apologies in advance- this is probably going to be my only post this week because it’s the beginning of restaurant week! 🙂 mm. im allowing myself to go to 3 places. if i try something i really like, maybe i’ll attempt to replicate it at home next week!
tonight some friends and i are going to an indian place, in honor of india’s republic day 🙂 mera bharat mahaan!
back to the matter at hand – last night i made keema. keema is an indian spicy (typically) meat dish. since my favorite whole foods ran out of ground turkey, i made it vegetarian with soy crumbles. this dish can easily be made with ground turkey, chicken, lamb, beef – whatever you want. its extremely simple and usually served with rice, naan, roti or parathas. i looove the flaky butteryness of malaysian style parathas so i picked up a pack from a friendly indian grocery shop in curry hill. you can make those yourself too, but i didn’t want to spend my evening rolling and twisting and folding dough and oil to make parathas 🙂 if you want to give it a shot – here‘s a good recipe. please let me know how it comes out.
*warning* lighting sucked last night. pics are not that great.
start off by chopping a small/medium onion, cut some curry leaves into strips (or kadhi patta if you’re like my mom and don’t know the english word) and bang up some coriander seeds with a meat mallet, or however you wish to crush them up a bit. i love the flavor of coriander seeds (yes, but i hate cilantro…) so i tweaked my moms recipe by adding them 🙂 and some other small tweaks as well.
to crush the coriander seeds, i put some in a ziploc bag and hit them a few times. before i got a meat mallet, i used to put them on my cutting board and carefully smash them with the side of a large knife. or you can use a mortar and pestle. whatever.
i’d say i used about 1 sprig of curry leaves and a tablespoon or so of coriander seeds.
pour about a 2 second pour of a light colored oil (i used canola) into a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. once heated, slide in the crushed coriander seeds. do not let them burn – if the pan is too hot, turn down the heat.
once they make a popping noise, carefully slide in the onions and stand back! heat should be fairly high at this point, you kind of want to crisp up the onions a bit, and they will splatter. stir in the curry leaves and some ginger and garlic paste (or freshly grated and minced if you want).
add in a bit of salt, garam masala, turmeric and cumin-coriander powder. if you don’t have the mix of cumin and coriander (i don’t know if it’s just something my mom makes or if its common to mix them) add each one seperately. also a little bit of cayenne.
let it cook for about 30 seconds, stirring. then add in 1 chopped tomato. stir and cook for another 30 seconds or so, then add 1 pack of your choice – soy crumbles (will need some broth or water with this), ground turkey, ground chicken, ground lamb, etc.
you can do a second layer of spice at this point – a bit of salt, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne.
since i was using soy crumbles and didn’t know if they would release any liquid, i poured in a few large splashes of chicken broth i had in the fridge. you can use vegetable broth or water instead. this worked out well because the crumbles soaked up the liquid and it kept the whole thing moist. if you use real meat, i don’t think this step is necessary.
throw in some frozen peas –
lets them heat through. when done, take off the heat and squirt juice from a wedge of lime (or more if you want) –
and we are…
i took pics of the paratha making, just for fun since my stove was so much better lit than my counter. and its fun to watch it puff up.
i wanted to try to present it nicely for you. paratha and keema isn’t really a pretty dish, so i thought i’d try my food presenting skills? i cut the paratha into strips with a pizza cutter and layered it like a napoleon. heh.
yumyumyum. and then we watched 24.
keema (vegetarian style)
1 medium onion
1 stem curry leaves
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (or more if desired), crushed
about 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon ginger paste (or fresh ginger)
1 tablespoon garlic paste (or minced garlic)
1.5 – 2 tablespoons garam masala (approx), divided
1 tablespoon cumin-coriander powder (approx), divided
1/2 tablespoon turmeric (approx), divided
1/2 – 1 tablespoon cayenne (to taste), divided
salt to taste
1 tomato, chopped – seeds and all
1 package soy crumbles (boca, morningstar, whatever you like)
1/4-1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth, or water
1/4-1/2 cup frozen peas
1 wedge of lime
if you like it and must have it, cilantro.
- heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
- slide in the crushed coriander seeds. let heat up until they pop.
- carefully slide in the onions and let them cook and brown a bit. then add the curry leaves.
- add the ginger an garlic to the pan, stir.
- add half of the spices – garam masala, cumin, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and a bit of salt. cook for about a minute or 2 until flavors are all melded.
- slide in the chopped tomato, juices seeds and all. cook for about 30 seconds.
- add the entire bag of soy crumbles and the broth (or water). once cooked down a little, add the rest of the spices to taste.
- stir in the frozen peas.
- once everything tastes right and is heated and cooked through, take the pan off the heat and squeeze some lime on there.
- stir in some chopped cilantro, if you must.
- serve however you like 🙂 over rice, with an indian bread, etc.
Finally!! Now I can have my childhood favorites and not feel guilty!!