Tuesday, May 27, 2014



One pound of chicken, chunk-cut on bone.
Two onions, chopped.
One dozen Roma tomatoes, peeled seeded chopped.
One cup cashews.
Half a cup heavy cream.
Quarter cup yoghurt.
Two TBS. garam masala.
Half TBS. cayenne.
Thumblength ginger.
Five or six cloves garlic.
Pinches of salt and pepper.

One teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted till quite dark, then ground fine.

Mince and smash the garlic and ginger to a paste, mix it with the yoghurt and the pinches of salt and pepper. Marinate the chicken in this for an hour.

Pour boiling water (enough to cover) over the cashews and let them soften for that time.

Take the chicken pieces out of the marinade, and colour them well in hot oil. Remove to a plate, add the onions to the pan with a little more oil. Saute till coloured, add the tomatoes and spices, and cook soft, which will be about five minutes.

Dump the cashews and their soaking water into a blender, add the contents of the pan, and osterize smooth. Return this to the pan and reduce till velvety, then put in the chicken pieces. Bring back to a boil, turn heat low, and simmer a few minutes. Stir the cream into the dish, and let it heat, but do not bring it to a boil.

Dust the dark-roasted cumin powder over the top before serving.
Decorate with the merest sprinkle of sliced green chili.

Have it with chappatis, rice, and flaky onion kulcha.

Originally posted here: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-first-class-dining-room-at-kaun.html.



Per cup:
One TBS black tea leaves.
Half dozen green cardamom pods.
A thin slice of ginger.
Pinch cinnamon.
Half Tsp. fennel seeds.
Merest pinch of ground cinnamon.
Sugar as desired.
One cup water.
Hefty jigger of milk.

Crack open the green cardamom pods so that the seeds are exposed. Bring water to a boil, add the cardamom and other spices, and simmer five minutes to release the flavour into the water. Add the tea leaves, simmer just below boiling for a couple minutes ere adding the milk. Simmer a few seconds longer after that, but do not allow it to roil.

Decant into a porcelain cup.

Originally posted here: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-first-class-dining-room-at-kaun.html.


[Not Pakistani style, more sort of generic subcontinental.]

One cup masoor dal (red lentils).
Two cups water.
One onion, chopped.
Two tomatoes.
Four garlic cloves, minced.
Equivalent amount ginger, ditto.
Four green jalapenos.
One Tsp. cumin seeds.
One Tsp. ground coriander.
Half Tsp. cayenne.
Half Tsp. turmeric.
Cilantro for garnishing.
Oil, and butter.

Rinse lentils well, remove any unidentifiable objects.

Put lentils in a pot with two cups water or slightly more. Bring to a boil, simmer till soft, about forty minutes. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Set aside.

Roast the tomatoes and jalapenos over an open flame (one of the burners on your stove), then peel &seed -- don't worry if some of the blackness remains, it adds flavour -- and chop coarsely.
Fry the cumin seeds in a little oil, then add the onion plus more oil and some butter, and saute till translucent. Put in the ginger, garlic, chilies, and the powdered spices, and when the fragrance rises add the tomato and stirfry soft. Decant everything into the lentil pot, and bring back to simmer temperature. Cook for about ten minutes, then squeeze in some lemon or lime juice for a fresh tanginess, and add salt and black pepper as appropriate. Garnish liberally with chopped cilantro, and a sprinkle more ginger, freshly slivered.

This is splendid as is, with white rice, cucumber-yoghurt, and achar.
I also think it's superb with chunks of roasted fatty pork.
Or high quality pork sausage, grilled.

Originally posted here: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2014/05/delicious-lentil-curry.html.

Monday, May 26, 2014



Half a pound each chunked chicken and pork. Or all chicken.
One onion, chopped.
One thumb of ginger, minced.
Two or three cloves of garlic, ditto.
Three or four green chilies, ditto.
Two or three tomatoes, peeled seeded chopped.
Two cups of chopped spinach.
Two cups of chopped long beans.
Two TBS. tamarind paste.
One TBS. shrimp paste.
Four cups of water.
Pinch sugar.
Pinch cinnamon.
Pinch cumin.
Minced scallion to garnish.

In one pot bring the water to a boil with the tamarind paste, stirring to dissolve. Set aside.

In another pot, saute the onion and ginger, add the garlic and chilies when the onion is golden. When the garlic colours, add the shrimp paste, followed shortly thereafter by the tomato and the pinches sugar, cinnamon, and cumin. Put the meat chunks in the pot, and turn to coat and colour. Then strain the tamarind water into the pot, raise to boil, and turn low to simmer for about forty minutes. Add the spinach and long beans ten minutes before the end of cooking. Taste the broth when done, and adjust if necessary with a squeeze of lime juice. It should be tangy, but not too sour. Just tangy. Garnish with the minced scallion, and serve as a side with dinner, or pour it over rice if it's just you.

Originally posted here: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2014/05/channeling-my-inner-velociraptor.html.



One pound of stew meat, chunk cut.
Two onions, chopped.
One cup brown ale.
Half a cup meat stock.
Two or three bay leaves.
Two or three cloves.
One or two star anise.
Pinches of nutmeg and dry ginger.
Two TBS flour.
One or two TBS sugar.
A hefty jigger of malt vinegar.
Salt and pepper.
Fresh herbs to finish.
Olive oil.

Salt and pepper the meat. Heat olive oil in a pan, add the meat, and brown it. Put the onion in and cook till golden. Sprinkle the flour over and stir to incorporate and colour. Add the liquids, sugar, and spices, once it bubbles turn the heat low and simmer for an hour or so.
Stir to prevent burning.
Throw some chopped parsley and chervil or chive on top.

Serve with plainly dressed vegetables and potatoes or steamed rice.

If you're from Louisiana, use brown roux instead of strewing the flour into the pan.
Traditionally, people would use one or two slices of peperkoek (a swemi-sweet rye cake) or stale brown bread to make the sauce thicker instead of flour. You can do that, but why?

Wherever you are from, have chilipaste ("sambal") on the side.

Originally posted here: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2014/05/dutch-hash.html.