Sri Lankan beef casserole

OMG this was delicious. I used a recipe from Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey, but adapted it because I didn’t have any brisket, just stew packs. I also had some wonderful local beef to use.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1kg beef (preferably brisket, tied for a roast, but diced for stew works OK too)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
  • 4 tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 inch of cinnamon stick
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 inches of ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, or 1 tsp lime pickle
  • 350ml stock
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 250ml coconut milk.

METHOD:

  • sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper
  • Put a small heavy pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the coriander, cumin, fennel and fenugreek. Toast for 30 seconds, and then empty onto a bit of kitchen paper or teatowel. Once the spices have started to cook, crush them in a pestle and mortar.
  • Preheat the oven to gas 3, 160C.
  • Put the oil into a large casserole dish. Once the oil is hot, brown the meat on all sides, and set it aside
  • Next, fry the onion ginger, garlic and cinnamon in the same pan. Cook for around five minutes.
  • Add the vinegar, stock, cayenne pepper, 1 tsp salt and the roasted ground sices. Stir together and add the beef. Bring to the boil.
  • Cover and place in the oven for around 2 hours.
  • When the meat is tender, transfer the casserole to the hob and stir in the coconut milk.

We served this with rice, but it also goes well with potato or bread.

Mackerel curry with fennel and coconut

This is a fab recipe in Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey – I adapted it a little, and checked quantities against reality for Uist mackerel.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 mackerel, boned and split – to make six sides with skin on.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped (or equivalent chopped shallots)
  • 6 tbsp coconut milk

METHOD:

  • Cut the mackerel sides in half, and sprinkle with salt
  • Combine the ginger, garlic, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, lime juice and 1/2 tsp salt in a small bowl
  • Put the oil in a large frying pan, over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the fennel seed and cook for a few seconds before adding the onion/shallots.
  • Within a few minutes, when the onions are softening,, add the bowl of spices and fry for another minute.
  • Add 250ml water, and bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low and simmer for another 7-8 minutes
  • Add the coconut milk, and bring back to a simmer
  • Add the fish, skin side down, and spoon the sauce over the fish. Continue to cook for another 7 minutes, moving the fish around and spooning the sauce over the fish.
  • Once the fish is cooked, serve with brown rice

Vegetables with spices and coconut

I went to the co-op on the way home from work, with the express intent to see what I could buy in the reduced section before it was discarded. I bought a pack of mixed prepared vegetables, which included a cooked potato, some carrots and some broccoli. This recipe could use peas, carrots, kohl rabi, cauliflower, all sorts of lovely things. I added some more potato.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 carrot, chopped (or peas)
  • 1 small cauliflower, chopped (or broccoli or kohl rabi)
  • 3 small potatoes, chopped into quarters
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies, or green tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp grated creamed coconut
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, if available.

METHOD:

  • Chop the potatoes into quarters. Chop the vegetables into florets, 2cm dice, all a similar size.
  • In a large pan, wok or karhai, heat the oil, and when it is hot, add the asafoetida and mustard seeds.
  • As the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves, and then the potatoes, along with the chillies, turmeric, salt and sugar, and stir for a couple of minutes
  • Add 50ml water, cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Check regularly and add more water if the mixture looks too dry.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables, stir into the mixture along with a little more water, and cook for a further five minutes.
  • Sprinkle over the grated coconut and coriander, before serving.

Minced Meat Curry

One of my stand-by recipe books is a rather unglamorous and battered book, called the Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cookbook. In my quest to cook about 40 different recipes with beef mince, I tried this, and it was delicious. I served it with plain basmati rice, and used up some coconut milk that I had, rather than following the recipe exactly.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger root
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmerig
  • 450g minced beef
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup of frozen peas

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil, and gently fry the onion.
  • As it becomes well cooked, almost beginning to brown, add the garlic, ginger, chillies and the spices, and stir together until well mixed.
  • Add the meat and continue to cook over a low heat.
  • Once is browned, add the tomato puree, and the coconut milk, mix together and bring back to a simmer.
  • Cover and simmer slowly for around 1 hour.
  • Add the peas and cook for another 10 minutes before serving.

Goose Bhuna

This recipe was inspired by seeing a bhuna recipe on ‘grubworm’ but when I went to download it, we had an IT failure, so I used a similar bhuna recipe from a book. The flavour is fantastic. The main feature of a bhuna is that the sauce is cooked right down to a sticky paste that adheres to the meat.

Seasoned Pioneers can supply just about any spice or herb that you can’t source locally.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4cm ginger root, grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 4 goose breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250ml water
  • a pinch of garam masala
  • freshly chopped coriander leaf to garnish.

METHOD:

  • Toast the spices in a small pan for a minute or two, until the mustard seeds start to pop. Take off the heat, cool, and grind in a pestle and mortar with the salt.
  • Put the onion, ginger and garlic in a food processer and blend until the onion is in small chips.
  • Fry the chopped onion mixture in a little vegetable oil, until the onion is starting to brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and curry leaves, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken.
  • Add the ground spices, keep stirring, and after five minutes, add the water, and bring back to a simmer.
  • Put a lid on the pan and simmer on a very low heat until the sauce is really thick. This can take quite a while, an hour or so.
  • Meanwhile, around 10 minutes before serving, fry the goose in a very hot pan for around 5 minutes, and then add to the thickened sauce, stir and reduce the sauce further.
  • Sprinkle with garam masala and garnish with the chopped coriander.

Serve with plain rice, and a glass of cold beer. The flavour from the freshly roasted spices is amazing.

Green beans with coconut

I have three recipes for green beans with coconut. This is a very easy version.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb green beans in 1 inch lengths
  • 2oz grated coconut
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander leaf
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 chopped green chilli
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

METHOD:

  • Combine the coconut, coriander, asafoetida, green chilli and salt in a dish.
  • Blanch the beans in boiling water for 3 minutes
  • In the oil, fry the sesame and mustard seeds together with the cayenne pepper – after about a minute, the seeds will pop, so take them off the heat at that point.
  • Add the beans to the mixture, and cook on a low heat until they are tender
  • Add the coconut mixture, and serve

 

 

Chicken curry with mint

 

We had some bits of chicken in the freezer, all boned, and I made this from ‘Curry Easy’ which has to be one of my favourite recipe books.

Ingredients for marinade:

  • 500g boned skinned chicken pieces, cut into 2cm slices
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Put all the ingredients in a sealed plastic box overnight (or minimum 30 mins if you forgot) in the fridge. Give the box the occasional shake to keep things all mixed together.

Ingredients for cooking:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g chopped onion (about 1/2 an onion)
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Method:

  • Use a wok, karhai or large frying pan. Heat the oil over medium/high heat, then add the chopped onions and stir-fry for a minute
  • Add the marinade and the chicken, and stir-fry for 3 minutes
  • Add the mint, stir through, then take off the heat and serve with rice.

Venison Curry

We made this curry with left-overs.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.25 kg left over roast venison, chopped into large cubes
  • 4 tsp whole coriander
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seed
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seed
  • 1/4 tsp whole fenugreek seed
  • 4 tsbs olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cm piece of grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 350ml stock (beef, chicken or marigold
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 125ml creamed coconut
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • In a small heavy pan, roast the cumin, coriander, fennel and fenugreek over high heat for 30s, set aside to cool, and then grind in a pestle and mortar.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan, and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and cinnamon over a medium heat for five minutes
  • Add the stock, meat, vinegar, cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, lots of grated black pepper, all the ground spices, and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir every so often, and heat through for around 30 minutes
  • Stir in 125ml creamed coconut (or 250ml coconut milk)

I served this with rice. You could make this with brisket of beef, and cook in a slow oven for around 2 hours.

Lamb curry with whole spices

We have made this using left-overs from roast lamb, but the original recipe came from Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘Curry Easy’. The book is very easy to use, the recipes easy and delicious and fresh. The resulting curry would easily serve 6.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tbsp organic vegetable oil
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 x 10cm cinnamon stick
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 1 tsp whole fennel
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 900g diced local lamb (or goat)
  • 300ml natural organic yoghurt (2x150ml)
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Heat the oil in a large oven-proof pan and set over a medium heat. Once it is hot, add the whole spices (cardamom, cinnamon,cloves, cumin and fennel) and give them a stir before adding the chopped onions, and fry until the onion is beginning to brown.
  • Add all of the other ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan with foil and then the lid to seal, and then bake in the oven for 1 1/4 hours until the meat is tender.
  • Uncover, and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the meat is drier and slightly browned. Stir occasionally to disperse any liquid evenly.

Serve with a vegetable dish and pita breads.

Wild goose curry, with coconut

I have been experimenting with goose curry recipes. Most of the recipes I could find are aimed at people who have bought a posh home counties goose that has been roasted, so we have been adapting what is out there. This is the report on the second version.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 wild goose breasts, in thin strips
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

METHOD:

  • Put the goose in the fridge overnight with the lime juice
  • Heat the oil in a large pan, and saute the onion, celery and carrots until lightly browned.
  • Next, add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bayleaf, sugar and salt. Continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes
  • Add the lime juice, tomato paste and coconut milk, bring to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, slice the goose meat into thin strips, and flash-fry before adding to the curry sauce about 3 minutes before serving.
  • Remove the bayleaf, add a sprinkle of cayenne, and serve with rice.

I’m sure this recipe could do with a bit more tinkering. I think it could possibly do with more coconut milk, and leave out the paprika. BUT it was delicious as it was.