Tag Archives: Spicy

Spicy Lamb Stew in a Cashew Cream Sauce

Lamb_Korma (1 of 1)Here’s another dish that’s loaded with fantastic flavors. This is my take on Indian lamb korma. I’ve reduced the loads cooking oil with a couple of tablespoons of ghee, which add a wonderful depth of flavor. I’ve replaced almonds (which unfortunately I can’t eat 😦 ) with cashew nuts. I usually try to stay away from cream in my recipes, but the light cream in this dish is important. I’m also a fan of garam masala, so I add lots of that too! It all comes together wonderfully in the oven. I like to serve it with an assortment of Indian relishes and chutneys. Hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think!

8 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsly chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 oz toasted cashews
6 Tbsp plus 8 oz water
2 Tbsp ghee, divided
2 lbs lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
10 cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
1 (2-inch) piece cinnamon stick
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
10 oz light cream
1/2 tsp garam masala

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place garlic, ginger, cashews and 6 Tbsp water into a food processor. Process to a very fine paste.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp of the ghee over high heat. Add lamb and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add another 1 Tbsp ghee. Cook liquid down, about 1 minute. Add cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick and stir 30 seconds. Add onions and cook 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic paste, coriander, cumin and cayenne. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add back meat and its juices. Stir in cream and the rest of the water (8 oz). Increase heat to high. Stir and bring to a boil. Deglaze pan. Cover, place in oven and bake 1 hour. Remove from oven and stir in garam masala. Season with additional salt, if desired. Serve with cumin-scented rice with peas.

Serves 4.

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Red Lentil Soup with Aromatic Spices

Red_Lentil_Soup (1 of 1)Last evening was blustery and cold here in New England. We even had some snow — it was the perfect night for this delicious version of red lentil soup! Red lentil soup seems to have various versions around the world, each with its unique variety of spices. The star of this international version is the spice, fenugreek, which has a wonderfully distinctive sweet smell that is similar to maple syrup. In fact, if you can’t find fenugreek (but please try!), you can substitute it in this recipe by omitting the sugar and adding 1 tsp maple sugar. The simmering of this soup melds the flavor of the fenugreek very nicely with the other spices in the dish — I hope you’ll try it tonight!

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1 red Thai chili, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red lentils
7 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Crusty bread

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in yellow onion, garlic, chili, cumin and coriander seeds. Sauté 4 minutes. Stir in carrots and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in fenugreek, sugar, tomato paste, red lentils and chicken stock. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 40 minutes with lid ajar. Stir occasionally while simmering.

Remove soup from heat. Add lemon juice and adjust seasoning (I added another 1 tsp or so of salt, which seemed about right). Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with red onion and parsley. Serve with crusty bread.

Serves 6.

Korean-Style Braise of Chicken with Vegetables (Dakjjim 닭찜)

Dakjjim1 (1 of 1)I really enjoy dining at Korean restaurants — the whole experience (including the food, of course), is usually quite great. I also like to try my hand at cooking Korean in my own kitchen. Some of my favorites to make at home are bulgogi, bibim bap, dwaejigogi kimchijjigae, and the list goes on. Last night, I was in the mood for Korean comfort food, so I made dakjjim (braised chicken).  This version is spicy and delicious, and really satisfied my craving for Korean — I hope you’ll try it this weekend!

1 3-lb chicken, skin and fat removed, but bone intact, cut into 8 pieces
3 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 Tbsp rice wine (or mirin)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (I use Yukon Gold)
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, ground to a paste in a mortar and pestle
2 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp gochujang chili paste (available in Asian markets)
3 Tbsp Korean chili powder (available in Asian markets)
2 Tbsp canola oil
4 cups water
3 green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tsp sesame seeds for garnish

Place potatoes and carrot in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, place chicken pieces, 1 tsp salt, ground black pepper and rice wine. Combine well, cover and place in refrigerator while potatoes and carrot soak.

In a small bowl, combine sesame see paste, soy sauce, gochujang paste and Korean chili powder. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large wok or similar pan over high heat. Add crushed garlic and stir for 10 seconds. Add chicken with its marinade. Cook until nicely browned, about 8 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon to paper towels and let stand.

Heat remaining oil in the wok over high heat. Add drained potatoes, carrot and onions. Stir-fry vegetables until slightly tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in water, remaining 2 tsp salt, gochujang mixture and chopped chilies. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high. Simmer until sauce has reduced by a third, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Pour into 4 serving bowls. Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds. Serve with bowls of steamed white or brown rice.

Serves 4.

Vietnamese Caramalized Pork Patties

Vietnamese_Caramalized_Pork_Balls1 (1 of 1)These pork patties are spectacular as far as I’m concerned! So full of flavor! Aside from the caramalization and other great ingredients, the sauce has a ton of ground black pepper — this is typical of many Vietnamese sauces, and I think it’s what makes this dish (must be from the French influence in Vietnam). If you like Southeast Asia’s obligatory sweet, hot, sour, salty flavor combo, I think you’ll really like this dish!

3 Tbsp tamarind purée
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 cups finely chopped shallots (about 5 very large Euro-style)
3 red Thai bird chilies, minced
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 large cloves garlic, very finely shredded or minced
1 1/2 lbs lean ground pork
1/3 (slightly rounded) cup sugar
3 scallions, sliced

In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp fish sauce with 1/2 cup water. Set aside.

In another small bowl, mix together 2/3 cup chopped shallots with half the minced chilies and 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Set aside

Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in remaining 1 1/3 cups chopped shallots. Cook for about 2 minutes, until softened. Add remaining minced chilies and garlic. Stir-fry an additional 40 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine pork, remaining 2 Tbsp fish sauce, remaining 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and the cooked shallots. Make 18 small patties (a little less than 1/4 pork mixture, at about 2 1/2 inches each in diameter).

In a skilled large enough to easily fit all patties in a single layer, heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add patties and brown on each side (about 3 1/2 minutes per side). Turn heat off and remove patties from pan — wipe out pan with a paper towel.

Add 1/3 water and 1/3 sugar to pan over medium heat and swirl gently until sugar is dissolvedVietnamese_Caramalized_Pork_Balls2 (1 of 1) and mixture begins to caramelize (about 12 minutes — you should end up with a nice, copper-colored sugar-water. Remove from heat. Slowly add fish sauce/water mixture to sugar-water. Return to a medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the uncooked shallot/chili mixture. Cook about 1 1/2 minutes, until shallots have softened. Stir in 3 Tbsp tamarind purée. Add back the pork patties and stir to ensure patties are well covered in the sauce. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes (turning patties after first 10 minutes). Remove lid. Remove patties and set aside. Simmer sauce another couple of minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat. Serve patties over steamed jasmine rice, topped with sauce and sliced scallions.

Serves 6.

 

 

 

 

Khmer-Style Chicken Curry

Khmer_Chicken_Curry3 (1 of 1)This very flavorful curry dish is served in Cambodia, where it is called samlá. I believe the original version would use a ton of fresh galangal — ginger works fine, as well. I added a touch of galangal (Laos) powder (which I keep in the pantry) to add that woody delicious aroma of galangal. I prefer this curry rather fiery, but if you like it milder, you can cut down on the Thai chilies. If you like curry, you must try this dish and let me know what you think!

4 inches fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced cross-wise
3 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed, bottom 6 inches finely chopped
2 – 4 dried Thai chilies, soaked in hot water 20 minutes, then finely chopped
1/2 tsp Thai shrimp paste
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp grated lime rind
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Laos powder (dried, ground galangal)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
5 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 shallots or 1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 14.5 oz can coconut milk
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lime juice

Combine first 11 ingredients (through shallots) in a food processor. Process into a smooth paste.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add ginger mixture and stir-fry 1 minute. Add Khmer_Chicken_Curry2 (1 of 1)chicken and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add coconut milk and sugar. Deglaze pan while bringing mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes. Remove lid and let simmer an additional 5 minutes, until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in lime juice and season with additional salt and/or sugar if desired. Serve over steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

 

Flavorful Indonesian Minced Meat Parcels (Bebotok Sapi)

Bebotok_Daging1 (1 of 1)There are a few varieties of bebotok in Indonesia. They are made with minced fish, lamb or beef, and maybe even chicken, I’m not sure. In this recipe, I use beef (sapi). These yummy meat parcels are typically steamed in pandan or banana leaves — I had neither on hand last night, so I used foil. I’m sure the fresh leaves add to the aroma, but I think mine turned out just fine. These are delicious, and I hope you’ll give them a try tonight!

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, very finely grated or minced
1 1/2  tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tsp)
3 Thai bird chilies, minced
4 candlenuts, grated
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, lower white portion very finely minced (or 1/2 tsp lemongrass powder)
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 Tbsp tamarind water
3 eggs, 2 of them hard-boiled, the 3rd beaten in a small bowl)

In a medium bowl, mix together beef, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat wok over high heat. Add coriander, cumin, ginger, chilies, candlenuts and lemongrass; Bebotok_Daging3 (1 of 1)stir-fry for 1 minute. Add beef mixture, and brown for 5 minutes — stir constantly to break meat up. Add the coconut milk, lime leaves and tamarind water, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until mixture is just about dry, about 20 minutes. Remove meat mixture from heat. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the hard-boiled eggs.

Cut sheet of aluminum foil into 14 7″X7″ squares. Place 1 egg slice in the middle of each square. Stir beaten egg into meat mixture. Spoon 2 heaping Tbsp of the meat over each egg slice. Fold opposite sides of the foil in over the meat and egg, sealing the parcels into squares.

Prepare a steamer — I used a large, shallow sauce pan, placed a cooling rack in it and filled the bottom with water, just below the rack.

Place the meat parcels evenly into the steamer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove meat parcels from steamer. Serve with steamed rice, sliced cucumber and an assortment of your favorite Indonesian sambals.

Serves 6.

Indian Beef Stew (Rogan Josh)

Rogan_Josh2 (1 of 1) Last night was snowy and cold once again here in New England — a perfect evening for Rogan Josh! This Indian stew is commonly made with lamb, but I decided to make it with beef, since the roads were bad and this is what I had on-hand in the freezer. Beef works well. The aroma from the wonderful spices in this dish made the whole house smell great as it was braising in the oven. Whether it’s cold or not where you are, I think you’ll like this dish, so please try it tonight!

2 inches ginger, peeled and finely grated
8 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Tbsp plus 15 oz water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
10 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
6 cloves
10 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 tsp garam masala
Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add ginger, garlic and 4 Tbsp water to a blender. Blend into a paste.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add meat and stir until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add another Tbsp oil to the same pan. Add the cardamom pods, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the onions and cook until they start to turn brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger paste and stir 30 seconds. Add the coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt and stir another 30 seconds. Add back the meat with its juices. Add the yogurt 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring well after each. Cook mixture about 3 minutes.

Add 15 oz water to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to deglaze. Cover, place in oven and cook for 2 hours. Remove from oven and stir in garam masala. Season with additional salt and ground black pepper, if desired. Serve with steamed long-grain or basmati rice, as well as an assortment of relishes, chutneys and naan.

Serves 4.