Tag Archives: curry

Burmese Goat Curry

Simmering the Burmese goat curry

Simmering the Burmese goat curry

Just before Christmas, I had the wonderful opportunity of being invited to a Burmese home for a cooking class and feast. Chef Aung Myo Min and his family are refugees from Burma / Myanmar. He was a chef at a restaurant in Malaysia for many years before they were resettled in the US. Chef Aung Myo comes from the Yangon area in southern Burma as does his wife, Inzali.  Inzali speaks some English and she explained that Chef Aung Myo’s grandparents and earlier generations used to cook for royalty in Burma. Here in Seattle, he is a stay at home dad to their precocious 4 year old.

Chef Myo is a master in the kitchen and you can tell that cooking is his passion. As you can imagine, I learned a lot that day in his kitchen. We were in his tiny and spotless apartment kitchen in Kent, WA but might as well have been in a city in Burma. We made goat curry, a vegetarian lentil curry that was similar to Indian Daal, and a papaya salad though we got to taste more dishes. Though we started at noon, by the time we sat down to the feast for an early dinner at 4pm, dusk had already fallen. My husband called it the best curry he’d ever eaten. It was very flavorful, the goat tender, the spices perfectly blended together with no single flavor dominating.

I would love to share with you all the recipe that I wrote down for the goat curry. I wrote down the ingredients and steps as I saw them in Chef Aung Myo’s kitchen. With the copious amounts of onion and garlic in the dish that I cannot eat due to my food issues, I was not able to cook this again at home. If you cannot get goat meat, you can make this curry with lamb or chicken.

Burmese Goat Curry

(serves 8)

  • 4 lbs goat meat, cut into 3 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 7 dry red chilis
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 7 green cardamom
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 star anise, broken in half
  • 1/4 cup onion paste (blend yellow onion in a food processor or very finely chop up onion)
  • 1/4 cup garlic paste (process similarly to onion)
  • 1/4 cup minced ginger (you can use a grater)
  • 1/4 cup lemongrass (remove the thick outer skin and then pound with a mortar and pestle or cut into 2 inch pieces and food process)
  • 1/4 cup red chili powder (the medium spicy chili powder from the Indian store will work great)
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup water to simmer
  • 3 teaspoons salt

Recipe

Marinade the meat with turmeric and sugar, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.

Heat the oil in a large pot or wok over medium and sizzle the whole spices. Add the marinated meat and the onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass pastes and the red chili powder. Mix well and add a 1/2 cup of water. Simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes. If the gravy starts sticking to the pot at any time, add more water.

Mix in the tomatoes, fish sauce, salt and another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water as needed. Simmer on low, covered, for another 30 minutes or till the meat is cooked and tender. You should have a thick gravy at the end. If you added too much water, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Serve with rice.

Chef Aung Myo Min teaches us a few Burmese dishes

Chef Aung Myo Min teaches us a few Burmese dishes

Homemade fried beef and pork with onion and chili - great topping on soups, salads and rice

Homemade fried beef and pork with onion and chili – great topping on soups, salads and rice

An herb with an aroma similar to cilantro. IS it culantro?

An herb with an aroma similar to cilantro. IS it culantro?

Goat Curry!

Goat Curry!

Burmese goat curry

Burmese goat curry

Our Burmese feast

Our Burmese feast

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Squash Soup, South Indian Style

south indian curried squash

South Indian squash curry

I posted a squash soup with spicy tahini recipe just last week. And I’m following up with a variation of it. You see,  that soup was inspired by a friend’s post. And while I was making that, my South Indian instincts took over and I had to make another version! You know what they say, you can take the girl out of South India but…

So here’s this ultra simple and awesome dish: Squash Curry. Simple, hearty and healthy! Living with food allergies does not have to be boring!

By the time this posts, I will be in Hawaii on vacation. Thank god for being able to schedule posts as this means I don’t have to take my laptop with me. This will be my first time traveling for more than a couple of days after being diagnosed with all the food issues. Fortunately, we were able to find places to stay with kitchens. So I’ll be cooking in Hawaii and hopefully learning more about its cuisine!

I made this with a mix of one squash and one small pumpkin each. For a sweeter version, use just the delicata squash.

South Indian Style squash and pumpkin curry

serves 3-4

  • 2 cups squash / pumpkin puree (cut into slices, brush with olive oil, bake at 425 for 40 minutes and then puree)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (coconut oil or vegetable oil works fine too)
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chilis
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 green chilis, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger cut into thin matchsticks (grated works too)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime or to taste

Recipe

Heat the ghee or oil in a small saucepan. Sizzle the cumin seeds, curry leaves and red chilis. After 10 seconds, add the ginger and green chilis and saute for another 20 seconds. Remove from heat. This is your tadka or spice seasoning.

Thin out the puree to your desired consistency and warm up in the microwave. I like the consistency of this curry to be thinner than pumpkin soup but not too runny. Mix in the tadka. Add salt and lime juice to taste.

Serve with rice and cucumber.

tadka for the curry

Tadka for the Squash curry

dairy free, gluten free, fodmap, Squash and pumpkin soup, South Indian style

Squash and pumpkin soup, South Indian style

Simple, hearty and healthy! Living with food allergies does not have to be boring!

 

 

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Filed under America, India, Recipe

A Basic Curry Recipe

There is just so much to write about when it comes to the Indian cuisine (or any cuisine for that matter) that I’m having a difficult time deciding what to write about next :-P.

If you’re reading this and are really interested in authentic Indian food, what is the biggest issue you’ve ever had with cooking it? What are some things you wish you could learn about? I would love to hear what you think would be useful information. And if I can help, I will certainly do so.

Today, I thought I would share a very basic recipe for creating a curry base or sauce. It’s not hard at all. And you can use it for different vegetables or meats – it is really flexible. The recipe is very similar to the curry base for many North Indian dishes.

Some basic ingredients I always have around the kitchen are onions, tomatoes, cilantro and of course spices. (Check out the first blog post for must-have spices for Indian cooking.)

And with just the ingredients listed above, you can make a yummy curry! Here’s the recipe.

You’ll need:

Onions >2 (about 1 cup finely diced)

Tomatoes > 2 (about 1 cup finely diced although I like having slightly more onion than tomato in my sauce)

Garlic > 1-3 cloves (peel and mince or purée)

Ginger > 1 inch (peel and grate or just extract the juice)

Cilantro > about 10 stems (remove the thick stems and chop)

Green chilies > 0-3 (remove stems and dice)

Bay leaf > optional

Butter > optional

Spices (Lightly roast the following whole spices in a skillet over medium low heat for 2 minutes and then grind them to a powder)

  • coriander (1 tsp)
  • cumin (1 tsp)
  • cloves (2)
  • cinnamon (1 inch) – optional
  • cardamom (2) – optional

You can also just use 2-3 tsp of a good quality garam masala blend if you have it instead of making the mixture above.

Heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. When the oil is hot enough a piece of onion added to the oil will sizzle. Throw in the diced onion and green chilies along with a bay leaf, add a pinch of salt and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir till the onion is golden brown. The constant stirring helps avoid burnt onion and ensure an even brownness that will add a rich, deep color to your curry. Add the spices and continue to be careful to stir for 2-3 minutes to prevent the spices from sticking to the skillet. Add tomatoes and another pinch of salt. When the tomatoes get mushy, add ½ a cup of water. Lower the heat to medium and cover the skillet. Check every few minutes that the sauce is not burning. If it is getting dry, add a bit more water.

You’ll know the sauce is cooked when you see a thin film of oil form on the top. You now have your sauce base. You can add a vegetable or meat to this sauce, or just make a big batch and refrigerate/freeze it for later use. I like to purée the sauce once it has cooled down a bit (and before I add vegetables). It makes for a smoother taste and look.

Adding vegetables to this sauce:

Chickpeas (1 can, drain and rinse well), potatoes (diced into 1 inch pieces) and peas are particularly well suited to this curry. Tofu might work well too. Once you try this curry, you’ll get a feel for what you think will work with the sauce.  Unless it is a vegetable that cooks very easily, I would recommend that it be cooked when you add it to the sauce. When the sauce is simmering on low, add about a cup of the vegetable or vegetables of your choice. Let simmer for another 5 minutes (if using only vegetables) or till the meat is fork tender. If you’d like, add a tbsp or two of butter at the end. This will take any edge off the curry and help meld the flavors together. Check for salt. Squeeze some lime juice. Mix.

Adding meat to this sauce:

I’d recommend bone-in chicken for this recipe. Marinade the meat with a tsp or so of the same spice mixture as above and 2 tsps lime juice for about an hour. Heat up 2-3 tbsp oil, add the meat and cook till opaque or slightly brown before adding to the sauce. Simmer for another five to ten minutes or till the meat is fork tender. Similar to the vegetables, add butter if you like, check for salt, and if appropriate, squeeze a tsp or two of fresh lime juice.

There you have it, your very own Indian curry, vegetarian or with meat! Serve it hot over rice or with pita bread.

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