Monthly Mystery Munchies #27: Lamb Rogan Josh

Keep calm and curry on! I am a staunch proponent of curry – any curry, any time – I’m totally there! When Ann suggested July’s Monthly Mystery Munchies theme – Indian – I was too excited. Give me any excuse to throw it down in the kitchen and I will take it. I know a lot of people don’t like to fuss, but I was in my element in the kitchen, trying various dishes for hours at a time, and after a stressful couple of months, I was blissing out on cinnamon, cardamom, masala, cloves, you name it. What a joy this past month has been! Oh, and my house smelled amazing! I’m sure my neighbours thought I was setting up a spice factory. I would absolutely be Ginger Spice, because I had that in abundance. Aah yes, I do like abundance of a culinary nature.

So, now the question was “which dish should I choose?”. Enter the willing guinea pigs: The Husband (always game), the sister from another mister, and a dear friend who inspires me with her incredible cooking, especially her Indian cuisine. We settled on lamb rogan josh, because lamb. It’s such a treat, being an expensive meat and it’s so not difficult at all! No slaving for hours upon hours (although, by my own admission, I kinda dig that) but not for this recipe. It’s fragrant and spicy but not hot, so it’s suitable for everyone.

Ann, inspired by Pinterest (it’s addictive) made Indian Bengali-style spicy eggs. Yáll, head on over to Grubbs ‘n Critters, like soon-ish, to check it out.

Now, let’s get curried away with this lamb rogan josh. Enjoy it!

Lamb Rogan Josh

  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Not brain surgery
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Supplies:

1kg diced leg of lamb
1/4 cup canola/vegetable oil
10 black peppercorns
5 green cardamom pods, sliced
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons garam masala
4 large tomatoes, pureed
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
175g double cream yoghurt
Fresh coriander
Basmati rice

Making it Happen:

Paste: Blitz the ginger and garlic with 4 tablespoons of water in a food processor. Set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottom non-stick pot, heat two tablespoons of oil, fry the lamb on medium heat until it’s browned on all sides. Remove from the pot.

In the same pot, heat the rest of the oil on medium heat and fry the peppercorns, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon for 1 minute. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and ginger paste, and fry for another minute. Take a deep breath and enjoy the aromatics emanating from the pot!

Sprinkle the rest of the spices into the pot and fry for 30 seconds, then add the lamb back into the pot, stir in the tomatoes, fill with water and simmer for half an hour, or until the lamb is tender.

Stir in the yoghurt and garnish with coriander. Serve with basmati rice.
(You can also make this ahead of time, refrigerate and reheat slowly on low on your stove.) 

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Monthly Mystery Munchies #8: Chicken Pilaf

Chicken pilaf 5This month’s Monthly Mystery Munchies theme was chosen by Ann – an interesting rice dish. What fun! My favourite kind of rice is savoury rice, but I wanted to do something a bit more interesting. I love saffron, but it’s ludicrously expensive. Sell a kidney, anyone? Okay, that’s a bit extreme! The reason saffron is so expensive is because it takes 225,000 stigmas (seriously?!) to make just one kilo, and it’s an intensive labour process. The cashews add a sweetness to the dish, and the coriander adds a fragrant freshness.

Ann has done an aromatic spiced saffron rice dish, using wonderful, fragrant ingredients and I wholly love her recipe, so please check it out! Speaking of recipes, here’s mine.

Chicken Pilaf

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Supplies:

Chicken pilaf 6500g chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ teaspoon saffron threads
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground coriander
1 litre chicken stock
1 cup basmati rice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
50g cashews, toasted
1 tablespoon olive oil + more if necessary
Fresh coriander to serve
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Making it happen:

Chicken pilaf 11. Soak the saffron in chicken stock for 20 minutes. In 2 tablespoons of oil, fry the onion and peppers on medium heat for 5 minutes.

 

 

 

Chicken pilaf 22. Add the chicken and fry until it starts changing colour, about 5 minutes, then add the ground cumin and coriander, and fry for another 30 seconds. Add the rice and saffron-infused chicken stock.

 

Chicken pilaf 33. Boil on medium heat 15-20 minutes until the basmati is cooked. Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a pan for 3 minutes until golden brown.

 

 

Chicken pilaf 44. Once the rice is cooked, season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon juice over, sprinkle the toasted cashews and garnish with coriander.

Monthly Mystery Munchies: Chilli Con Carne

So much excitement here! Ann over at Grubbs n Critters suggested that we do a monthly collaboration whereby one of us chooses a theme or a few ingredients and we each cook a surprise dish and link to the other’s blog without knowing what the other has cooked. I happily accepted this challenge because it’s fun and Ann is a fantastic cook and story-teller! Thank you, Ann, for suggesting this challenge, and here’s to many more!

This month I chose a Mexican theme because I love Mexican. I mean I am obsessed with chillies! Also, it’s Cinco de Mayo on 5 May so I thought this was an appropriate time to do this theme.

Chilli Con Carne is hands down one of my top three favourite meals, both to cook and eat. It’s absolutely delicious. The inviting fragrant aroma of cumin and other herbs and spices mixed with the tangy taste of chillies, onion and garlic, simmered with tomatoes, ground beef and red kidney beans, makes for a mouth-watering food festival of flavour like none other. I’ve been cooking this recipe for years and the serving choices are plenty. My personal favourite is to top it with sour cream and wrap it in a tortilla. The Husband prefers it another way. You have the option of serving it in tacos, tortillas or with plain or spicy rice. Topping it with a smattering of guacamole is also a firm favourite. My ideal serving is to wrap it in a tortilla, drop a dollop sour cream on it, add a smidgen of guac and cheese and fold it up into one flavorful (and moreish) tortilla.

Stock up on these ingredients, pour yourself a margarita and get cooking! Olé!

Chilli con carne ing500g beef mince
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic)
2 chillies, sliced, seeds in
500g baby tomatoes, halved
1 x 400g tin whole peeled tomato
1 x 50g tomato paste
1 x 400g tin red kidney beans
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fine black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
Canola oil

Chilli con carne 1 2

Thinly slice the onion, chillies and garlic if you’re using garlic cloves, and heat about two tablespoons of oil on medium heat. You can also use minced garlic, one heaped teaspoon. Add the onion and garlic to the heated oil and fry until soft and translucent, about three to five minutes.

 

 

 

Chilli con carne 2 2

Once the onions are soft, add the cumin and paprika and fry for 2 minutes. Mix in the mince and tomato paste and fry on medium heat until browned, about five minutes. If you’re using a gas hob, fry on medium-low. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and simmer for five minutes.

 

 

 

Chilli con carne 3 2

Pour in the tinned and fresh tomatoes and red kidney beans, cover and bring to a boil, then uncover and simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream, guacamole or cheese (or all three!) in tortillas, tacos or with rice.

 

 

 

CCC 5 2