June 2019 Cooking Challenge: Indian food

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Not too far away, on the corner of 600 East and 300 South is a small convenience store. It is run by a family of immigrants from India, three, if not four, generations work in the place.

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It is where I go when I want anything Indian, an amazing little place. Their samosas are quite tasty as well.

The spiced rack of lamb is out of the marinade and on the grill.

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Doesn't look that appetizing in this photot, but it smells GREAT!

mjb.
 
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Okay, got one dinner done.

The Players

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So we have a relatively small, 1 pound New Zealand lamb rack. And we have some spices. The whole spices you see are cinnamon ( more likely to be cassia bark ) and cumin seeds. Spices you don't see are black peppercorns, salt and some of my home grown, REALLY HOT cayenne powder. Also not pictured is a cup of basmati rice, some scallions, and saffron threads.

The Process

The whole spices were toasted until fragrant, cooled a bit, then put into a spice grinder and turned into a coarse powder. They went into a plastic bag with about half a cup of Greek yogurt, salt, cayenne, and a a splash of lime juice. Lamb was added, marinade mushed around. The lamb went in the fridge, I went to work.

I get home from work and get back to cooking. The saffron threads go into a half cup of hot water to steep for a bit. The lamb is pulled out of the marinade and placed on a rack to drip dry a bit. A big dollop of that home made ghee you've seen here was put into a pot over medium low heat. I thinly sliced the whites of a few scallions, they went into the ghee and sweated for about 5 minutes. Heat raised a bit, the rice goes in the pot, gets stirred around.

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Went out and fired up a chimney of mesquite lump charcoal. Back in the kitchen the rice is smelling nice and fragrant. A cup of the homemade veggie stock you've seen here was heated and poured into the pot, along with the saffron and the steeping water. Some salt added, lower the heat, cook for 20 minutes.

The lamb goes on the grill.

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I pulled the lamb off at 124F, it coasted to 130 while resting under a loose foil cover.

The Product


Rice plated with some scallion greens and a dusting of that killer cayenne powder. Lamb sliced, looks perfect!

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The crust on the lamb had a nice flavor and some good heat from the cayenne, rice was not perfect, I should have rinsed it first, but still quite tasty. This was a most excellent dinner.

mjb.
 
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Mangalorean Lobia Gassi ( a coconut black eyed pea curry to which I added corn and lacinto)
Tempered mustard seeds. Sprinkled with asafetida. Cooked briefly and added my wet masala of onion, coconut, red chile, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, black pepper, curry leaves, and tamarind. Cooked for 10. Added the black eyed peas, corn, and lacinto. Cooked for 10. Added coconut milk and turmeric and cooked for 10. Finished with chopped cilantro.

Served it with a grilled coconut masala marinated pork shoulder blade steak and brown rice that was cooked using a corn cob stock.
 
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As for the goat curry I was planning for tonight, not gonna happen.

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Went to the Rancho Market were I had seen goat before at the meat counter, got a couple pounds. I didn't realize it was frozen. So making the curry would have taken a few extra hours of thaw time. Deadline for the challenge was sooner than that, so I stashed the goat in the garage freezer. Maybe I can use it in the next challenge. We shall see.

mjb.
 
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As for the goat curry I was planning for tonight, not gonna happen.

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Went to the Rancho Market were I had seen goat before at the meat counter, got a couple pounds. I didn't realize it was frozen. So making the curry would have taken a few extra hours of thaw time. Deadline for the challenge was sooner than that, so I stashed the goat in the garage freezer. Maybe I can use it in the next challenge. We shall see.

mjb.
Ah well - at least it makes my job easier. I love goat curry, by the way...

I'll post up results later today.
 
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This is proving to be more difficult than I thought - mainly, I suppose because I love all types of curry. I also thought the standard of entries was very high. Here are my notes:

teamfat teamfat kicked us off by making his own ghee Hats off for that! Its something I’ve never done. He also entered a vegetable stock - but I’m not sure that was used in an Indian dish? Finally a spiced rack of lamb. The lamb looked perfectly cooked and quite delicious. It included home grown, really hot cayenne powder. in the spice mix. Another brownie point for growing your own spices!

butzy butzy , despite spending most of June away from home, entered a well improvised Mr Patak-Lazy-Whatever is left in the fridge-curry and an almost vegan black eyed pea massala which looked delicious. I’ve never (for some reason) thought of using black eyed peas in a curry before but will be trying this

planethoff planethoff gave us a great fusion dish: Curry Chicken Pot Pies. This was the best of both worlds. I love pies. I love curry. It also included an unexpected 'orange liqueur/ ginger ale mix' in the marinade. I was pleased to note these were ‘proper pies’ with pastry on the sides on base (not just a ‘lid’).

Next was Tandoori Chicken Saag Paneer. Saag Paneer happens to be one of my favourite things & it was great that paneer was home-made

This was followed by a fabulous looking Chicken Tika Masala - such A vibrant dish which made me feel very hungry indeed!

hank hank gave us Kadai Panneer and despite being in temporary accommodation with a limited kitchen, succeeded in making a very pretty dish from scratch. Well done!

cheflayne cheflayne took us on a trip to Southern India with four entries: Kozhi Mapas, Coorg Koli Curry, Kerala egg roast curry and Mangalorean Lobia Gassi

For some reason I’d never come across Mapas before. The list of processes and spices suggested a beautifully flavoured curry. I loved the use of toasted ground coconut in the Coorg Koli - its a technique I’ve used before and I know it adds a wonderful nutty flavour. Egg curry is a great favourite of mine and I thought the Kerala egg roast curry looked great. Another one to try.

The Mangalorean curry featured black eyed peas (I’m obviously missing a trick here!) as well as a gorgeous looking grilled coconut masala marinated pork shoulder. Wonderful work.

My final shortlist was
planethoff planethoff who wooed me with the splendid fusion Curry Chicken Pie and vibrant Tandoori Chicken.
cheflayne cheflayne who reawakened my interest in Southern Indian cooking with four beautifully made dishes.

In the end (being forced to choose!) I declare cheflayne cheflayne the winner - not least, because I learned about some new Southern Indian dishes.

Its over to you cheflayne cheflayne ! I look forward to the July challenge.
 
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Good choice! I know how difficult it can be to choose.

I did use both the ghee and the veggie stock in making the saffron rice, and both would have been used in the goat curry. I still plan to make some naan, it just won't be for the challenge, unless cheflayne picks Indian food!

mjb.
 
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Great work everyone. Lots of great looking (and I'm sure tasting) dishes. Well done cheflayne. Congratulations! You made some great stuff. And many thanks to morning glory for another great challenge.
 
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In the end (being forced to choose!) I declare @cheflayne the winner
Thanks much!!! I had a blast with it. I hated to see it end. Also, I appreciate everyone's kind words. Hey teamfat, you will be able to use naan in the new challenge if you want :~)
 
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