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For lunch today I adapted a Madhur Jaffrey recipe that I had noticed last week. It was easy to put together and I thermal cooked it for about three hours.

The duck was so tender and although not too hot the dish was full of flavour and enjoyed by everyone.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp bright red paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tbsp corn or peanut oil
  • 1 x 2.7kg duck, jointed or 4 duck breasts cut in half
  • 1/2 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
  • 15 fresh curry leaves, if available
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced into fine half-rings
  • 2 tbsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 10 medium cloves garlic, peeled and crushed to a pulp
  • 1 tin tomatoes, chopped
  • 120ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Method:

  1. Mix together the turmeric, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper and garam masala in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat a frying pan and then add the duck pieces skin down.
  3. Cook until the skin starts to brown the turn over and brown the other side.
  4. Remove the duck and place it into the thermal cookers inner pot.
  5. Add the mustard and fenugreek seeds duck fat that that has rendered out in the frying pan and cook them until they start to pop.
  6. Add the curry leaves and onions and stir fry until the start to brown.
  7. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minute before stirring in the spice mixture.
  8. Cook for 1 minute before adding the tin of tomatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  9. Now add this mixture to the duck making sure that the duck is nicely coated,
  10. Add the vinegar, water, salt and sugar and bring to the boil with the lid on.
  11. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  12. Turn off the heat and place the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
  13. Leave to cook for 3 to 4 hours.
  14. If you have a top pot half way through the cooking time add 2 cups of rice, 3 3/4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to the top pot. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer.
  15. While the top pot is simmering remove the inner pot and bring back to the boil.
  16. Place the top pot in the inner pot and place the inner pot back into the out insulated container.
  17. Cook for a further 2 hours before serving.
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Vintage photograph of Gurkha soldiers from the british army on parade. 1920's 30's India.

Last week I had a great lunch in a restaurant near Wareham, Dorset. The restaurant is called Gurkha and does a lunchtime buffet of Indian, Nepalese, Thai and Chinese food. It is run by Captain QGO Asbahadur Gurung formerly of the Brigade of Gurkhas.

Apart from the Tom Kha Seafood soup, which incidentally was the best I have ever tasted my interest was in the cuisine of Nepal. One of the dishes on offer was Gurka Lamb curry and it was so good I though that I should try and make something similar. Having some lamb shanks in the fridge they were the obvious choice for the lamb part of the dish. The rest of the ingredients I found in my store cupboard.

Before we get on with the recipe here is a little history about the Gurkhas. The Gurkhas who come from Nepal in the Himalayas have served in the British Army for many years. They have fought alongside British troops and proved themselves to be the most disciplined, fearless, brave fighters in the world. As a fighting force they are feared all over the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 lamb shanks, slashed with a knife to allow the marinade to penetrate the meat
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 250 ml natural yoghurt
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 10 cardamom pods, seeds removed
  • 25 g fresh ginger, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 7 cm of a cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 350 ml cold water

METHOD

  1. Add garlic, ginger, yoghurt, cardamom, chopped ginger, chopped garlic, fennel, cayenne and ½ the onions into a blender. Blend the mixture into a smooth paste.
  2. Sprinkle the lamb shanks with a little salt, then pour over the masala mixture, and allow to marinade for at least an hour.
  3. Heat the oil, in the inner pot and add the cinnamon, cloves and rest of the onion. Cook until the onion is golden brown.
  4. Add the marinaded lamb shanks to the inner pot along with all the marinade.
  5. Bring to the boil, you should see oil slowly rising to the surface. At this stage add the cold water, stir and bring the mixture back to the boil.
  6. Turn down the heat. Put on the lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Put the inner pot into the insulated outer container and shut the lid.
  8. Thermal slow cook without power for a minimum of 4 hours.
  9. Before serving check the seasoning and adjust if needed.
  10. Serve on a bed of plain, pilau or saffron rice which you could cook in the top pot if you have one.

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Kerala cuisine is a combination of Vegetables, meats and seafood flavoured with a variety of spices. Seafood’s are main diet of Coastal Kerala. Whereas Vegetable is the main diet in plains of Kerala and Meat is the main course among tribal and northern Kerala.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds if you don’t want it too hot)
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 400 ml water
  • 1 fish stock cube
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500 g firm fish (yopu could use salmon if you wish)

METHOD

  1. Put the ghee or oil in the inner pot over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and turmeric.
  2. When the seeds start to po add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook gently for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the curry leaves and chilli. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Crumble in the stock cube before adding the tin of tomatoes.
  5. Stir well to dissolve the stock cube. Check the seasoning and add some salt if necessary.
  6. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer.
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the fish and bring back to the boil. Put on the lid and put the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
  9. Shut the lid and leave to thermal slow cook without power for 3 hours. If you need to leave it longer than this, do everything except adding the fish which you can add about 30 minutes before serving by bringing the curry sauce back to the boil, adding the fish and then putting the inner pot back into the outer container to finish cooking.
  10. Serve with rice.

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