Tag Archives: indian

indian lamb shanks

12 Feb

paleo indian lamb shankGuess what. I’m doing newyearnewyou. I’m afraid to search my blog history ’cause I can only assume I’ve done it every year of this damn thing. And it’s just so cliché but then again, I do love celebrating dumb holidays. And Januarys are kinda like perverse, not-so-fun holidays in which I embark on an umpteenth Whole30 (+ raw milk, shut up I told you it’s my umpteenth) and alienate myself from my friends because who wants to hang out with a water-drinking, bunless burger-ordering wet blanket. Not me. But fuck you friends, ’cause I don’t wanna hang out with your over-exuberant, blathering drunk faces either! Yes I do. I’m sorry. Please invite me somewhere. It’s February now, I’m considering being fun. Or, closer to fun than other, more normal friends you might have.
chiles indian homemade chile chili powderSo the new-to-me car idea came to a head. Mostly because I couldn’t stand bothering with my poor, rusted out Suby anymore. It doesn’t like starting much. I guess that was the main issue, ’cause that kinda sucks. Then two tires went flat within a couple days of each other. It was sweet. But am I lazy? Am I undeserving of a car? Dammit. Let me be lazy in one area of my life, please. I can’t even sit still for a movie. Have to do a chore. Gotta make tea. Then stir some food that’s inevitably on the stove. Then make more tea. And oh wait, now I have to pee. Hold please. But a car? I forget it exists as soon as I get out and shut the door. Which isn’t helpful when you desperately need to go to a mechanic but are only in the car when you’re rushing to work. Which reminds me, I need to get my bike fixed. Blaahhhhhhh help meeee. So yeah, bought an old Volkswagen. Golf TDI. It’s nice. It’s got the dopiest headlights; I swore I’d never ever get this car because of them. Goddammit.
indian ghee clarified butter lamb shanks pastured grassfed I don’t know what this dish is. I got started looking at rogan josh recipes. But it’s not rogan josh, or least I didn’t do any research to confirm or deny that statement, so I’m just sticking with it. Plus, generic blog post titles are seemingly my forte now. For the chiles in this I used ancho and these other strange little ones I had. Obviously, your chile choice has a big impact on flavor. Maybe spending thousands of dollars in cash on a car that has the dopiest headlights has made me give less of shit what kinds of chiles you use. Maybe it’s that I was running myself ragged on a Sunday making this after spending the best part of the beautiful sunny day stuck inside at some stodgy luncheon for gardeners whom I’m sure I would have hated if I was to even have bothered talking to anyone besides Maria. I guess the world will never know. In any case, make this with what you’ve got, or if you can find Kashmiri chiles, use those. Or use those smooth chiles that I’m drawing a complete blank on the name of and oh man am I getting tired right now and don’t want to look it up. It’ll all be good. Just don’t use all chipotles. Barf.
fennel cumin cinnamon cardamom indian rogan josh spice mix As for the spices in this recipe – I always like to use whole seeds, as I’m sure you know by now. But sometimes you just find yourself in a world of suck and don’t happen to have green cardamom pods lying around and the thought of going to the grocery store makes you want to cry. Don’t be a dummy, just use ground. Don’t have ground spices? Well then don’t be a dummy, just go to the grocery store. I’m sorry if this recipe is a pain in your ass. You could be lazy and use all ground spices, buy ghee, not brown the meat…you’ll be dead to me, but then again I’m weary of myself just writing out the steps to this damn thing.

indian lamb shanks
6 dried chiles
black cardamom pods
(green cardamom pods…I used ground)
fennel seeds
cumin seeds
a real cinnamon stick
saffron (optional, I know it’s mucho expensivo)
ghee
a large onion
garlic
ginger
4-6 lamb shanks
cilantro

1. Heat a large dry skillet over medium low heat. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and rip them into large pieces so they’ll lie mostly flat in the pan. Flip them around frequently, making sure they don’t burn. You want them to toast a bit and mostly to dry out. Once they are very fragrant and crispy maybe like 10 minutes, grind them in a spice grinder and set aside.

2. Keep that same dry skillet over medium low heat, maybe turning it down a bit since the pan will keep getting hotter. Smash 5 black cardamom pods (and 8 of those green ones if you are smarter than me) with the back of a chef’s knife. Measure out 2 teaspoons fennel seeds and 2 teaspoons cumin seeds. Add the crushed pods and the seeds and crumble 1 stick of cinnamon into the pan. Stir around everything frequently until very fragrant, several minutes. Grind these spices in a spice grinder and add to a small bowl.

3. Add a tablespoon and a half of the chile powder, 1 teaspoon of asafoetida, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom (if you are as smart as me), and a teaspoon of saffron to the bowl of the ground spices and mix.

4. Make ghee…I sorry. You might just want to buy some, but to make it – heat butter over medium heat till boiling, then reduce heat to low. Let it simmer for like 8 – 10 minutes, till it’s golden. Then strain it with cheesecloth or skim the milk solids off the top. Sweet, done.

5. Chop the onion, mince about a tablespoon of peeled ginger, and mince 6 garlic cloves. Set aside.

6. Heat a few tablespoons of ghee over high heat in an oven proof pot. Add the lamb shanks in batches to brown, several minutes per side. Salt and pepper them. Put to the side when they’re browned.

7. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the chopped veggies. Sauté until nicely browned. Add 2 cups of water or broth, the spice mix, and salt and pepper. Stir to mix, then add back the lamb shanks. Add additional water to mostly cover the shanks.

8. Preheat the oven to 225. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil, then put in the oven for 5 – 6 hours.

Holy crap. Okay. Well, to finish it off, put the pot back on the stovetop and boil to reduce the sauce. Garnish with cilantro. Goodnighty.

coconut milk kheer

17 Feb

real food coconut milk kheerI’ve had some pretty terrible rice puddings. Thin and anemic, the rice somehow devoid of any starch. And something about it being served cold, more often than not, just magnifies how watery and uninspired the “pudding” is. Gross. But I’ve also had some really delicious ones. Spiced just right, not too sweet, and so thick serving it cold might be hazardous. Kinda like this recipe here.
natural value organic coconut milk no guar gum coconut milk I finally took the plunge and ordered a case of coconut milk online. I’ve of late been refusing to use the guar gummed coconut milk. I’ve been fairly convinvced it makes me feel terrible after an objectionable run-in with some commercial coconut milk ice cream, and while I’ve had some non-ice cream canned stuff in recent past and been alright, I’m still done with it. Enter the unfortunately titled “Natural Value” coconut milk. I’m not entirely sure it’s not an off-brand from Family Dollar. But hey, the placebo effect is a real thing, ya know?
arborio rice rinsing rice rinsed arborio rice I cut my hair! Bangs! Ugh, what was I thinking. They’re the worst! Now I actually have to style my hair. Now I actually have to wash my hair regularly. I have this big dumb cowlick in the front of my head that makes my hair look real dumb if I don’t comb and brush and curl and blow dry it. Also, I need to stop eating so much dessert. I shouldn’t have made this pudding. I think my chin and neck have come together to meet in unholy matrimony.
saffron cardamom pods boiling pudding Instead of arborio rice as I use here, jasmine rice is also a great rice to use, as is basmati. Jasmine’s flavor makes up for any difference in starch content between it and arborio I think. Golden raisins are also a nice addition, as are other nuts as garnishes – toasted almonds or toasted cashews. The saffron is optional. I have some from a Middle Eastern market and it was really inexpensive, but I know normally it’s not. And please don’t think you can make this with cauliflower rice or some other such nonsense. I mean you could, but I can think of way better things to use cauliflower for. You could use sprouted brown rice if you’re so inclined, but just decrease the amount of coconut milk you use since it’ll cook so quickly. I might try that with some brown Jasmine rice I have. I like sprouting things.
clarks local colorado honey pistachios chopped pistachios coconut milk kheer
serves about 6 – 8

1/2 cup arborio rice
2 cans coconut milk
6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
generous pinch saffron
4 tablespoons honey
shelled and peeled pistachios

1. Wash and rinse the rice until the water runs clear.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the rice, coconut milk, cardamom, salt, and saffron over medium high heat until it starts to boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, especially toward the end as the mixture gets thicker.

3. Stir in the honey and cook an additional few minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve with chopped pistachios on top. If you can wait until it’s closer to room temperature (aka prime mouth-shoveling temperature) then it’s supreme.

coconut milk indian chicken

29 Aug

Oh how I wished to be able to call this tandoori chicken, because I love tandoori chicken. I based it off a recipe that called it tandoori chicken. But it’s not. And since I’m a self-professed food jerk, I could not call it such. First, no tandoor was involved. Never could be. Who the f has a tandoor. Second, this chicken is marinated in coconut milk. Tandoori chicken demands yogurt. And boy do I love yogurt marinated…anything. But I’ve been craving something with coconut milk for a while. And actually, for better or worse, you can’t tell it was marinated in coconut milk. It just tasted like it was marinated in the most godly substance on earth. Seriously, it is so good.
So since this is kind of an interpretation recipe, or something, guess what – I used all ground spices. Gasp. I did not toast and grind whole spices. Generally if I make Indian food I feel absolutely compelled to do this. It’s like this OCD side of me. The same side that likes to make my own butter, my own fermented pickles, my own bacon, all that crap. But it was hot this weekend. And even though I bought new boots, fall isn’t here. It was bathing-suit-all-day weather. And ground spices sounded nice. This recipe, despite a ton of spices, is real easy. It was a perfect lazy weekend recipe. And you know what? I bet you could use some curry powder and garam masala and be pretty darn well off – but just know that this combo of spices is really damn good.
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saag paneer

14 Apr


Sunset cooking! So lovely! Of course, the sun went down pretty quick after I started, but it’s something. And yes, this is another dish I made with chicken, but I won’t focus on that, so I can feel better about offering more variety. Saag paneer is kind of like the Pad Thai of Thai food, or the Sesame Chicken of Chinese…a gateway dish to Indian food for a lot of people. That doesn’t mean it’s not good, or great even. It’s just usually a more mildly spiced dish and, also, I think the word curry can scare off food newbies. Pff, picky eaters (wow, did I used to be one).


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