with me and I have been trying out many dishes, especially Indian ones with these red beans.

1 (2)

Recently, I made a batch of the kadai spice blend which is commonly used to flavour Indian curries. And it suddenly struck me to combine this spice blend with the adzuki beans and come up with an Indian curry of sorts.

This adzuki bean curry is as Indian as it gets; the curry paste is prepared by caramelizing onions and aromatics to which tomatoes and finally the spice blend gets added. Just like any other lentil, it is best to soak these beans overnight and then cook the following day to reduce cooking times. And yes, if you have the Indian pressure cooker, life is bliss!

4

2

Like I mentioned, the kadai spice blend is quite common in North Indian cuisine and a regular feature in all restaurant menus. Quite a versatile blend incorporating the flavours of coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom and bay leaf, this blend can be used in other Indian curries too, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

So, here is the method to prepare Indian style adzuki beans curry with kadai spice blend;

5

Ingredients:

1. 2 cups adzuki beans, soaked overnight
2. 2 red onions, finely chopped
3. 2 ripe red tomatoes, finely chopped
4. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5. 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
6. 1 tea bag
7. 5 sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped
8. Salt, to taste
9. 2 tsp kadai spice blend
10. ½ tsp turmeric powder
11. 1 tsp red chilli powder
12. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil

Kadai Spice Blend:

This makes around half a bottle of spice blend; store the excess in an airtight container.

1. 6 tbsp coriander seeds
2. 1 tbsp fennel seeds
3. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
4. 1 ½ tsp black peppercorns
5. 8 green cardamom
6. 2 black cardamom
7. 1 inch cinnamon stick
8. 2 dried bay leaf
9. 10 dry kashmiri red chillies

Method:

To prepare the spice blend:

1. Dry roast all the ingredients (and as always, take care not to burn). Cool and grind to a fine powder. When dry roasting spices, remove from the pan onto a parchment or baking paper after switching off flame. Never leave it in the same pan itself as the spices continue to roast in the residual heat.


To prepare the curry:

2. In a deep pan or pressure cooker, heat oil and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Saute till the onions have caramelized well.
3. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook till the tomatoes turn mushy.
4. Turn down the heat and add all the spices. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Add the washed and soaked beans along with a tea bag (use an ordinary tea bag and not the flavoured ones). Adding the tea bag is optional; this is only to lend the deep dark colour to the dish and does not really add much flavour to the dish.
6. Season with salt and add 2 cups of water. Cook till the beans are done to the consistency you like.
7. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
8. Serve hot with rice or flat breads.

1

6

3

Pork Veenjaali (Indian-style pork curry with a sweet, spicy, aromatic marinade)

The hols are over, school term has started and I am back from hibernation. My life feels much more normal, relaxed and disciplined from this week…with a determination to get my commitments back in order. This post was meant to be published later in the week, but since I have a lot of stuff going on in the next few days, I decided to post it today itself.

Today’s dish is pork veenjaali – and I have absolutely no clue of the origin of this dish. I found the recipe on http://www.swapnascuisine.com/ and the first time I read the recipe, I knew this one was going to be an absolute winner. Reminded me of pork vindaloo with minor differences but I must say, the dish tasted different.

1

The secret to this awesome curry lies in the curry paste which infuses the pork with a sweet yet spicy and aromatic flavour. If your taste buds are low on the spice quotient, adjust the spices accordingly. This curry paste has found an indispensable spot in my pantry and I plan to experiment with it as much as possible.

3

So, here’s the recipe for an Indian-style pork curry – pork veenjaali;

Ingredients:

1. Pork (shoulder cut) – 1 kg, cut into medium-sized pieces
2. Red onion – 2 medium, sliced
3. Ripe, red tomatoes – 2 medium, chopped
4. Curry leaves – 2-3 sprigs
5. Vegetable oil – 3-4 tbsp
6. Salt – to taste
7. Veenjaali curry paste
• Raisins – 25 gm
• Garlic – 8 cloves
• Ginger – 1 inch piece
• Tamarind paste – 1 ½ tsp
• Black peppercorns – ½ tsp
• Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
• Cumin seeds/jeera – ½ tsp
• Cloves – 3
• Cinnamon stick – 2 inch bark
• Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
• Green chillies – 2
• Shallots/Madras onion – 2
• Dry red chilli – 8

Method:

1. To prepare the veenjaali curry paste, grind all the ingredients in the list and keep aside. If you prefer less heat, adjust the spices accordingly.

2. Heat oil in a deep pan and sauté sliced onions till light brown. (I slow cooked this pork curry but you can speed things up using a pressure cooker.)
3. Add the ground paste and sauté well till oil separates; then add the tomato pieces and sauté well.
4. Into this add the pork and curry leaves and mix well. Season with salt.
5. Add 1 – 1 ½ cups of warm water, bring to boil and cook covered on very low flame for 30 minutes. (If using a pressure cooker, cook for 3 whistles)

6. After 30 minutes, open the lid and check if the pork is cooked well. If not, cook longer till done. Add more water if necessary to adjust desired consistency.

7. Serve hot with Indian flat breads or steamed rice.

4

2

Indian-style Sausage Curry and a tribute to my mom

Often people ask me the question, ‘who is your biggest inspiration to cook?’ And I have always answered blindly – my mom. The truth is that I have never really sat down and thought about it. But finally I did and the answers surprised me.

My biggest inspiration to cook comes from myself. My mom has never directly influenced me to cook, let alone get into the kitchen. She grew up as a tomboy and got into cooking only after marriage. And everything she has learnt since is self-taught. She never turned to her own mum for culinary advice nor did she have a mother-in-law in her new home. And so she believes that no one needs to be taught cooking – you learn it when you have to cook and if you have the passion for it.

Having said that, my talent for cooking comes from my mother. It is purely genetic and all who have sampled my mum’s cooking will completely agree to this. In fact, my entire creative gene comes from my mother. Like I already mentioned my mum is a completely self-taught woman, a hardworking, courageous woman who might not have gone to college but can easily hold a conversation with anyone on any subject. Her desire and quest for knowledge is infectious – the singular trait that she has always tried to instill in her daughters. She taught us to be strong, be confident, be proud of being a woman and never take ‘no’ for an answer.

And now when I have started a food blog, I know she secretly feels proud of it. She does not understand blogging and its technicalities but she is super proud that her daughter is doing something creative and letting the world see her talents. But I also hear and feel the twinge of regret in her voice that she has never been able to take her talent (which is so much more than what I have) to the world and achieve something of her own. And even though I know she will never read this blog post, I still want to tell her that all I know about cooking or understanding flavours come from you, albeit indirectly, for you have always paved the way for me, pushed boundaries and I will always be proud to say, ‘my cooking journey began as your little assistant.’

My mom hates posing for photographs and I have very few with her and this one is most precious of all….on my wedding day just before entering church. A priceless moment for me!

1

Hence today’s dish had to be something from my childhood. It is an Indian style sausage curry that my mum used to make often while we lived in the Middle East.

Frozen sausages were commonly available in those days but it was a totally foreign ingredient for my mum and she came up with this Indian style curry using sausages which goes amazingly well with hot phulkas. I have lost count of the number of people who has learnt this dish from her including her own daughters.

You can use any type of sausage that you want but it’s the skinless hot dogs that work best for this dish. If you are using flavoured ones, then remember that it adds to the flavour of the final dish so make sure that you pair the spices accordingly. Though we usually have this curry with Indian breads like phulkas/chappathis, I did try it out as a sandwich filling and the result was lip smacking.

So here’s the recipe for an Indian style sausage curry; classic Indian flavours of sweet, spicy and aromatic.

Ingredients:

1. Skinless hot dogs/sausages – 8
2. Spanish onion – 3, finely sliced
3. Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed
4. Ginger – ½ inch, grated
5. Curry leaves – 1-2 sprigs
6. Ripe red tomato – 2 large, finely sliced
7. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
8. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
9. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
10. Cumin powder – ½ tsp
11. Salt – to season
12. Vegetable oil – to shallow fry sausages
13. Fresh coriander leaves – 3 tbsp, finely chopped

Method:

1. Slice the sausage into medium sized pieces (round pieces); heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan and lightly fry the sausages. Keep aside.
2. In the same pan, heat more vegetable oil (if necessary) and add the sliced onions. Saute for 5 minutes.
3. Add the ginger, garlic, curry leaves and sauté till the onions are light brown.
4. Once browned, add the spice powders and sauté for another minute on low heat.
5. Add the tomatoes and sauté till a mushy consistency is reached.
6. Add ½ cup water, bring to boil and season with salt. Remember that sausages have salt in it so add accordingly.
7. Add the sausages and cook on medium heat till done. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Indian style sausage curry - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

Lamb Meatball Curry….and a year completed as a Melbournian

The latter part of the title first – we are ‘one year old’ in Melbourne now. The decision to move base from India to a new country was not an easy one. It’s been a mixed year so far – with many highs, many lows and a few in-between experiences.

Personally, the biggest high for me was starting this blog – a totally spontaneous, random decision that has become my passion or must I say, my obsession now. I have so many dreams as far as this blog goes but no idea how many will come to fruition. But for sure, I ain’t giving up without a fight!

Coming back to the recipe, as a family, we are simply crazy about meatballs. We can have it at any time of the day and in all forms – as appetizer, in sandwiches, with pasta etc. This dish was just another way to express that love.

Lamb meatball curry - an everyday curry for a delicious meal - thespiceadventuress.com

Meatball curries are quite common in India especially in the Northern regions. There are many variations and mostly due to the different spice mixes used. This is a simple recipe by Madhur Jaffrey – who is rightly referred to as the queen bee of the British Indian culinary scene. The meatballs are easy to prepare (you could even make these as a starter skipping the gravy part). The spice mix made from bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves is a simple one but lends a beautiful aroma and flavour to the curry. The carrom/ajwain seeds added to the meatballs not only make it super healthy but also take the flavour quotient a notch higher.

So here’s lamb meatball curry – finger-lickin good!

Lamb meatball curry - an everyday curry for a delicious meal - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

1. Lamb mince – 1 kg
2. Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
3. Ginger – 1 inch, grated
4. Garlic – 2 cloves, grated
5. Green chilli – 1, finely chopped
6. Coriander leaves – ½ cup, finely chopped
7. Salt – to season
8. Carrom seeds – ½ tsp

For the gravy:

9. Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
10. Onion – 2 medium, finely chopped
11. Ginger – 1 inch, grated
12. Garlic – 2 cloves, grated
13. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
14. Tomatoes – 3, finely chopped
15. Green chilli – 1, finely chopped
16. Salt – to season
17. Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp
18. Masala powder – ½ tsp
• Bay leaf – 1
• Cloves – 4
• Cinnamon – 1 inch bark
19. Coriander leaves – ½ cup, finely chopped

Method:

• To prepare the meatballs, combine all the ingredients 1-8 in a large bowl. Mix well and form small balls. Keep refrigerated for at least 30 minutes.
• In a pan, heat oil and crackle cumin seeds. Saute onions, garlic and ginger till light brown.
• Then add turmeric powder, green chilli and tomatoes; sauté till the tomatoes turn mushy and oils starts to leave the sides of the pan.
• Add the masala powder and enough water to cook the meatballs. Season with salt.
• Bring to boil and add the meatballs. Cook till the meatballs are tender and juicy.
• Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.

Lamb meatball curry - an everyday curry for a delicious meal - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: