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Tag Archives: non vegetarian

Zigni (Ethiopian/Eritrean style Beef Stew)

I travel the world through food, and today I am taking you to East Africa!

It was ‘berbere’ that introduced me to East African cuisine, specifically Ethiopian cuisine. Suddenly my world opened up to a whole new spectrum of flavours and dishes. From this traditional tomato salad to a grilled fish recipe inspired by my new found love for berbere, I wanted to learn more about the vast expanse called African cuisine which is as colourful as its land, culture and people.

This time, I did not just re-visit Ethiopia but learnt of the existence of a whole new country, Eritrea.

Sharing borders with Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti, Eritrea has a fascinating cuisine with borrowed influences from all these bordering countries. And I learnt that berbere was hence, commonly used in Eritrean cuisine too. Today’s dish, Zigni, is a great example of that.

Zigni (Ethiopian/Eritrean style Beef Stew) - thespiceadventuress.com

Zigni is essentially a beef stew spiced with berbere and simmered in a tomato based gravy. It is a relatively spicy dish, but nothing crazy. If you can handle an Indian curry, you can enjoy this one too.

Ever since I discovered berbere, it has become a staple spice paste in my kitchen. Very flavourful from both whole spices and aromatics like garlic but it is the paprika that gives it that classic red colour and the spice hit. Hot paprika needs to be used for berbere and not the sweet or smoked version, both of which will alter the final taste of the spice paste. Fenugreek is another crucial ingredient along with other whole spices like cumin, cardamom, coriander, pepper etc….

Just as with all spice blends, berbere too has variations but the key spices that go into the paste remain the same. And that goes for the preparation of Zigni too…I found quite a few variations of this dish but the general idea remains same. So it is really important to research a bit, read up many recipes from as authentic a source as possible before trying out traditional dishes like this. The version that I have made is adapted from a couple of recipes and the recipe of berbere is from this African cookbook.

Berbere - thespiceadventuress.com

Traditionally Zigni is had with Injeri, a soft spongy sourdough risen flatbread which is an amazing combination. While I have had Injeri before, I do not know how to make it so paired this beef stew with garlic herb foccacia. Any sort of bread with a spongy texture is idea with Zigni to soak up all the juices of the stew.

So let’s get cooking this traditional dish of Eritrea – Zigni!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg beef; cubed
  2. 1 can diced tomatoes
  3. 4 spring onions (only the white part); sliced
  4. 2 garlic cloves; sliced
  5. 1 small onion; sliced
  6. 3 tbsp berbere (click here for recipe)
  7. ½ tsp sugar
  8. ½ cup fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
  9. Vegetable oil
  10. Salt, to season

Method:

  1. Heat 4-5 tbsp oil in a deep bottom pan; sear the beef cubes in batches and keep aside.
  2. Add more oil if necessary and when medium hot, add the garlic, onions and spring onions. Cook till softened and then add the berbere.
  3. Mix well to combine and cook on low heat for a minute.
  4. Next add the tomatoes and mix well. Add the sugar and season with salt. Cook on medium for 2 minutes and then add the seared beef cubes.
  5. Also add 2 cups water and bring to boil. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
  6. Simmer and cook till the beef pieces are tender and soft (stir occasionally and add more water if necessary).
  7. Finish with fresh coriander leaves mixed through.
  8. Rest for at least 30 minutes before serving for the flavours to develop.

Zigni (Ethiopian/Eritrean style Beef Stew)

 

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Lamb Cutlets (with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Puree, Couscous Salad and Charred Broccolini)

Pan grilled Lamb Cutlets with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Puree, Couscous Salad and Charred Broccolini – this was the mains I served for my Christmas in July family dinner.

Potatoes with Smoked Salmon, Capers and Dill - thespiceadventuress.com

If you had already checked out the Potatoes with Smoked Salmon recipe that I posted last month, you would be aware that I had collaborated with ALDI Australia to create a Christmas in July feast. And as I mentioned in the previous post, there was no intention to share the recipes here as it was a social media/photography project. But with so many readers asking for the recipes, I thought of posting it here rather than sending screen shots as this is quite a lengthy one with so many different components.

The best thing about this dish is that each individual component is a dish within itself. The red pepper cashew puree can be paired with any sort of grilled meat, fish or vegetable. The charred broccolini with a hint of spice makes an excellent side and the couscous salad is so hearty and fulfilling that it can be a delicious salad or a light lunch at your next barbecue or summer party.

It’s important that you cook the lamb cutlets right as it’s very easy to overcook these and dry cutlets are not at all nice. Depending on the thickness, 1-2 minutes on each side and then rest for another 5 minutes to get the perfect cutlets. You can also sear for a minute on high heat and then finish off the cooking in the oven. Either way, it’s best medium rare for a juicy, delicious texture.

Lamb Cutlets (with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Puree, Couscous Salad and Charred Broccolini) - thespiceadventuress.com

The roasted red pepper cashew puree is an absolute must try. Believe me; you do need this recipe in your life because it’s so delicious and versatile. It’s a perfect accompaniment to any sort of grilled meat, seafood or veggies but it can also be a great dip. I have used it like a pesto before with pasta and grilled veggies; the result was brilliant.

So let me stop rambling and get on to the recipes as there are quite a few. And enjoy it as a wholesome dish as I served it or make components that you enjoy making the dish truly yours.

Lamb Cutlets (with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Puree, Couscous Salad and Charred Broccolini)

Lamb Cutlets

Ingredients:

  1. 10 lamb cutlets; frenched
  2. 4 tbsp olive oil
  3. ½ tsp freshly milled black pepper
  4. 1 tsp paprika
  5. Salt, to season

Method:

  1. Prepare a marinade with the olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Place the lamb cutlets in a bowl, pour the marinade over and rub well to coat all the pieces. Keep for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Heat a pan till smoking hot (I like to use either a grill or a cast iron pan) and place the lamb cutlets (cook in batches). Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Cook all the cutlets in this manner.

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Puree

(Adapted from thevintagemixer.com)

Ingredients:

  1. 4 red bell peppers/capsicum (whole)
  2. 3 medium garlic cloves
  3. ½ cup raw, unsalted cashewnuts
  4. Salt, to season
  5. 1 tsp chilli flakes
  6. Extra virgin olive oil
  7. Juice of ½ lemon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan forced)
  2. Line a tray with baking paper and place the peppers inside. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and roast for about 40-45 minutes at 200°C (might vary according to oven) till the skin of the peppers have blackened.
  3. Remove and cover with a cloth for about 5 minutes; this makes it easier to peel off the skin.
  4. Once the peppers have lightly cooled, remove the skin, pith and seeds.
  5. Place in a food processor along with cashewnuts, garlic, chilli flakes, salt, lemon juice and 3 tbsp olive oil. Blitz well and add more olive oil as needed to get a smooth puree.

Note – If you want a really smooth puree, you can strain the sauce but I skipped the step.

Charred Broccolini

Ingredients:

  1. 2 broccolini bunches
  2. Salt, to season
  3. Chilli flakes
  4. 1 small garlic; finely sliced
  5. 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Slice each broccolini into 3 pieces (2 stalk pieces + 1 floret)
  2. Heat olive oil in a stove top grill (pan can also be used) and when really hot, add the broccolini stalks and garlic. Cook for a minute on high heat.
  3. Then add the florets, chilli flakes and season with salt.
  4. Toss on high heat for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  5. Serve warm

Couscous Salad

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup couscous
  2. 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  3. 1 Lebanese cucumber; finely chopped
  4. 1 medium red onion; finely chopped
  5. 1 tomato; finely chopped
  6. 1 red/yellow bell pepper; finely chopped
  7. ½ cup fresh parsley; finely chopped
  8. 5-6 olives; finely sliced
  9. 50gms feta
  10. Salt, to season
  11. 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  12. Juice of 1 lemon
  13. Freshly milled black pepper

Method:

  1. Cook the couscous as per packet instructions.
  2. To make the dressing, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small capped container. Shake vigorously and keep aside.
  3. Once the couscous is cooked, use a fork to separate the grains. When cooled, add the remaining ingredients and toss well.
  4. Add the crumbled feta and dressing just before serving (or the salad will go soggy), mix again and serve immediately.

Lamb Cutlets (with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Puree, Couscous Salad and Charred Broccolini) - thespiceadventuress.com

Lamb Cutlets (with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Puree, Couscous Salad and Charred Broccolini) - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

Roast Chicken with Vegemite Masala (with Chilli Garlic Asparagus and Cumin spiced Mashed Potatoes)

Vegemite Masala – my boldest Indo Australian fusion dish to date.

This dish was sparked off by a conversation I had a couple of months ago with a friend based in the Middle East. She inboxed me asking about interesting ways to use Vegemite, a bottle of which was gifted to her husband by an Australian client visiting his company. I told her I had no clue as I had never used it before and not a big fan of it either (inspite of it being an Aussie icon).

A couple of days later, I receive another message from her saying how her husband used it to make roast chicken which turned out quite delicious. Well, I asked her for the recipe and poor thing had no clue. Of course we know how it works – the man would enter the kitchen once in a blue moon, dish out something that turns out great and then no end to the bragging. Sigh!

To cut a long story short, I was left with no recipe but a fantabulous idea which I been toying with for the past couple of months. Finally here it is, after much refinement – Roast chicken with vegemite masala served with chilli garlic asparagus and cumin spiced mashed potatoes. Our early Christmas dinner!

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Vegemite is ‘very much’ an acquired taste. For those who have never heard of it before, you can read the Vegemite story here.

My son who usually agrees to eat anything I put on his plate vehemently opposed to picking a bottle of Vegemite off the supermarket shelf. Well for the hubby, he just smirked his face knowing well how crazy I have gone these days.

Well, the thing with vegemite is that is a rather strong yeasty flavour and smell. So the challenge was to draw out the rich flavours masking the unpleasant ones. And what better way to do the job than spices!

So I combined the most traditional Indian curry base with vegemite to create a spicy marinade which was then generously massaged onto the chicken Maryland and then roasted. By the way did you know that in Australia, chicken Maryland is a butcher’s cut as opposed to America where it is the name of traditional dish.

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Chicken Maryland is a great option for smaller families who do not want the tedious job of roasting a whole chicken. This is affordable, easy to roast and no leftovers.

To go along with the vegemite chicken, I pan roasted asparagus with a bit of butter, chilli and garlic. Yum!

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And of course there’s no roast chicken without mashed potatoes; so check out my version of garlicky potatoes spiced generously with cumin and caraway seeds.

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Believe me when I say that this is delicious and do give it a shot. But if this sounds too crazy or you cannot get vegemite in your part of the world, just omit it and you will still have a delicious roast chicken recipe.

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Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  1. 2 Chicken Maryland (with skin)
  2. 1 large onion; cut into large cubes
  3. 1 cup white button mushrooms
  4. 1 lime; halved
  5. 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  6. 1 medium red onion; finely chopped
  7. 2 small ripe tomatoes; finely chopped
  8. 3 garlic cloves; finely grated
  9. 1 inch ginger; finely grated
  10. 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  11. ½ tsp caraway seeds
  12. ½ tsp cumin powder
  13. ½ tsp fennel powder
  14. ½ tsp freshly milled black pepper
  15. Salt, to season
  16. 1 tbsp vegemite
  17. Juice of ½ lemon

For the asparagus:

  1. 12 green asparagus
  2. 1 large garlic clove; sliced finely
  3. ½ tsp chilli flakes
  4. 1 tbsp butter
  5. Salt, to season

For the mashed potato:

  1. 500gms potatoes (I used russet but you can use any which lends a creamy texture)
  2. 2 large garlic clove
  3. 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  4. ½ cup milk
  5. 1 tsp dried oregano
  6. 1 tsp cumin seeds; coarsely crushed
  7. Salt, to season
  8. Black pepper, to season
  9. 1 tsp toasted pine nuts; crushed coarsely

Method:

For the roast chicken:

  1. In a pan, heat butter and add the onions. Sauté till light brown and then add the garlic and ginger.
  2. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes and then add the spices except salt. Mix well and cook on low heat for another minute and then add the tomatoes.
  3. Increase heat and continue to sauté till the tomatoes have turned mushy and the whole mixture begins to come together.
  4. At this stage add vegemite; mix well, taste and then season with salt as the vegemite is naturally salty.
  5. Balance flavours with lemon juice and remove from heat. Allow to cool.
  6. Rub the chicken pieces with salt and pepper; apply the prepared masala (reserve a little) liberally all over the chicken pieces and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as you can. Bring to room temperature before roasting.
  7. Heat the oven to 200°C (fan forced) and line an oven proof tray with baking paper. Place the chicken pieces inside (skin side facing upwards) along with the diced onions. Apply a bit of the reserved vegemite masala over the onions and sprinkle with salt.
  8. Roast for 15 minutes and then turn the chicken pieces over; add the mushrooms at this stage. Apply the remaining masala over the chicken and roast again for another 10 minutes.
  9. Turn the chicken pieces over again, increase heat to 220°C and cook for another 5 minutes (or till done) to brown the skin.
  10. Remove from oven, keep covered and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

For the asparagus:

  1. Trim the thick ends of the asparagus (an inch from bottom) and peel the skin off at the lower end of the asparagus.
  2. Blanch the asparagus and keep aside.
  3. Add butter to a pan and add the garlic cloves; cook on low heat till the garlic takes on a light brown colour, then add the chilli flakes.
  4. Immediately add the asparagus, season with salt and stir fry on high heat for about 15 seconds.

For the mashed potato:

  1. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water till soft.
  2. Add 2 tbsp butter to a small pan along with the garlic; cook on low heat till garlic turns golden. Remove from flame and add the crushed cumin seeds and oregano. Keep aside.
  3. In another pan, place the potatoes, milk and remaining butter. Mash and cook on low heat whisking continuously till you get a smooth, creamy mixture.
  4. Season with salt and pepper; remove when desired texture has been achieved. If you want super creamy texture, pass the mashed potatoes through a sieve (I didn’t do this, though).
  5. Add the melted garlic infused butter to the mashed potatoes and stir through.
  6. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

To serve:

Place some mashed potato in the middle of the plate; create a sort of depression or well with the back of a spoon and place the roast chicken on top. Place 3-4 asparagus on one side of the chicken and finish off with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Serve with love and gratefulness in your heart!

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Uppu Kari (Chettinad Mutton Fry)

A conversation I had with my 6 year old last week…..

Adi: Mama, I am watching a cooking show
Me: Oh, that’s nice Adi; I am happy you are interested in cooking
Adi: Yes Mama, I also want to learn to cook yummy food like you make before I get married.
A flabbergasted me: Marriage? What’s the connection between cooking and marriage Adi?
Adi: Mama, you learnt to cook when you married dada rite? Just like that….
Me: No dear, I always liked to cook though I started to do it frequently only after marriage. I was studying till then rite!
Adi lets out a long sigh! As if what I have said makes no sense at all.
Me: Adi, you don’t need to get married to cook yummy food. You can learn to cook whenever you want.
Adi (in a slightly sterner voice): Ok Mama, but I will also cook yummy food when I get married!

I ended the conversation, but making a mental note to return back to it at some point in the future. I was happy that he thought that he should learn cooking and also the fact that he thinks highly of my food and that I have been able to inspire him in some way. I am also relieved that I have not bought him up thinking cooking at home is a woman’s job. But cooking and marriage – I don’t think I understand quite what’s going through his little mind.

And later at dinner, over this delicious plate of Uppu Kari (Chettinad Mutton Fry), I shared this conversation with my other half, who as always laughed it off saying that I am going to make my son a chef.

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Uppu Kari is a very traditional Chettiar dish and one of the best kept secrets of the vibrant Chettinad cuisine of Tamil Nadu. Today, one can find several variations of this dish but very few of these do justice to the real heritage of this preparation.

This recipe comes from the famed heritage restaurant ‘The Bangala Table’ situated in the Chettinad region. Uppu Kari or Chettinad mutton fry may have only a few ingredients but it has complex, fiery flavours and is so uniquely reminiscent of this cuisine.

The Uppu Kari is all about the smoky, vibrant and fiery flavour of the dried chillies; not just any variety but the plump round ones that are called goondu milagu in South India. Easily available at all Indian stores and grocers, these chillies are not very hot when kept intact. The combination of dried chillies with the shallots and garlic slow roasted with the mutton in a large wok is what gives this dish its flavour.

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The ingredients are few and the technique simple; all you need is a bit of patience while the mutton roasts itself slowly absorbing all the flavours. And do add that bit of liver, the texture it provides to the whole dish is amazing.

Ingredients:

1. 500 gms boneless mutton (cut into 1 inch cubes) + 150 gms liver
2. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
3. 15 dry red chilli (round variety/goondu milagu)
4. 1 ½ inch cinnamon bark

For full recipe, visit here

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Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood

Grilled Kangaroo Skewers with Red Chermoula

Kangaroo….yes, I finally did it.

And I can hear friends and family teasing my full fledged Aussie….ness now. But guys, not all Aussies eat kangaroo!

Well, it had been in my mind for the longest time to try out this meat ever since Masterchef happened to me. A lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ later….here I am with grilled kangaroo skewers marinated with red charmoula.

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Red Chermoula is an incredible Moroccan condiment with North African origins; it has a ton of flavour, very vibrant and can be used in so many different ways in the kitchen. There is the green variant too; the green chermoula – the basic difference being the presence of paprika in the red one.

As Mourad Lahlou puts it in his book, ‘New Moroccan’ (from where the recipe for this red charmoula is adapted), chermoula should be seen as a defining Moroccan flavour rather than just labeling it as a marinade, dip or condiment.

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Understanding the flavour profile of the chermoula will enable you to use it in multiple ways in your kitchen. Mourad has outlined plenty of ways in which you can put the red charmoula to use. But I decided to test it out with kangaroo.

Kangaroo meat is extremely low in fat and quite high in protein; so it has to be taken care, not to overcook the meat. This lean, red meat has many nutritional benefits like omega-3s, B group vitamins and also a good source of iron and zinc.

If you are buying kangaroo meat or for that matter any meat, make sure it comes from a sustainable and animal-friendly source. I bought mine from Gourmet Game; they also retail at most of the big supermarkets.

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Being an extremely lean meat, it’s important not to overcook the meat. I bought the fillets which were cut into medium-sized cubes for the skewers. A few minutes on each side are all that you need with this meat.

Now, I do understand that many of you might not get kangaroo meat easily in other countries or would hesitate to consume it for various reasons. But that does not mean that you cannot enjoy the flavours of the charmoula. This recipe can be adapted to any meat and even to vegetables. Get as creative as you want!

And staying with the Moroccan/Middle Eastern theme; the kangaroo skewers with red chermoula were paired with pita bread, hummus, jajik (Turkish cucumber yoghurt dip), salad with lemon and sumac on the side. If you need a good hummus recipe, then I have one right here.

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Ingredients:

For red chermoula:

1. 1 tbsp salt
2. 1 tbsp sweet paprika
3. 1 tsp smoked paprika
4. 1 tsp ground cumin
5. 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
6. 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
7. 2 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
8. 2 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
9. 1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon rind
10. 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
11. 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
12. ½ cup water
13. ½ cup tomato puree


For kangaroo skewers:

14. 500 gms kangaroo fillets, cut into medium-sized cubes
15. 1 red onion, cut into cubes
16. Red chermoula, for marination
17. Salt, to season
18. Vegetable oil, to grill the skewers


Method:


To prepare red chermoula:

1. Put all the spices and the salt in a bowl and whisk well.
2. Then add the garlic, parsley, coriander leaves, lemon rind and lemon juice; mix to combine.
3. Finally, whisk in the oil, water and tomato puree.
4. You can store the excess in an air tight container in the refrigerator for upto 2 weeks.


To prepare the kangaroo skewers:

1. Marinate the kangaroo meat with red chermoula; season with salt if necessary (there is salt in the red charmoula). Keep for at least 4 hours or longer.
2. Soak the wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to avoid burning.
3. Skewer the meat pieces neatly adding a cube of onion at each end.
4. Heat the grill pan to high, season with oil and place the skewers. Baste with red chermoula once in between.
5. 5 minutes on each side is enough to cook the meat to medium. Cover with foil for another 10 minutes before serving. (Check one piece of meat to ascertain that it has cooked enough to suit your taste preferences. If you like it medium rare, 3 minutes on each side would do).
6. Serve with accompaniments.

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Indo-Chinese style Lamb Fry

Been down with a bad bout of flu the whole of last week. Though I wanted this post to go up a few days ago, I simply couldn’t bring myself to sit down and write anything at all.

It was a long weekend and I had quite a few plans chartered out with the family; but this nasty flu spoiled all the fun. The only thing we did was attend the International Street Food Festival and even this, only because we had pre-booked the tickets.

The flu had wrecked havoc on my taste buds and I hardly enjoyed any of the food but I did enjoy one dish which I have never had before. Midye Dolma or stuffed mussels is a Turkish delicacy; it was delicious and I totally loved it. I have posted snap shots from this event on my Facebook page, so you will have to head over there if you would like to have a peek.

Today’s recipe is from the much-loved Indo Chinese cuisine.

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This Indo Chinese style lamb fry has just a handful of ingredients, simple to prepare and is an extremely versatile one. I have made this with beef and chicken too and the result has always been pleasing. You could try a veggie version too with mushrooms, potatoes etc… or maybe tofu.

So getting straight on to the recipe today;

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Ingredients:

1. 500gms lamb, boneless
2. Salt, to season
3. 2 tsp, freshly milled black pepper
4. 4 tbsp soy sauce
5. 1 red onion, diced
6. 3 slit green chillies
7. 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
8. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
9. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10. Spring onions, chopped for garnish
11. ½ cup, fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method:

• Marinate the lamb pieces in salt, pepper and soya sauce for at least an hour and then cook the meat with very little water till ¾ ths done. You could use a regular pan or a pressure cooker.

• Heat some oil in a pan; add diced onion, garlic, green chillies and sauté on high heat for a few seconds. Lower heat and then add the red chilli powder followed by the cooked lamb pieces with the stock.

• Fry off on high heat till the lamb pieces are coated well. Season with salt if necessary.

• Garnish with spring onions and coriander leaves.

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And before signing off, I have a new Instagram account and it is the_spice_adventuress. So come over and say hi if you are a ‘grammer’ too.

Aloo Kheema Masala (Indian style Potato and Lamb Mince Gravy)

Meat mince is one of the most versatile ingredients that I can think of. It can don a thousand delicious avatars; as burgers, cutlets, patties, tacos, curries, pies….the list is endless. And almost every cuisine in the world uses this ingredient in some form or the other.

Today, we are doing an Indian dish; aloo kheema masala or an Indian style potato and lamb mince. You can call it a curry if you want to, but I wouldn’t because for me, curries are dishes that have a rich gravy and this dish is not one of those.

Aloo Kheema Masala (Indian style Potato and Lamb MInce Curry) - thespiceadventuress.com

Scrolling down, you may think that this one has so many ingredients. But instead of getting jittery, especially if you make Indian food infrequently, just open up your spice pantry and you might have most of the ingredients anyway.

Though the list of spices is long, this aloo kheema masala is very simple to prepare. It is quick to make and can be paired with just about any kind of bread. I could eat this with a just a bowl of salad for accompaniment.

If you aren’t too sure of how spices work, you might think this dish is going to be ‘spicy’. But note that the amount of heat is very less in this aloo kheema masala; the dish is more about infusing the whole flavour of the spices rather than adding heat.

Aloo kheema masala or Indian style potato and lamb mince gravy – a dish resplendent with the aroma and flavours of whole spices caressing the lightly fried potatoes and succulent lamb mince, cooled down with a touch of thick yoghurt.

Aloo Kheema Masala (Indian style Potato and Lamb MInce Curry) - thespiceadventuress.com

And this recipe is from this delish blog!

Ingredients:

1. 1 kg, lamb mince
2. 2 large potatoes, cut into cubes
3. 2 medium tomatoes, finely sliced
4. 2 large onion, finely sliced
5. 4 tbsp yoghurt, whisked well
6. 1 green chilli, finely chopped (you may increase or decrease based on heat preference)
7. 1 tsp ginger, grated
8. 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
9. 4 cloves
10. 4 green cardamom
11. 1 black cardamom
12. 1 bay leaf
13. 1 inch cinnamon stick
14. 1 tsp cumin seeds
15. ½ tsp fennel seeds
16. ½ blade of mace(crushed)
17. ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
18. 1 tsp garam masala powder
19. 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (available at all Indian stores)
20. ½ tsp turmeric powder
21. 1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and crushed
22. ½ tsp dried fenugreek(kasuri methi)
23. 1 tsp lemon juice
24. Salt, to season
25. 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan.

2. Fry the cubed potatoes in oil till slightly brown; remove and keep aside.

3. In the same oil, add bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and lightly fry on low heat for a few seconds. This infuses the oil with the various flavours of the spices.

4. Add green chilli, ginger and garlic, sauté till the garlic turns brown.

5. Add sliced onions and fry till the onions get pink and soft.

6. Add minced meat and tomatoes, sauté on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes stirring well.

7. Lower the heat; add whisked yoghurt, red chilli powder, turmeric, crushed coriander seeds, mace and nutmeg powder. Mix well and sauté for another minute.

8. Add the fried potatoes, salt, garam masala powder and ½ cup of warm water. Cover and cook till potatoes and the minced meat are cooked. The potatoes should not get mushy.

9. Finally add lemon juice and kasuri methi, cook for another minute.

10. Dish out, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with parathas, phulkas or pulao.

NOTE: Adjust the consistency of the gravy by increasing or reducing the warm water.

Aloo Kheema Masala (Indian style Potato and Lamb MInce Curry) - thespiceadventuress.com

Stir Fried Chicken with Lime Leaves and Garlic – Guest post for Something is Cooking

Asian stir fries are really simple to prepare, quick and perfect for weekday dinners. Most people tend to overload stir fries with many ingredients which actually detract from the main flavour of the dish. For a good stir fry, you must use only a handful of ingredients and let the flavours shine through.

This chicken stir fry recipe featured in Adam Liaw’s cookbook, Asian after work, is perfect for those rushed weekdays when cooking really becomes a chore. You can even marinate the chicken and freeze it over the weekend which enables you to dish up this stir fry in under 15 minutes.

Stir Fried Chicken with Lime Leaves and Garlic - thespiceadventuress.com

The marinade incorporates classic Asian flavours – salty, sweet and nutty. The crispy texture and the citrusy notes from the lime leaves work well with the smokiness of garlic lifting the flavours of the fried chicken – pair it with a simple vegetable fried rice and you have a true Asian meal in no time at all.

Stir Fried Chicken with Lime Leaves and Garlic - thespiceadventuress.com

Today’s recipe is a guest post for Shalzz of Something’s Cooking. I have known Shalzz for over a year now…and what I like best about her is the joie de vivre she brings to every conversation. An army wife with a career in IT, she has a very balanced approach to life which enables her to touch base with her love for writing and cooking.

Shalzz loves Asian flavours so this one’s for you dear…stir fried chicken with lime leaves and garlic.

Ingredients:

1. 4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
2. 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3. 10 kaffir lime leaves, veins removed and shredded
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Stir Fried Chicken with Lime Leaves and Garlic - thespiceadventuress.com

Laziz Lamb Handi

My favourite protein has always been lamb and my love affair with it has only increased after coming to Australia. You get the most amazing cuts of meat here and I am trying to befriend the butchers at the Dandenong Farmer’s market to learn more about butchery. And for those who live in Melbourne and have not visited this market, it is a great place for family and budget shopping. The fresh produce, vibrancy, colours and the market mayhem…makes it a true shopping adventure each time. Plus, there are plenty of activities and fun stuff for children on the weekends so you can double it up as a fun family outing too.

One of my other favourite hang outs in the market is the Sam’s spice and grocery; you can find an extensive spread of spice blends from around the world here. Apart from spices, you can find a range of pickles, chutneys, condiments too. The Dandenong Farmer’s market also has some amazing eateries and cafes serving different cuisines like Indian, Chinese, Pakistani, Turkish, Mauritian, Dutch etc… to name a few. The Turkish café, Shish Delish is my personal favourite; you ought to try the chicken kebabs there. Want to know more; check out this space!

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So, while I was at the market last week, I bought lamb deciding to make an old classic – laziz lamb handi. This is a traditional lamb preparation that originated in Punjab but went on to become a famous Pakistani dish too (post partition). Traditionally, the meat is prepared in a handi which is an earthenware or metal pot with a narrow mouth in which the lamb is cooked slowly with a medley of spices and aromatics.

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Now, I do not yet possess a handi and prepared the dish in a regular pot but those who have one must definitely try out this dish in a handi as it helps to tie in and blend the flavours much more quickly. I used lamb pieces on the bone because I think the meat and the dish is much more flavourful when the bones are in but you can also use boneless pieces for this dish.

So without much further ado, here’s how I prepared laziz lamb handi – succulent pieces of lamb cooked in a medley of aromatic spices and creamy tomato onion gravy.

Recipe adapted from http://cooks.ndtv.com

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Ingredients:

1. 1 kg lamb – cut into medium-sized pieces, on the bone
2. 300 gm ghee
3. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
4. 6 onions – finely chopped
5. 2 tbsp ginger – crushed
6. 2 tbsp garlic paste
7. 3 bay leaf
8. 3 green cardamom
9. 1 inch cinnamon bark
10. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
11. 1 tbsp coriander seeds
12. 1 tsp mace/javitri – grated
13. 1 ½ tsp dry ginger powder
14. 1 tbsp red chilli powder
15. Salt – to season
16. 4 ripe red tomatoes – chopped
17. 1 – 1 ½ cups yoghurt
18. 1 tbsp cream

Method:

• Heat ghee and oil in a pot and add the chopped onions; sauté till light brown.
• Then add crushed ginger, garlic paste and sauté.
• Next, add all the other spices with tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add water if the lamb gets too dry.
• Now add the lamb pieces, season with salt and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
• Add 2 cups water and cook covered on low flame for 30 minutes or till the meat has become tender. Check in between and add more water if necessary.
• Stir yoghurt and cream to make a smooth mixture and add this to the lamb curry. Stir continuously till the yoghurt has mixed in well to prevent splitting.
• Cook for a while till the gravy has thickened up and coated the lamb pieces well.
• Garnish with a dollop of cream and serve hot with Indian flatbreads or rice.
• Tuck in!

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Beef Cutlet (Kerala style beef patties with onions and aromatics)

One of the biggest culinary revelations that I had after moving to Australia was that a ‘cutlet’ is actually a cut of meat. Back in India, cutlets are similar versions of patties and there are several different types, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. But I am not going to re-name this recipe as the name itself inspires memories of my childhood and cooking with my mom.

My mum used to make these amazing cutlets and I was always the ‘helper’ and my task was always to coat the cutlets evenly with bread crumbs at the end – a job I took upon with great pride every single time. In spite of eating different types of cutlets over the years, the taste of this still lingers in my mouth and I would, unbiasedly, say this is the best beef cutlet ever! And made this for the first time all by myself to give my son, a taste of my childhood.

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Ingredients:

1. Beef mince – 1 kg (get good quality mince without the rough cartilage bits)
2. Potatoes – 3 large, boiled and mashed
3. Red onion – 2 large, finely chopped
4. Garlic – 5 cloves, finely chopped
5. Ginger – 1 inch, finely chopped
6. Green chillies – 7-8, finely chopped (the quantity can be varied according to the type of chilli used)
7. Black pepper – 2 tsp
8. Salt – to season
9. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
10. Egg – 2-3, beaten well
11. Bread crumbs – enough to coat the cutlets (is store-bought, one packet should be enough but if making at home, make crumbs from half a pack of bread)
12. Coriander leaves – 1 cup, finely chopped
13. Vegetable oil – for deep frying

Method:

• Boil the potatoes in salted boiling water, drain and pat dry, mash and keep aside.
• In a large wok, heat 2-3 tbsp oil, add the beef mince, onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies, salt, pepper and coriander powder. Saute for about 5 minutes till the rawness of all ingredients is removed.
• Transfer to a large bowl; add the mashed potatoes and coriander leaves. Mix thoroughly and form oval shaped patties.
• Beat the eggs in a bowl and keep aside.
• Spread the breadcrumbs in a large, flat plate and keep aside.
• Take each patty or cutlet, dip well in the egg mixture and roll in the breadcrumbs till coated evenly. Do this for all cutlets.
• Heat oil in a deep pan and deep fry the cutlets. Serve hot with chutney of choice.

Note. – You can make the cutlets in large batches and store in the freezer. Make sure that the cutlets are coated well with egg and breadcrumbs so that these do not stick to each other.

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