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 #12: Ayam Kapitan (Captain’s Chicken Curry)

 

Happiest one year anniversary, my dearest Ann!

Happiest one year anniversary, my dearest Ann!

This month marks my and Ann from Grubbs n Critters‘ one year Monthly Mystery Munchies anniversary, and what a pleasure it has been! I’ve been challenged to create new recipes by thinking outside the box, pushing my gastronomical boundaries, and devising new ways of cooking, tasting and thinking about food. It’s been a tasty treat for sure, and I’ve had an immense amount of fun doing it. Happy one year anniversary Ann, and thank you for coming up with this fabulous idea! This has tremendously broadened my horizons (and waistline, but oh well).

Captain's Curry 10This month we did a culture swap. You see, Ann is originally from Singapore, although she’s been living in Thailand for over a decade, and she’s about to move to Holland. Sheesh, busy times! I’m from South Africa, no exciting worldly experiences for me. What a pleb. However, we have so many different cultures here, and thus so many different influences, one of them being Malay. I love curry! I mean, I’m obsessed. So when Ann suggested we ‘swap’ countries, I was thrilled. Just one thing: there’s a lot of food commonly used in Singaporean dishes that we don’t have here. Crap. Not to worry, I found a spice shop close by. Some women spend hours shopping for (faffing over) clothes, shoes, accessories, whatever. I, on the other hand, can easily get lost in a food shop. I was totally enthralled. The Husband wasn’t eager to spend hours there (his loss), so I grabbed the stuff I needed and promised to return. Probably on my own. With his credit card.

Back to my Singaporean dish – behold Ayam Kapitan. Yeah, I also had no clue. Turns out it’s a chicken curry, using interesting and exciting ingredients, some of which I wouldn’t usually use. Some of the ingredients I already had in my cupboard, others required a slight search. No worries, I enjoy a challenge. This dish uses some of my favouritist (that’s a word, ‘kay?) food – oh hi garlic, ginger, coconut cream, lemon grass (homegrown in my very own garden, no less) – basically I love every single ingredient. I’d never cooked with tamarind paste before, so that was an intriguing experience. I mean, I felt so *exotic*! Anyways folks, this dish is absolutely delectable. It perfectly fuses all of the ingredients to create a creamy, spicy (but not too hot), citrus-y beauty of a meal. By The Husband’s instruction (sometimes I allow him to think he has a say), I will be cooking this meal again. And again, and again, and then again. Here you go:

 

Ayam Kapitan (Captain's Chicken Curry)

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 1 hour 30 mins, incl prep and cooking time
  • Difficulty: easy
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Supplies:

Captain's Curry 71 teaspoons tamarind paste
1 red onion
3 leeks
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 green chillies (I leave the seeds in)
3 tablespoons macadamia nuts
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chicken stock
3 tablespoons lemon grass stalks
4 lime leaves
1 tin (400ml) coconut cream
1/2 tin (200ml) coconut milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
Freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper
Coriander to serve (optional)

Making It Happen:

Captain's Curry 51. In a blender, blitz the tamarind paste, onion, leeks, garlic, ginger, chillies, 1 tablespoon macadamia nuts, turmeric, and chicken stock, to form a paste. Add the coconut cream and give it one last blitz. Pour the mixture over the chicken, marinating it for an hour (or overnight).

 

Captain's Curry 32. In a large pan or pot, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and fry 4-5 minutes per side, until browned.

 

 

Captain's Curry 113. Pour in the remaining marinade over the chicken and add the coconut milk and cinnamon stick. Cover and boil for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat and partially cover, simmering for 45 minutes – 1 hour until the chicken is tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve on a bed of rice. Garnish with macadamia nuts and coriander.

Captain's Curry 4Remember to remove the lime leaves and cinnamon stick before serving!

 

Slow Cooked Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken 2

Do you ever have days where you want something tasty for dinner but don’t feel like slaving? Of course you do! Enter this recipe. Sweet, succulent, tender chicken breasts with zingy ginger makes this meal delicious and best of all, it’s easy, as in 5 minutes of prep time easy. In requires one step. Yes, one, which goes to show that delicious food need not take you all day!

I favour bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. The meat falls off the bone, falls! It’s tender, juicy and packed with flavour and requires very little PT. Mix the ingredients, pour over the chicken and slow cook for a few hours, turning once. That’s all there is to it!

Slow Cooked Teriyaki Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: prep 5 minutes, cook 4-6 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin-on
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped onion
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup lite soy sauce (I used chilli flavour but you can use plain)
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Directions:

Teriyaki Chicken 1 2Place the chicken in a slow cooker (crock pot). Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover and
slow-cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low, turning once halfway through. Serve directly out of the slow cooker with rice.

 

 

Herbed Citrus Chicken

I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken breasts, my version of homemade fast food, because let’s be honest, plain boneless, skinless chicken breasts are snoozeville. The cooking is boring and the taste is bland. I had a couple of lemons in the fridge along with two staples I am never without, ginger and garlic, and I have rosemary growing in the garden. A quick scan in my pantry cupboard yielded an orange, olive oil and honey. I combined these ingredients and marinated the chicken for a few hours and when it came out if the oven, it was so. Very. Tender. I love the versatility of chicken breasts and this recipe can work one of two ways: You can cool and shred them and put them in a salad or serve them warm with veggies – both very healthy options. Marinade them for at least half an hour and you will have juicy, tender, soft breasts.

Prep time: 5 minutes     Marinade time: >30 mins     Cook time: 30 minutes

Citrus chicken 1

500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 lemons – 1 juiced and 1 sliced
2 oranges – 1 juiced and 1 sliced
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated (I use a microplane grater)
1 knob ginger, about 1 inch, peeled and grated (again, microplane grater)
1 sprig rosemary
Cracked sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

Citrus chicken 2 (2)

Juice one lemon and one orange and pour the juices into a bowl. Stir in the honey and olive oil until thoroughly combined. Grate the garlic and ginger and stir into the citrus juice mixture and add the rosemary. Crack some salt (I used about half a teaspoon) and black pepper into the juice.

 

 

 

Citrus chicken 3.3 (2)Slice the remaining lemon and orange. Place the chicken breasts into a dish and pour the herby citrus marinade over them. Position the citrus slices between the chicken breasts, cover and marinade in the fridge for at least half an hour. Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 30 minutes.