#Lamb Curry #Filo Pie with #Kersik #Coconut crumbs

We are trying to cut down on carbs again so trying to come up with ways to have curry flavours without eating rice or breads.

This recipe is inspired by Morrocan B’stilla, replacing the filling with Indian flavours and replacing the almond cinnamon icing sugar sprinkle traditionally used in the Morrocan version with Kersik, a Keralan coconut crumb mixed with cinnamon and cardamom powder.

Basically, you first make a dry curry with desiccated coconut and then bake it in a light filo pastry crust. The result was a delicious crispy package with spicy slow cooked lamb filling.

Defrost Pastry: 2 hours Prep time: 20 minutes cooking time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 7 sheets filo pastry
  • 4 lamb chump chops, bone in, cut into bite size pieces (reserve bones to use in curry)
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, equal ginger and 2 red chillies pounded into paste (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick or piece of cinnamon bark
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 dried chillies
  • 1 star anise
  • Handful curry leaves (oprtional)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cummin powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinammon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder(optional)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter slightly cooled

Method:

1. Remove filo pastry from fridge to bring to room temperature allowing 2 hours.

2. Prepare onions, ginger garlic chilli paste and cut up lamb.

3. Heat oil in heavy based casserole dish, add cummin seeds, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves and cook over medium heat until crackling stops. Take care not to burn spices.

4. Add onions and cook slowly until golden and just starting to caramelise.

5. Add ginger,garlic, chilli paste and mix through onions cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.

6. Add turmeric, chilli and cummin powders and mix through to distribute evenly and just heat through.

7. Add lamb, 1/2 teaspoon salt, dried chillies and 2 tablespoons water to stop sticking and coat lamb in onion spice mixture. Slow lamb to seal, stirring from time to time for 2-3 minutes.

8. Add 1.5 cups of hot water or chicken stock to just cover lamb. Simmer with lid on over low heat for 30 minutes, checking regularly to ensure it isn’t sticking.

9. While lamb is simmering, toast the coconut until golden brown in a dry pan, taking great care as it will burn quickly if not constantly shifted and stirred. Allow coconut to cool slightly.

10. Add 1/2 the toasted coconut to the lamb and mix through, add more water or stock and cook for another 15-20 minutes until lamb is very tender and liquid is reduced.

11. Taste to see if additional salt required, this is unlikely especially if you are using chicken stock with salt in it.

12. Clean, chop coriander and mint. Melt butter and allow to cool slightly.

14. Remove lid and reduce mixture until liquid almost totally reduced, leaving only a moist coating on the lamb. Then mix through coriander and mint.

14. Transfer lamb to a plate to cool, remove dried chillies, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods(if you want and can find them). I just leave them in! PRE-HEAT oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

15. Whilst lamb is cooling, mix cinnamon powder and cardamom powder with remaining toasted coconut, pound together in a mortar and pestle, making a fragrant mixture to layer between the pastry sheets.

16. Take one sheet of filo pastry, lay horizontally, brush with butter and lay another sheet on top and repeat with another sheet. After 3 sheets, brush the next one with utter and add a sprinkling of the Kersik coconut mixture. (4 filo sheets in total horizontally)

17. Layer a sheet of filo vertically across the middle of the horizontal stack, brush with butter, sprinkle with coconut mixture and repeat with 2 more sheets. (3 filo sheets vertically in total)

18. Add the lamb mixture in a neat even pile in the middle section where the base is made up of 7 sheets of filo.

19. Fold the horizontal section over from right to left, taking some of the vertical section over to create a straight edge, brush with butter, sprinkle with more coconut if you have any left, fold the left side in and repeat with remaining sections of pastry to create a neat rectangular parcel.

10. Place the parcel face down on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Brush with remaining melted butter.

11. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

12. Remove, sprinkle with remaining Kersik, allow to cool for 5 minutes and cut into wedges to serve with salad, and raita.

Vietnamese Beef Stir Fry with watercress

Inspired by Karen Martini’s recent recipe in the Sydney Morning Herald, I used ingredients I had at home to do a version of this simple but delicious stir fry.

Bit of chopping, marinating and grinding involved but worth it for the very tasty outcome.

  • Prep time: 1 hour Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Ingredients:
  • 500g rump steak, fat removed and cut into 1cm strips
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 red or green chillies sliced lengthwise into thin “batons”
  • 1 small red or green capsicum sliced into 3cm long batons
  • 1/4 bunch dill, thick stalks removed, chopped into 3cm lengths
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions white and some green parts sliced into 3cm long batons
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons palm sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons roughly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method

1. Slice beef, place in bowl.

2. Finely dice 4 cloves of garlic, crush 2 cloves into paste, add garlic to beef.

3. Add pepper and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce to beef and set aside to marinate for at least half an hour.

4. Heat a small pan and add rice to pan to toast. Keep shaking pan to brown rice but make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

5. Prepare fresh ingredients. Trim and clean watercress, dice onions, cut capsicum, spring onions, dill, and chillies. Scatter watercress on a large serving platter and set aside.

6. grind rice to a rough powder in a mortar and pestle.

7. Mix palm sugar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and mix to combine and dissolve palm sugar in a amsl bowl and set aside.

8.Heat the oil in a wok on high for 4 minutes until smoking.

9. Carefully add beef to wok and spread so as much of beef surface on one side is in contact with wok. Reduce heat slightly but leave beef undisturbed for 2 minutes.

10. Stir beef to expose other side to wok, add capsicum, diced onion and chilli and cook for 3 minutes or so until onion softens.

11.Add spring onion, dill and the sauces mixture. Mix through and cook for a minute or so until sauce has heated up.

12. Tip beef over watercress. Pour lime juice over the beef, then sprinkle roasted rice powder over beef and serve with jasmine rice.

Grilled #Chicken or Salmon with Spicy #Romesco Sauce

Spiced up this classic Catalan sauce and then smeared it over chicken, salmon fillets before grilling and even used as a base for a fish curry over the next few days.

Sweet, smoky, nutty and this version has a nice spicy kick with the inclusion of chilli flakes.

It’s great to have in the fridge to brighten things up.

It’s delicious as a dip on it’s own as well. The recipe makes a big bowl of it so use it as you please!

Sauce: Prep time 40 minutes

Ingredients:

· 2 large red capsicums

·       1 tomato

·       6 cloves of garlic with skin on

·       1 slice of white bread

·       ½ cup of nuts – I used walnuts but traditional is almonds

·       1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red/white wine) – I used apple cider vinegar

·       1 tablespoon smoked paprika

·       2 teaspoons chilli flakes

·       1 tsp salt

· 3 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius

Wrap tomato and garlic in foil

Place red capsicums whole in oven, alongside foil parcel

Grill turning red capsicums until blackened and char grilled on all sides

Remove capsicums and foil parcel from oven

Put bread and nuts in hot oven and grill until nuts are browned and bread is toasted on both sides – take care not to burn nuts (lower oven heat to 170 degrees or so) my walnuts got a bit dark but it still tasted good!

Place blackened capsicums in a plastic bag and seal – leave to steam and cool, remove skin and seeds – put in blender

Remove skin from tomato and peel garlic and put in blender with rest of ingredients – break toasted bread into large “crumbs”

Whizz until smooth thick paste forms, place in bowl.

Chicken Thigh Cutlets: Marinate overnight if you like, cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken thigh cutlets – skin on and bone in

1 tablespoon olive oil

Fresh Thyme

Black peppper

Method:

· Rub Chicken thigh cutlets with 2-3 tablespoons of romesco sauce – leave to marinate for a while, even overnight if you can but it’s not mandatory.

· Sprinkle with black pepper, thyme and olive oil – might need a bit more salt

·       Place in hot oven 175 degrees Celsius

· Roast until skin crisps up and chicken is cooked through – about 30 minutes, then turn up to 250 degrees for 5 -10 minutes to crisp up skin

· Serve with salad, rice or roast vegetables with romesco sauce on side.

Salmon Fillets

Smear Salomon fillets with romesco sauce, grill in hot oven 180 degrees for 15 minutes or so, turn skin side up, turn up oven to 250 degrees and grill until skin crisps up for about 5 minutes, I served this with couscous and a vegetable tagine with preserved lemons.

Three Chilli Seafood Curry

The combination of dried chillies, whole red chillies and chilli powder makes this curry sound fiercely hot, but it’s not unless you eat the while chillies.

It’s actually a great way to cater for all levels of spice lovers, because the curry itself is quite mild – but the chillies are there for the hot heads as well who want to eat them!

A quick and easy mixed seafood curry to spice up your weeknight dinner line up.

You do need a well stocked Indian Spice cupboard though so check the ingredients..although the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves are optional, but they an extra layer of add deliciousness if you have them.

Ingredients:

  • 200g flathead or white fish fillets cut into pieces
  • 100g squid rings
  • 6 medium size green prawns
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 4 dried chillies left whole
  • 2 red chillies stem cut off but left whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds(optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Handful of curry leaves(optional)
  • 1.5 tablespoons tamarind pulp or 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • 100g plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Coriander and diced red onion for garnish

Method:

1. Heat oil in heavy based saucepan with lid.

2. Add fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds if using, dried chillies and heat through until just fragrant. Be careful not to burn.

3. Add onions , red chillies and curry leaves and cook gently until onions are translucent.

4. Add ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric and cumin powder and mix through until fragrant.

5. Add seafood, scatter over salt, and mix through to cover in spices. Add tamarind pulp, yoghurt and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer.

6. Simmer gently with lid on for 8-10 minutes or until fish is just cooked through.

7. Check that tamarind has disintegrated and remove any chunks if necessary.

8. Garnish with coriander and diced red onion and serve with plain rice and a cucumber raaita.

Pork with shredded kale and Fenugreek leaves(#methi) vindaloo

Made one of our favourite pork curries Pork VIndaloo, added 2 handfuls of shredded kale, as well as about 300g of frozen fenugreek leaves (bought at an Indian grocery store) ….right at the end to simmer with pork for last 10 minutes or so, then garnished with chopped coriander.

Pork Vindaloo with Fenugreek seeds and leaves

Whilst the bitter leaves of fenugreek are acclaimed by many Indians as an antioxidant with excellent healing powers for every thing from liver dis disfunction, to lowering cholesterol, I just love the bittery, earthy flavours that fenugreek leaves bring to spaces and Dhals. Find it, buy it and try it out?

Adding in shredded Kale to add more texture to the dish.

Mixed #Seafood #Curry #Durbanstyle

I looked everywhere on the internet for mixed seafood curry recipe but could not find one. So I just made up a version with a few ideas I saw along the way and the type of flavours I was in the mood for!

We rarely eat crab curry because it’s too messy and sometimes not substantial enough on its own because it’s all shell and gravy? You know what I mean? But we do love the flavours. This curry is the best of a “number of worlds” as the prawns, scallop and squid are easy to eat, are delicious and much more substantial….and really benefit from the crab flavoured sauce that is created.

We ate the prawns, squid and scallops first and then the the crab with our hands and. Finger bowl at the end!

The addition of tamarind pulp and classic South Indian spices adds the zingy tartness melding together into a really delicious curry that is. I think this dish is about to be known as Amazing Seafood and bound to be a favourite in our house.

If you want to make this without the crab, best to put shellfish first and add after quicker cooking fish etc later. Good luck ..easy to experiment and it will still be delicious!

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes

Perfect for dinner for 2 with salad.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 blue swimmer crab cleaned and cut into pieces, legs pulled off
  • 6-8 green prawns shelled and deveined
  • 8-10 scallops
  • 3 baby squid/calamari
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 pieces cinammon bark/ half a quill
  • 1/2 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Large handful of fresh curry leaves (or 2 bay leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cummin powder
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • Equal amount of fresh ginger to garlic
  • 1-2 red chillies
  • 1,5 teaspoons tamarind puree
  • 1-1.5cups water
  • Salt
  • 3tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • Coriander to garnish

Method:

1. Clean crab and cut into pieces, peel and devein prawns.

2. Cuts a baby squid into strips, place in bowl with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder, 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder and 1/2 tablespoon oil, mix and leave to marinate as you prepare other ingredients.

3. Crush ginger, garlic and red chillies into a paste.

4. Peel onion and dice finely. Dice tomatoes.

5. Heat oil in heavy based pan (use a pan or pot with a lid) over medium heat, Add cinnamon bark, 2/3 of the curry leaves, cummin seeds and fennel seeds and heat gently until fragrant.

6. Add onions and cook slowly until translucent.

7.Add 3/4 teaspoon each of cummin powder, turmeric and chilli powder and mix through onions to heat through, then add fenugreek seeds if using, add in tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt.

8. Cook tomatoes for about 5 minutes until they begin to break down, add 1/4 cup of water and tamarind purée. Bring mixture back to simmer.

9. Add the crab to the tomato mixture and coat the crab in the sauce. Place lid on the pot and allow crabs to simmer for 10 minutes or so, add another 1/4 cup of water to stop mixture sticking.

10. Heat grill in oven, place squid on a oven tray covered in baking paper and grill squid for 5-8 minutes, turning over once until browned and cooked. Remove from oven and reserve.

11. Add prawns to carb mixture, checking to make sure sauce isn’t sticking but not adding too much more water unless needed. Allow prawns to cook for about 3 minutes, then add scallops and allow to simmer for another 3-4 minutes. The sauce should be saucy but not too watery. Add another 1/4-1/2 cup water if needed though. Taste to see if additional salt needed.

12. Scatter over squid and put lid back on for a minute or two to allow squid to just heat up.s

13. Garnish curry with another hand of fresh curry leaves , chopped coriander. Serve with rice, roti and salad.

Mixed seafood curry #durbanstyle