Kashmiri kofta curry

Kashimiri Kofta Curry

Deep red curries always look delicious. This recipe is a simplified version of the one from Charmain Salomon’s book “The Hot and Spicy Cookbook”.

Ingredients
* 750 grams of leg of lamb, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 1 teaspoon turmeric
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
* 1 onion, sliced
* 2 teaspoons ginger, finely chopped
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 4 cloves
* 3 cardamon pods, crushed
* 2 teaspoons tomato paste
* saffron
* 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped.

Mix meat, garam masala, flour and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and then shape into meatballs.

Fry the onions, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamon until the onions are browned. Then add the rest of turmeric, chili, tomato paste and a glass of water.

Add the meatballs and cook for half and hour.

When almost done, toast the saffron, crush, mix with a tablepoon of water and add to the pot. Finish the dish sprinkling chopped coriander on top.

Kelia Sumatera - Sumatran Beef Curry

Kelia Sumatera – Sumatran Beef Curry

This recipe comes from the book Asia, The Beautiful Cookbook. It’s belongs to a series of books from the early 90’s when the internet was not a thing. Many recipes have the lost sense of simplicity I crave.

Ingredients
* 1 kg of beef or veal shank
* 4 large onions
* 8 cloves of garlic
* A piece of ginger
* 1 stalk lemon grass
* 1 tablespoon ground coriander
* 2 teaspoons ground clove
* 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
* 2 cups thin coconut milk
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 red chillies
* 8 candlenuts (or 34 raw cashews)
* 10 small new potatoes

Cut the meat into cubes.

Chop the onions, garlic, ginger and white bottom of lemon grass and process in a food processor to a purée.

Brown the meat in oil, add the onion purée and fry for another 5 minutes.

Add the spices and shrimp paste and give it a stir.

Add coconut milk and bay leave. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Grind the nuts and and to the sauce. Cook for 1 1/2 hour and add more water if needed.

Serve with white rice.

Spiced pumpkin recipe

Spiced Cauliflower

Colorful dish with a punch thanks to the panch phora. And easy, very easy.

Ingredients
* Half a cauliflour, broken in small florets
* 1 tablespoon of panch phora
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* A slice of ginger, minced
* 2 red chilli, sliced
* 1 teaspoon of turmeric
* Vegetable oil or ghee
* Sal

Fry the panch phora in oil until the mustard seeds starts to pop.

Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir for 30 seconds. Add the rest of ingredients and a little bit of water.

Cook until the cauliflower is tender but still retaining some of its crispness. Eat with steamed rice.

Baked beans in just one step

Baked beans

When I tried baked beans for the first time I thought how absurd and disgusting was that mixture of ketchup and beans and why would somebody would want to eat pig fodder. Then I found this recipe. The difference between Heinz’s and mines are best explained trying this out:

* 1/2 kg white beans, cooked
* 3 tablespoons of dark molasses
* 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 4 tablespoons of vinegar
* 4 rashers of bacon, cut in small pieces
* A good splash of Worcestershire sauce
* One onion, finely cubed
* 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Mix everyhing in a Dutch oven and cook in the oven for 3 hours, stirring every 45 minutes. That’s it.

olimpias_soup

Olimpia Soup

I’ve named this soup after my grandmother, who came up with this recipe trying to find a way for my sisters and I to eat vegetables. The three of us still love this simple soup and I am using it myself with my sons with the same goal in mind. I admire how she solved a problem using a deep understanding of the limited ingredients she had at hand. Nowadays innovation is the goal in itself, leading most of the time to a rootless mixing of ingredients (Thai-Mex, Japo-Spanish, you name it) and overcomplication which will be lost as trends change over time. On the opposite side, there is my grandmother handing us a recipe still being used after two generations.

The soup uses unto, rancid pork back fat, a flavoring ingredient from Galicia and Northern Portugal. The best way to get a similar flavor would be making a light stock with prosciutto bones. If you cannot get any of those, use unsmoked bacon fat.

Ingredients:

* 2 cups of potatoes, finely cubed
* 2 cups of green beans, finely cubed
* 2 cups of carrots, finely cubed
* 1 large garlic clove
* A small piece of unto, unsmoked bacon fat or 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Cover the vegetables with just enought water and boil until very tender.

Meanwhile, mash the fat, garlic and salt to make a paste and add to the soup.

That’s it!

fagiolli

Beans with basil and parsley

This recipe comes from a book I bought in Naples. I could not find a single reference to it anywhere. It has no ISBN and the name of the author is missing. I got it from a street vendor selling all kinds of odd stuff. Very napolitean.

The recipe is very simple. As always, use the best ingredients you can find to let the flavors shine.

Ingredientes:
* A medium onion, finely chopped
* Half a stalk of celery, finely chopped
* A handfull of basil leaves, finely chopped
* A handfull of parsley, finely chopped
* 4-5 cups of boiled beans
* Olive oil
* Salt and pepper

1. Gently fry everthing but the beans until the onion is translucent.
2. Add beans, stir and cook briefly.
3. If you have stale bread, put a slice on each plate and cover with the beans.

Marmitako recipe

Marmitako (Basque tuna stew)

This recipe was published many years ago in the great Spanish blog Ondakin. It’s a family recipe (from the blog’s author’s mother) so I follow it without changing a comma. It’s a nice summer dish for cooler climates or even hotter ones if you don’t mind sweat running down your forehead.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 kilo of tuna
  • 1/2 kilo floury potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 Italian green pepper, sliced
  • 1 choricero pepper (or any sweet non-smoked dried chilli)
  • 2 medium oniones, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Parsley
  1. Cover the choricero pepper or dried chili with boiling water and let it soften.
  2. Gently cook the onions in olive oil until traslucent. Then add carrots, peppers and garlic.
  3. Keep cooking for a couple of minutes and add peeled, seeded and choped tomatoes and white wine. Cook until the alcohol evaporates.
  4. With a rounded knife scrap the flesh of the chorizero pepper and mash into a pulp. Add to the pot.
  5. Add potatoes. The best way to make chunks is with a fork, sticking a fork in it and twisting it until a piece breaks apart. The potatoes will thicken the sauce better than clean cut with a knife.
  6. Add water and cook for half an hour, until the broth is slightly thickened.
  7. Add tuna, cover, and cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Do not overcook or you risk drying out the fish.
Braised chicken recipe

My mom’s braised chicken

My mother is over for a few days to spend some time with her grandsons and she is cooking some of hers most popular dishes. My youngest nephew particularly loves this one.

Use a pot where the chicken pieces fit in a single layer to get a good gravy.

Ingredients

  • One chicken cut in pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • Olive oil
  1. Brown the chicken in medium heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic keep cooking until brown.
  3. Add brandy and cranck up the heat until alcohol evaporates and the vigourous boiling ends and becomes a frying matter.
  4. Add water but do not cover chicken completely, turn down the heat and add salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Turn the chicken pieces and cook for another 15 minutes.
  6. Serve. It goes well with a green vinegary salad.
chicken-pistachio-dill

Chicken, pistachio and dill

This is a recipe from a Persian cookbook I don’t like very much but not completely useless with some interesting dishes like this one: simple, pretty and flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken legs, cut in two
  • 2 onions
  • 1 cup of shelled pistachios, soaked overnight
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • Oil, salt and pepper
  1. Lightly brown the chicken legs in oil.
  2. Add onions, finaly sliced and cook until soft and starting to brown
  3. Add turmeric, four cups of water and salt and pepper to your taste. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Now add the pistachios to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Finely chop a bunch of dill, add to the pot and serve.
Lambi with cous cous

Lamb with cous cous

Do not confuse with cous cous with lamb. It’ a different thing well worth a try. Instead of steaming cous cous the traditional way and then serving it with a stew, we cook everthing in the same pot. The tricky part is adding the right amount of water and pasta. According to the Egyptian recipes book I have, it should be nor dry, nor soggy. It’s easier to go short on the water and add a little bit more if it looks dry.

Ingredientes:

  • Two small legs of lamb (or veal shanks)
  • Two onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup medium sized cous cous
  • Grated sharp sheep cheese
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  1. Cut the meat in bit sized cubes and brown thoroughly.
  2. Add onions and cook in medium for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  3. Add water or vegetable stock and gently boil until the meat is tender (about 1 1/2 hour.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add cous cous and cook for 5 minutes. Cover the pot and let it stand another five minutes and then check. If it looks too dry, add a bit of hot water, stir with a spoon and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
  5. Stir to break the big lumps of cous cous. Add cheese. Serve and enjoy.