My obsession with Thai food is fairly recent but pretty intense. I always loved Chinese food, but Thai food combines ingredients like Coconut milk and spices like Cumin and Coriander which are very popular in Indian cuisine as well. I started mastering the basics like red and green curry and moved on to Massaman & Panang. Each spice base has someone the same ingredients but are very distinct in their taste.
The Massaman curry base is very unique – spices like fennel, cumin, coriander, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon and black peppercorns are pounder together with the usual suspects, red chillies, shallots, lemongrass, ginger and galangal. And of course it’s finished off with fish sauce and shrimp paste. If you like to make a vegetarian or vegan version of the paste substitute light soya and spicy bean paste for the fish sauce and shrimp paste. I’ve used this to make a delicious Thai Massaman Noodle Salad and in a Peanut sauce and now I’m going to simmer chunks of meat in this blend of spices and creamy Coconut milk. This curry is hearty, cooked together with potatoes, studded with peanuts and served with some Jasmine rice, you gotta try it.
This is my Mom’s Meatball Curry recipe from one of her many many recipe books. Spiced meatballs are simmered in a special blend of ground spices like red Kashmiri Chillies, Cumin, Coriander, Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, with Ginger, Garlic & Vinegar and finished off with some creamy Coconut milk. Whenever I miss my Mom, which is pretty much always, I find comfort in being surrounded by her things. She penned many many recipe books and I love pouring through them to find a new recipe to try.
This recipe is very special, the balance of spices are amazing and I love that it yields a lot gravy that can be poured over rice.
Like I do with any recipe, this is Kravings tested. This means I’ve made sure the recipe can be replicated in the most efficient way by streamlining the process and removing redundancies – the results are delicious, I’m sure my Mommy in heaven would agree!
I’ve made Kheema so many different ways and it’s only last year that I made Xanti Pinto’s Goan Kheema. I’ve heard Xanti(pronounced Shanti) and a few others RAVE about Alves Fernandes’s recipe on the facebook group – Traditional Goan Foodies. Now, I know that Alves is an amazing cook and his blog is top notch, but I wondered why everyone was raving about this kheems so I decided to try this for myself! They weren’t lying … this recipe is stellar. There are a few steps to making this recipe, but it truly is worth the effort.
I call this Goan Masala Kheema as the ground beef is slathered and simmered in a delicious Goan masala blend.
I’ve adapted the recipe to make it easier to prepare, I hope you enjoy it! Thanks Alves for publishing such great recipes! Please check out his amazing blog right here!
My memories of Rogan Josh takes me back to my Dubai days with my boss and friend Sunanda Pushkar Menon. She was a proud Kashmiri and would present her Rogan Josh at every potluck gathering. We used to joke that she didn’t know how to make anything else, but now I realize that it was with great pride as a Kashmiri that she wanted to share her precious culture with us. Sadly Sue passed away very tragically a few years ago. I didn’t learn how to make this till many years later, but I still always associate Rogan Josh with the memory of Sue. RIP
According to my research, this was brought to India from Persia but the Moghuls. They used to come to Kashmir during the hot months to stay cool. The original recipe was made with Onions, Garlic & Tomatoes. Over time and with all the religious turmoil in the region, the Hindu Pandits made their own version and omitted the Onion, Garlic and Tomatoes. This version is most popular today although the Muslims still make a version using Onions, Garlic & Tomatoes.
Rogan means fat and Josh means to stew or slow cook so the literal translation means slow cooked meat in fat. Josh also mean enthusiastic or power and Gosht means meat so it could be derived from that word too.
Lamb is preferred for this recipe although Mutton is widely available and used in many recipes as well. The key ingredients are fennel, ground ginger and asafetida or Hing. The meat is slow cooked in spices and yogurt till tender. The famous red coloring of a Rogan Josh comes from the Alkanet Root called Ratan Jot. This when infused in hot oil leeches this amazing natural red color.
I never need an excuse to throw a party, however, the combination of celebrating my 4th birthday on YouTube and having the house to myself since my husband is travelling is the perfect reason to gather my BFF’s to throw a Mexican Fiesta party! Everyone arrived armed with platters, pots and a mission to have a great time.
I absolutely adore Mexican or Tex Mex inspired food and I’ve been dying to make these Potato Skins for a long time. Many moons ago when I lived in Dubai, we always frequented the El Rancho Mexican restaurant at the Astoria Hotel. So many great memories were made and friendships strengthened over Margaritas and loaded skins affectionately called ‘Mexiskins’
On a side note when I told my son to go downstairs and eat some Mexiskins, he retorted ‘Mom, why would I eat a Mexican’ LOL
These are great stuffed with meat or chicken and are even great vegetarian. It’s a perfect snack, appetizer and great at a pary where you can top them with a variety of fillings to suit every palate. The skins can be prepped ahead and just reheated in the oven to crisp up.
As with all of my other recipes, I’ve found the easiest way to prep these potatoes by first cooking them in the microwave and then finishing them off in the oven. Hope you enjoy these and be sure to check out my step-by-step video that also includes party footage and pictures
Simple ingredients like dinner rolls and ground beef, with the help of some Mexican condiments make some super fun Taco boats! Mid week dinners can be depressing to plan but this recipe will bring in the sunshine and the party! What I love about these are that they are portable and you can even take leftovers to school or work for a nice quick lunch.
Although I’ve used ground beef in my recipe, you can easily substitute this with ground Chicken or even Turkey! Chicken & Turkey is a bit more delicate, so I would reduce the salsa a bit to ensure that the filling is not too runny. This recipe uses regular dinner rolls, but gluten free versions can easily be substituted.
Spring time is when our stores are bursting with lamb and I thought about making a delicious recipe for Turkish Lamb Chops. We visited Turkey a few years ago and I just couldn’t get enough of all their delicious food. Their menus do contain a lot of grilled meats and Lamb is definitely a favorite.
You may know that I was born in the Middle East, in Abu Dhabi to be specific and spent my early adult life working and living in Dubai. Dubai is very cosmopolitan and besides being home to multiple nationalities from all over the world, it’s also a haven for it’s neighboring Arab nationals – Lebanese, Egyptians, Jordanians just to name a few …. and of course the Turks. The flavors of these Arab countries are similar but different and my palate has learned to seek them out and cherish them.
These chops are going to be given a royal Turkish treatment!
Gordon Ramsay is my culinary idol. I not only love watching on TV, I’ve never been disappointed with any of his recipe ideas. When my husband came home with a large Rack of Lamb, I remembered a recipe of Gordon’s where he smothered the Lamb in mustard and dredged it in a breadcrumb, parsley and parmesan mixture.
Lamb is baby sheep that is under two years old and a lot of Lamb comes from Australia and New Zealand. Anything over 2 years old is considered Mutton. Mutton chops are incredibly tasty as well, they have a more mature flavor and are a bit tougher and take longer to cook. Many people don’t eat Lamb for ethical reasons so Mutton chops are a great idea too.
This Herbed Rack of Lamb makes a great spring meal. Carve it at the table for maximum drama and serve with a salad or veggies. Delicious!
You’re going to love this recipe for Mutton Biriyani … this is one of the Biriyanis that is on that Biriyani hall of fame. There are so many different types of Biriyani, and depending on where you’re from, the taste is different even though the ingredients are practically the same. I’ve made different Biriyani recipes on the blog/channel and I’m sure this one won’t be the last. You can also make this recipe with Lamb. Mutton is just basically sheep that can no longer be called Lamb since it crossed two years. In my humble opinion, Mutton has a move developed flavor and lacks that gaminess that you get from Lamb. If you’re bothered by the gamey smell of Lamb or Mutton, a good trick is to soak it in milk overnight. It’s not really necessary though, when you cook your meat as long as I do all you’re left with it the delicious aroma of the spices in the meat.
I also use long grain Basmati rice, this is crucial to making a good Biriyani. I like to soak my rice for at least 30 minutes as this frees all the excess starch and can be rinsed away. Saffron is also a popular ingredient in a Biriyani preparation. These come from Spain and are harvested each year from the Crocus flower. I soak some in warm milk and allow the flavor and color to infuse. Although very few people add potatoes to their Biriyani, I am one of them … the combination of potato, meat and rice is strangely exciting and it’s how my Mom prepared it. Mom’s know best.
This recipe calls for a LOT of onions that will be fried. Half of these will be used in the gravy and half of these will be used as a garnish. And the true flavor comes from an incredible blend of spices in the Biriyani Masala that I make in small batches and like to use fresh.
On a side note: A few weeks after I taped this Biriyani, I had a visit from a family friend who is an amazing Hyderabadi homecook. She taught me how to make Hyderabadi Biriyani and I recorded the entire thing on FB live. You can check that out here.
My mom is one of the most amazing cooks that I will ever know. If I had to pick just one favorite, it has to be her Sorpotel. My Virgo Mom, was as meticulous as they come, she would take the time to cut her meat into perfect little cubes that danced in a fiery sour and spicy gravy.
Sorpotel spelled with an o or an a is one of the most traditional and beloved curry dishes served on celebratory occasions. This is rumoured to have originated from the Alentejo region of Portugal, and was carried with Portuguese colonists and settlers to the countries of their conquests. The Portuguese set up their colonies in Goa and the Goans quickly adopted this dish and christened it Sorpotel – Soro meaning alcohol. I would imagine that the original recipe may have contained alcohol. There are so many variations to this recipe out there, the East Indians and Mangaloreans all make their own version of this. In my mind, Sorpotel should be exactly as my mother made it, she followed a typical Goan recipe with perfectly small cubes of meat in a delicious deep red sour and spicy gravy. Versions that are brown and with large chunks of meat just don’t cut it for me.
Sorpotel is traditionally made with Pork and Offal being organs like Liver, Kidney & Gizzards. Because my family does not eat Pork, I was toying with the idea of making a Chicken Sorpotel for years. I think I may have asked my mom to email me the same recipe multiple times. Last year, just before Christmas, I found an old email print out from my mom, she was kinda annoyed that I was asking for it so many times. This is dated 2002!
Last year, December 2015, I replicated her recipe originally intended for Pork using Chicken Thigh and Beef liver and the results were outstanding, if you have a really good recipe, you can’t go wrong. Many people cannot eat Pork for religious or dietary reasons, so Chicken is a great alternative but if you would like to make this using the traditional protein, pork shoulder is a good cut but the belly is the fattiest and probably the most popular cut used in this preparation. I know you will probably ask – ‘what if I don’t eat liver?’ Leave it out, be warned though without this you’re pretty much going to get a delicious curry, but not a Sorpotel.
I follow a 2:1 ratio, 2 parts Chicken to one part liver. For the Ofal I prefer to only use liver. I find that if you use other organs the textures are all so varied, it just gets too confusing. I’m using Beef liver since it does resembles Pork liver in texture and color. It’s also convenient because of it’s size, but if you don’t eat Beef, Goat or Lamb liver can easily be substituted. You cannot use Chicken Liver as it’s too soft. To replicate the fatty Pork meat, I’ve used Boneless Chicken Thigh and I’ve got this uncleaned as you can see all the fat still on the meat.
Every good Sorpotel starts with a great spice blend. My mother used a lot of Kashmiri Chillies in her masala blend for intense red color without too much heat. Many people add animal blood to their Sorpotel – quite frankly I find that gross, so the Kashmiri chillies are going to have to paint my Sorpotel red for me. This recipe also uses some traditional Goa vinegar. If you cannot find Goa vinegar, you can substitute Red Wine Vinegar.
Please practice food safety, don’t use the same utensils, boards etc for raw and cooked meat and be sure to wash your hands.
And I’ll sign off with a joke – My friend Succorine from Soglechem Succorine said to me ‘Karen bai, did you know Sorpotel was named after a Gujju? I said what? They don’t even eat meat … then she said yes, the man was ‘Sor’ Patel’ … I can’t believe I fell for that one and if you’re laughing, I can’t believe you fell for it too!