April 29, 2008

Bollywood Cooking from A New Zealand Kitchen

Oh, poppadams are so hard to find in the supermarkets we usually go to. They've changed the International alley several times and I think they've forgotten to put on where the poppadams were. Great. The show must go on and so we enjoy Indian cooking without poppadams, pitily.

The famous Meeta of What's For Lunch, Honey?, the creator of Monthly Mingle is organizing Bollywood Cooking for us to experience and share Indian cuisine. Not that I am unfamiliar with Indian cooking, but yeah it is nice to get together where bloggers around the world sharing their favourite Indian foods.

I usually cook Indian food with adjustment to the ingredients and the amount of spices suitable to our digestive system. My stomach can't really take spicy food anymore due to the typhus I'd had twice when I was a student. Every spicy food will give burning impact in my stomach followed by diarrhea. Not nice, really. However, I am keen on tasting the 'real' Indian spicy food. I am having it a go.

the whole package

Bombay Lamb Curry

Source: Family Circle: The Complete Asian Cookbook.

I add chunky potatoes into the meat when they meat is simmered and I used beef instead of lamb. This dish is simply hot and spicy. I had to have yogurt soon afterwards, or else. It's just nice to really have a taste what it's like. I quite like it, although I have to reduce the amount of spices next time. We eat this curry with basmati rice.

bombay beef curry

1.5kg leg lamb, boned,
2 Tbs ghee or oil,
2 onions, finely chopped,
2 cloves garlic, crushed,
2 small green chillies, finely chopped,
5 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated,
1 ½ tsp turmeric,
2 tsps ground cumin,
3 tsps ground coriander,
½ - 1 tsp chilli powder,
1 – 1 ½ tsps salt,
425g can crushed tomatoes,
2 Tbs coconut cream

Cut the meat into cubes, trim the fat and sinew. Heat the ghee or oil. Cook the onions over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add garlic, chillies and ginger. Keep stirring until fragrant but not burnt. Mix turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli powder with 2 Tbs water to make a paste. Add into the onion mixture. Keep stirring and add in the meat, a handful at a time. Brown the meat and add more meat when they are all browned and coated with spices. Add salt to taste. Stir in the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the coconut cream and simmer for another 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. (at this stage, I added the potato chunks). Serves 4-6.

We finish the meal with rice khir. This khir I have seen on the Taste magazine when the reporters were having dinner with an Indian family in Christchurch. The wife served rice khir in the end of the meal and I want to try it out, unfortunately, the magazine does not provide the recipe, yet the hints of 'pistachio, saffron, and almond' would give me an idea.

Rice Khir with Pistachio, Saffron and Almond

I am guessing from the photo of the doctor's wife pudding on the magazine that the pudding is still a bit runny. It looked really delicious with hints of saffron and pistachio on the surface of the pudding. I am using evaporated milk as I believe it will make the pudding creamier, and I only added saffron towards the end of cooking. The flavour is improved within days. This dessert is also great eaten cold! You can flavour the milk with saffron and leave it overnight, I suppose. My Indian friends can give me suggestion on the best way to cook rice khir, can't you guys?

rice khir

¼ cup long-grain rice, rinsed and drained,
1 can evaporated milk + 600ml water (I add fresh milk when needed or when the pudding is becoming dry),
white sugar (didn't measure, simply pour in and taste it. I made it not too sweet),
blanched almond, diced or slivered,
a pinch of saffron

Put the milk mixture in a heavy pan (I use my iron cast saucepan) and boil until bubbly. Reduce to simmer and add in the rice and sprinkle a little pinch of salt. Stirring occassionally until the rice is cooked and the pudding is still saucy. Add in the chopped or slivered blanched almonds and saffron. Remove from the pan and let the saffron steeped for a little while. Served sprinkled with pistachio and extra saffron, if desired. Serves 4-6 (really, we have it in a little portion).


busylittlebee said...

arfi, i've got poppadams here with me now, they are absolutely goes very well with your bombay lamb curry as appetizing stuff!! hmm

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I adore everything about this Arfi, from the ingredients in the pudding to the artfully composed photos. These would be a gorgeous addition to any Bollywood feast.

bee said...

dear arfi, i hate kheer and i am vegetarian, but i wanna lick the screen right now. you have mail.

Lael said...

soooo delicious! I love Indian food too, and even though I became a vegetarian several months ago, I still can't resist lamb curry when I go out to eat. Your rice khir also looks/sounds wonderful.

Arfi Binsted said...

Busylittlebee: they do go very well with curries. I've tried to search them in the leading supermarkets here but no luck. Right, I'm coming with the curry to your place hehehe...

Susan: actually, this curry is way too hot for me, but it is just nice to actually taste it!

Bee: I don't know you're a vegetarian... I should've :D Thanks for the email, I've replied that.

Lael: I love rice kheer! Delicious and creamy!

MeetaK said...

Dear Arfi! This is truly a grand Bollywood feast. i love the carefully chosen ingredients and the lovely photographs! Fab!

Chris said...

This looks like a delicious meal. I haven't dared to by saffron yet...will have to take the leap!

Cakelaw said...

The lamb curry looks super Arfi.

Arfi Binsted said...

Meeta: my pleasure!!

Chris: they are worth buying. try some! you won't regret it ;)

Gaye: they taste too hot for my taste, really, but yogurt saves my stomach. but I love rice kheer!

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

FABULOUS POSTY Arfi...I love your entire post, tiffin box (as they call it here) & all!! Hve a couple of rice puddings/Indian kheer on my blog...
http://sunitabhuyan.blogspot.com/2007/08/my-monthly-event-think-spice-think.html & http://passionateaboutbaking.blogspot.com/2007/12/seize-moment.html

Veda Murthy said...

Hi Arfi,

I am delighted to see so many blogs around and making friends with many!!!!!I loved ur Photos and the food for this particular event.....rice kheer looks delishhhhhhhhh!!!!


Arfi Binsted said...

Deeba: I like your method to grind the rice first!

Veda: thanks for dropping by and I'd love to make more friends :)

Lynnylu said...

Your food styling is impeccable and very beautiful. I enjoy looking at your photos.

Mansi Desai said...

boy, that looks wonderful Arfi! I'm a vegetarian, yet that curry looks so enticing! as for the kheer, its one of my favorites, and your pics ae simply AMAZING!!!

congrats on winning the Bollywood Cooking MM theme award:)!!

Arfi Binsted said...

Lynn: thank you. I enjoy yours, too :)

Mansi: I was so honoured. Thanks, Mansi :)

Srivalli said...

arifi..that really is a month watering bowl!..congrats on winning the MM theme award!

bhagyashri said...

Congratulations Arfi! That really looks like a Bollywood feast! The kheer looks amazingly delicious!

Nags said...

that's a lovely spread. congrats on winning :)

Tessa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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