Oh, the temperature is slowly dropping now! How can I tell?
Hubby made a curry last night.
I should explain that we share the cooking…I cook during the week and hubby cooks on the weekends. When we mentioned this to my mother-in-law one time, her response was, ‘How civilized!’
So as he did the cooking, I took pictures along the way and thought I would share his recipe with you. Feel free to adjust some of the amounts of the ingredients. We like lots of garlic, and I mean LOTS!
This recipe is good for the weekend as it will take about 3 hours from preparation to serving. It takes a long time but it is well worth it.
All of our curries start with what we call ‘the three major food groups’, those being onions – 2 large, garlic – 7 cloves and (thumb-length piece) ginger. Cut these up finely by hand or feel free to throw them into a food processor but do each separately. Put the onions into a small bowl and the garlic and ginger together into another bowl and set aside.
You will need 3-4 Tbsp. ghee which is basically clarified butter. We make our own using unsalted butter by putting it into a glass jam jar and setting it on the warming plate on the stove so that it slowly melts. We do this so the milk solids in the butter fall to the bottom and don’t mix with the fat. You can do this in the microwave on a very low setting or on the stove over low heat. Do not stir.
Slice up 2 fresh chili peppers of your liking and put into a small bowl.
OPTIONAL: If you wish to add veggies to the curry, feel free. We add a combination of carrots, peas, green beans and bell pepper, but pick whatever you want. If you don’t want to add the veg, then don’t. We also add beans, again, that is optional but they do add some bulk. Use any type: kidney, chick pea, haricot, pinto, black, black eyes, etc.
Prepare the spices: You’ll need 1 tsp. fennel seed, 6 cloves, cinnamon stick, seeds from three cardamom pods, and seeds from 2 black cardamom seeds. Put all of this into a small bowl. This is spice bowl #1
In another bowl put 2 tsp. of any type chili powder you wish (we make our own with a mix of turmeric, cayenne, ground ginger, ground coriander, paprika, cumin and cinnamon – know as The Mixture) along with 1 tsp. each ground coriander and turmeric. This is spice bowl #2
You will also need 5 Tbsp Full-fat Greek or plain yogurt, 1-2 Tbsp. tomato puree/paste, 1 tsp. salt and 1 sachet of creamed coconut, if needed to help thicken at the end.
We used beef rump steak, but this works well with just about any meat: beef, chicken, lamb or pork. Remove any excess fat and cut up the meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
OK, that is all the ingredients, now for the procedure…
Heat up your stew pot and add 3 Tbsp ghee, being careful not to add any of the milk solids from the bottom of the jar. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the contents of spice bowl #1 and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger and cook 8 minutes, stirring often to keep from sticking.
Add chilis and cook another 2 minutes. Add contents of spice bowl #2 and mix thoroughly and continue to cook 1-2 minutes. The mixture will look extremely dry but this is normal.
(You’ll want to get some water boiling at this point as you will need about 2 pints/4 cups)
Clear a spot in the pan by moving everything to the sides of the pot. Add 1 Tbsp yogurt and let sit, undisturbed until it starts to sizzle and release moisture. Stir it around in the same spot without taking up the mixture from the sides of the pan. You are trying to deglaze the pan at this point. Move the mixture around and clear another spot and add another spoonful of yogurt, again letting it sit until it releases moisture. Do this same procedure of moving and clearing until all yogurt is used.
Add the tomato puree and then mix thoroughly. The mixture will have a beautiful orangey-red color. (sorry about the poor picture quality!)
Add enough boiling water (about 2 pints/4 cups) to the mixture and stir, making it a soup consistency. Cover and simmer 40 minutes to allow the flavors to mix, stirring occasionally.
While that is simmering, heat a frying pan over med-high heat and add peanut oil and brown the meat in batches without having the pieces touching each other…you want the meat to brown, not steam. Set aside.
After the 40 minutes are up, add the salt and stir. Do a taste test for seasoning. By this time, it should have a ‘nice tang’. Add the meat and any juices that have collected in the bottom of the bowl. Add the veggies and/or beans, if using.
Give it a good stir and cover and cook for at least another 30 minutes. Test the veggies and meat and if not tender, cook a bit more. Once they are tender, you may need to add the creamed coconut if the mixture seems a bit thin.
Break up the coconut and add to the curry, stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Turn of heat and let sit about 15 minutes.
Serve over Basmati or Jasmine rice or noodles.