Saturday, 5 September 2015

Beef Madras

This is a lovely mild curry and if you can get fresh coconut it is even better but I like to use the moist coconut flakes soaked in water.
I use blade steak for this recipe but any cut of stewing steak will be good.  It needs to be a cut that has a bit of fat and connective tissue so that when it is cooked low and slow they melt and keep the meat soft and juicy.

Blade steak comes from the top of the shoulder of a cow.  It is a muscle that does a lot of work and has a lot of connective tissues and collagen that melt out during cooking but it needs to be cooked long and slow to ensure the meat ends up tender.  

A whole blade

The blade sliced so you can see the connective tissue through the muscle.

Beef Madras

1 Cup of Grated Coconut
400 gm Dice tomatoes (tinned or fresh)
4 Tbs Fresh Ginger finely Diced
2 Tsp Blacked Mustard Seeds
2 Tbs Tamarind Concentrate
2 x 2 Tbs Oil
2 Large Onions, sliced
6 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Tbs Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Ground Turmeric
2 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
2 Tsp Sweet Paprika
10 Curry Leaves
1 Kg of Chuck Steak
1/2 Cup of Water
3 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Sugar

If you are using dried/semi dried coconut soak it in 1 cup of boiling water for 1 hour then blend it (including the water) in the food processor with the tomatoes, ginger, mustard seeds and tamarind until it is a puree.
Heat the first measure of oil in a heavy based pan and brown the meat in batches removing after each batch.  Once all the meat is browned add the second measure of oil and cook the onion and a pinch of salt over a medium heat stirring regularly until the onion is soft and lightly browned.  Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute before adding all of the spices and stir for a further minute before adding the coconut mixture, curry leaves, beef and water.  Cover and simmer for 1.5 - 2 hours or until beef is tender.

Friday, 4 September 2015

An Indian Feast

We are heading off to New Zealand tomorrow for just over 3 weeks and when we get back we expect to be busy getting ready to move and I have a lot of university work and exams.  So we decided to catch up with some friends before we left for an Indian feast.  This made it easy to cater for the vegan and the carnivores alike.

On the menu was Dahl (I make this in a big batch and keep portions in the freezer so we can have it when ever we want or add it to other Indian dishes for variety), Beef Madras, Kasmiri Chicken (made earlier this week), Punjabi Cabbage, Shebu Bhaji (Potatoes with Dill) and Gajar Matar (Sweet Potatoes with Peas).  These are all dishes that I would recommend and most of them are mild and can have the chilli left out altogether if needed.  I have listed the recipes for the vegan dishes below and will post the Beef Madras Tomorrow

Clockwise from left: Punjabi Cabbage, Beef Madras, Shebu Bhaji, Gajar Matar
 Gajar Matar

1 Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
1 x 3 cm piece of Ginger
1/4 Cup Oil
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
400 gm Carrots (I used Sweet Potato this time as I needed to use them up before going away)
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Cup Frozen Peas
3 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Sugar
1/4 Tsp Chilli Powder
4 Tsp Dried Pomegranate Seeds (optional but so worth it)
1/2 Tsp Garam Masala

Make a paste with the onion, ginger and garlic in either a food processor, a mortar and pestle or chop very finely.
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large fry pan, add the onion mix and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Reduce the heat slightly and add the cumin seeds and turmeric then stir well to combine and cook for about 1 minute.  Add the carrot/sweet potato and stir for 2 mins before adding the ground cumin, coriander, and garam masala stirring for another minute.
Add the peas, pomegranate seeds and 1/4 cup of water and stir to combine before covering the pan, reducing to a low heat and simmering for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Punjabi Cabbage

1 Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
2 Green Chillis, de-seeded
4 Tbs Oil
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Turmeric
500 gm Cabbage, finely chopped
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
1/4 Tsp Ground Chilli (optional)
1 Tbs Butter (Optiona)

Make a paste with the onion, chillies and garlic in either a food processor, a mortar and pestle or chop very finely.
In a heavy based pan add the oil and over a low heat fry the onion mix until very soft.  Add the cumin seeds and turmeric and cook for 1 minute.  Mix in the cabbage and stir well until the cabage has been coated in the onion paste.  Add the remaining ingredients except the butter, stir well and increase the heat to medium.  Cover partially and cook for 10 minutes stirring every few minutes until the cabbage is soft.  If the cabbage dries out and starts to stick to the pan add a few tablespoons of water. Once cooked stir in the butter and serve.

Shebu Bhaji

200 gm potatoes
Large bunch of Dill
2 Tbs Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 Long Red Chilli
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp Black Mustard Seeds
Pinch of Asafoetida (Optional)
1/2 Tsp Salt

Cut the potatoes into 2.5cm cubes and cook until almost cooked and drain well.
Wash the dill and chop finely.

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic and chilli over  low heat for 30 seconds then add the turmeric, mustard seeds, asafoetida, salt and stir well. Stir in the cooked potato and dill and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes and serve.

Do you have a favourite Indian Recipe?