Asian, Indian, Savory, Stew

Coconut Pork Curry

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This is an amazing recipe!! Originally written in 2010, in Food and Wine magazine, I did not have the means to make the recipe till 2016.  I had bookmarked the recipe for 5 years and was waiting to have a kitchen of my own to make it. In 2016, my mother came to visit during the summer, and this was the perfect meal to make for her!  Unlike, my father, she grew up eating pork, so she really appreciated it.  I was intrigued by this recipe, it looked like a cross between an Indian and Thai dish.  Anyway, I made it and it was super hit!  In fact, my mother said that it tasted like a “curry” her mother used to make–what a compliment and what a food memory!  You can find the original recipe here.  I would strongly recommend following the recipe, word for word!  With that said, during the current pandemic,  I did not find pork shoulder, so I had to (with great trepidation) substitute with pork tenderloin.  Thankfully, after cooking for four hours, the meat did become soft and fork-tender.  I also never cook this in a slow-cooker; I love making it in my large dutch oven.  I also add a good amount of additional spices, mostly because it suits our palette.  Here is my tweaked version.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon of ground coriander

1/2 tablespoon of chili powder

1/2 tablespoon of sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1/2 tsp of garam masala at the end

a bunch of chopped cilantro and sliced scallions, for stirring into the curry at the very end.

Method:

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper.  Brown the pork in batched and set aside.

Once the pork is done, add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, and turmeric and cook over low heat, stirring, until fragrant and the onion is softened about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices and coconut milk and scrape the bottom of the pan, lifting all the delicious brown bits from the bottom.

Return the pork to the pot, add the stock, cover, and cook on medium-high for 4 hours.

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At the 2 hour mark, I like to taste and the stew and adjust for salt and heat, mostly the heat—our household like a spicy stew.  Notice how the light creamy color is turning into a rich, dark stew–yum!

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Towards the end of the cooking process, add a bunch of chopped cilantro and scallions to the stew, stir and cook for another 15-20 minutes and remove from heat.

 

Serve with steamed rice or, our favorite, naan

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Asian, Dinner, Fish & Seafood, Lent

Coconut Curry Shrimp

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My husband thinks he does not like Thai food.  In my opinion if you like Indian food, you will like most Thai food.  This recipe made it to our dinner bowls because I wanted to cook something in the neighborhood of “Thai” food and also something quick.  I saw Ree Drummond make this recipe on TV once.  I did not “follow” here recipe, I just recalled what she did and made this dish.  So here goes !

Ingredients:

1 lb of shrimp.  I usually get the EZ-peel shrimp and remove the tails myself.  I get whatever is on sale, however, the larger shrimps taste better in this recipe.

1 package of frozen peppers and onions.  If you don’t have this, I would take 1 yellow, red and green bell pepper and 1 onion, slice them length wise and use it.

1.5 tbsp of curry powder

1 can of coconut milk (not cream)

1/2 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tbsp of ginger paste

1/2 tbsp of minced garlic

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high, and saute ginger, garlic, salt,peppers and onions

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Once they are soft add the red pepper flakes and curry powder and saute for till the raw smell of the curry powder it gone, about 10 mins

Add the coconut milk and the reduce the heat to simmer.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes till the sauce thickens. Check and adjust seasoning, keep in mind that the shrimp will absorb some of the flavor so if the sauce is on the saltier or spicier side, its ok

 

Add the shrimp and cook till it turn pink. DO NOT over cook the shrimp !

Immediately remove from heat ans serve over warm Jasmine or Basmati rice.

If you have Thai Basil, you could fold some in the end

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Dinner, Indian, Poultry, Savory

Tamarind Chicken

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Years ago, it took three friends to convince a certain Irish man to try Indian food.  Trying to make the distinction between spicy and spiced is always a challenge–till you try it.  Needless to say, the Irish man is now a convert.  He now enjoys Indian food and has a variety of chillis in his pantry.  So the dish that he tried was Tamarind Chicken.  Traditionally a South Indian dish, it has several varieties.  Some are more spicy, some more tangy and creamy.  I did not grow up eating this variety of curry so I created my own version of it.  He liked it.  WIN!  Hope you and your family like it too.

Ingredients:

5 chicken breasts, cubed

1 inch of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks

1tbsp of minced garlic (2-3cloves)

2 quartered onions

2 tomatoes

1 jalapeno

1 tsp of mustard seeds

1tsp of fenugreek seeds

1 Bay leaf

3-4 whole cloves

3-4 whole cardamom pods

2 tbsp of tamarind paste, dissolved in 2cups of water

0.4oz of Berbere spice blend (from rawspicebar–refer to image for spice blend)

2 tbsp of canola/vegetable oil

salt to taste

honey/sugar to reduce spicy-ness (optional step)

Method:

Blend ginger, garlic, jalapeno, tomato and onions.

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Heat oil in a pot, and add the mustard, fenugreek, cloves, cardamon to pot and wait for them to start popping in the hot oil

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Then add the onion-tomato paste from the blender.  Then add the berberre spice blend.

 

Cook then spices, stirring often, till the raw smell has cooked off and it turns a deep red color.

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Add the chicken and saute for 5-10 mins

Add the tamarind paste in water

Cook till the sauce thickens, on medium-ow heat for 30 mins

 

Taste to adjust salt and seasonings.  You might want to add more spice, or if it is too spicy you can add a tbsp of honey or sugar.

Serve hot with Naan or basmati rice.

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Fish & Seafood, Lent

Shrimp Curry with Mushrooms and Potatoes

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This is a family recipe.  It is not traditional, but it is surely a family favorite.  This shrimp curry is warm and spicy and pairs perfectly with rice.  I like to have it with quinoa. I hope you try it for you next seafoood night–it is bound to be an interesting change.

Ingredients:

1lb of raw shrimp (medium sized)

1 medium onions

1tbsp of ginger paste

1tbsp of minced garlic

2tbsp of olive oil

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp of whole cumin seed

2 medium tomatoes chopped

1 large russet potatoes, small dice

1/2 cup water

1 package of sliced baby bella mushrooms

1/2tbsp of tumeric

1/2 tbsp of cumin

Chilli powder and salt to taste

Fresh cilantro for garnish

Method:

Blend onion, ginger and garlic with a splash of water.

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Heat 2tbsp of olive oil in a pot.  When the oil starts to shimmer, add the bay leaf and cumin seeds.

Add the onion-ginger-garlic paste and stir and cook for a good 10-15 mins.  You want to make sure the raw taste and smell is cooked out.

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Once the onion paste starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add the tomatoes.  This juice of the tomatoes helps to deglaze the pan.  Saute for another 5 mins.

Add the potatoes, spices and 1/2 cup of water and allow to simmer till the potatoes are almost cook through.

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Add the mushrooms and cook till the potatoes are completely soft.

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Add the shrimp.  Make sure that most of the curry is cooked, the sauce is seasoned and the potatoes are soft, because once you add the shrimp, it will only cook for a few more minutes till the shrimp are cooked through.  Do not over cook, since the shrimp will get rubbery.

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Garnish with cilantro and serve  hot with quinoa or rice.

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Appetizers, Fish & Seafood, Lent

Coconut Shrimp

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A sweet, juicy tropical treat—perfect on  a cold gloomy day !

Ingredients:

10 cooked shrimp

¼ cup liquid egg whites

1 tsp of curry powder

½  tsp of ground ginger

1 tbsp of cornstarch

2/3 cup of ground almonds and sweetened coconut flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Sweet chilli sauce for serving ( I like the trader joe’s brand)

Method:

Pat dry cooked shrimp

Toss with cornstarch, curry powder, ginger, salt and pepper

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Dip in egg and coat in almond and coconut flour mixture

Place on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet

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Chill for 15-30mins

Preheat oven to 375

Bake for  10-15 mins till crust golden

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Serve hot with the sweet chilli sauce

 

 

Classics, Comfort food, Indian, Poultry, Savory

Murgh Saagwalla ( Spinach and Chicken Curry)

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This is the meal I want on my death bed.  Palak or Saag in Hindi means Spinach and there is a place back home that makes the best Palak Panner (Indian cheese).  This is a traditional North Indian dish and every family has there own variation—like any traditional dish.  My mother has her own take on it (maybe I will try it soon) but this is a recipe from Madhur Jaffery.  It tastes really good—it is a little involved, but is vary flavorful and please don’t be afraid, you can completely control the spice level according to your families’ taste.  So here we go !

Ingredients:

1lb of chicken cut into pieces

2 chopped tomatoes

16 oz of drained, chopped, frozen spinach

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To Fry:

1 medium onion sliced

To Blend:

2 chopped onions

2” piece of ginger

4 garlic cloves

Seasoning the oil:

2-3 Tbsp of vegetable oil

5 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

Other Spices:

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp cayenne pepper

6 tbsp of plain yogurt

Salt to season.

Method:

Heat a 1tbsp of oil in a pot and fry sliced onions till golden and set aside.

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In the meantime blend onions, ginger and garlic.

In the same pot where you fried the onion, add the remaining oil and the whole cardamom pods and cinnamon stick.

Add the blended onion mixture and sauté till the raw smell in gone and the paste turns pale brown.

Add cumin, coriander and cayenne and sauté till golden brown.

Next add the yogurt, 1 Tbsp at a time and slowly stir the mixture till all the yogurt is added the sauce come together .

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Next add the tomatoes, spinach, chicken.

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Season with salt and cover with water and allow to simmer on medium heat for 30 mins till the water evaporates and the sauce thickens.

Serve piping hot with flatbread or basmati rice !