Goan Green Beef Curry


Soft, tender chunks of beef in a tangy and spicy cilantro based gravy


Yields: 6-8 servings, Prep Time: 20 mins, Total Time: 90 mins


WHAT YOU NEED: 

1.5 lb/600-700 gms stewing beef, cut in 1 inch cubes

3 medium red onions, peeled and chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

7 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1.5 inch ginger, chopped

3 long green Indian chilies, chopped

1 small ball tamarind 

1 bunch cilantro, chopped along with the stems

12-14 peppercorns

10 cloves

1/2 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp white vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2-3 tsp salt

 


WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO:

1. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon vinegar to the beef chunks. Rub it and set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes at least.

2. Soak tamarind in 6 tablespoons of warm water for 15 minutes. Once the tamarind softens, squeeze it to get the extract.

3. Add 4 tablespoons of oil in a pressure cooker and fry onions over a medium flame. When the onions turn translucent, add beef, and pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles. Take the contents off the cooker and keep it aside.

4. Add ginger, garlic, chilies, tomato, tamarind extract, peppercorns, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, and cilantro in a mixer and grind it till you get a smooth paste

5. Heat remaining oil in a cooking pot over a medium-low flame. Add beef and onions.

6. Add the paste. Pour some water into the container that you ground the paste in, and add that in the pot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vinegar and mix well. Add more water if the gravy is too thick for your liking. Also, check and add some more salt and pepper if necessary.

7. Reduce the heat to a low flame. Cover the lid and let it slow cook for about 45-50 minutes or until the beef turns tender.

8. Serve hot with rotis/parathas or steamed rice/pulao. 


TIPS:

  • In case you don't have a pressure cooker, cook the beef and onions in the pot and increase the cooking time by 15-20 minutes (total cooking time will be around 80 minutes)

  • You can substitute chicken for beef. The cooking time in this case will be reduced to 20-30 minutes since chicken cooks faster than beef.

  • You can also add potatoes and carrots to enhance the taste. In this case, add them in the pot after you've put the beef and onions. Also, don't marinate the beef with vinegar, instead add all the vinegar in the pot before you slow cook the mixture. 


Goan Prawn Curry


Prawns cooked in a goan styled spicy and succulent coconut curry


Yields: 6 servings, Prep Time: 20 mins, Cooking Time: 15-20 mins


WHAT YOU NEED: 

1 lb/0.5 kg medium sized shrimps/prawns, cleaned and deveined

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

1 1/2 cup coconut milk

A small ball of tamarind (about the size of your palm)

7 kashmiri chillies (dry red chillies)

2 green chillies (optional)

5 garlic flakes, roughly chopped

2 tbsp grated coconut

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

1 1/2 tbsp salt

Vegetable oil

Water


WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO:

1. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over prawns, mix well, and set aside for about 15 minutes. 

2. Grind red chillies, garlic, turmeric, grated coconut, cumin and coriander seeds. Add about 1/4 cup water in intervals while it's grinding. Add more water if required so as to get a fine paste.

3. Soak the tamarind ball in some warm water and set it aside.

4. In a wok, add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat onions over medium heat. When the onions begin to turn translucent, add tomatoes and let it cook for a few minutes or till the mixture softens.

5. Add the masala paste and mix well. Bring down the heat to a medium low flame, and let it cook for about 5 minutes 

6. Squeeze tamarind to get extract. Add tamarind extract in wok and mix well. 

7. Pour coconut milk and mix well. Add about half cup water if the curry is too thick for your liking. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes. You can slit green chillies and add it in at this point if you want the curry to be slightly spicier. 

8. Finally add the prawns and 1 tablespoon of salt, mix well and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes or till the prawns turn pink. 

9. Serve hot with steamed basmati rice.


TIPS:

  • Use freshly squeezed coconut milk for best results.

  • If you have time, soak red chillies in warm water for 15 minutes or so prior to grinding.

  • It is imperative to get a fine paste of the masala or else you'll end up biting into the whole spices in the curry. To get a finer paste, you can use cumin and coriander powder instead of the seeds. Adding more water and grinding the ingredients in batches works too. 

  • You can replace tamarind extract with vinegar too.

  • Prawns/shrimps cook very quickly. Add prawns in the curry only at the end and make sure you don't cook it longer than 5 minutes. 









Mutton Dum Biryani


A fragrant and spicy mixture of rice and goat meat slow cooked in a vessel sealed with dough.


Yields: 10-12 servings, Prep Time: 1 hr, Inactive Time (marination): 2 hrs,

Cooking Time: 40-45 mins.


Cooking biryani is no easy task, especially dum biryani which calls for the meat and rice being prepared separately and then combining it together to bake in it's own steam. It is time consuming and involves some complex steps that can surely leave you intimidated. To make things easier I'm going to divide the process into 4 parts - Preparing home-made biryani masala and marinating the meat, prepping the rice, caramelizing the onions, and finally putting everything together to make the biryani.


WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE BIRYANI MASALA: 

4 bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tsp black peppercorns

2 tsp cloves

3 mace (javitri)

2 tsp green cardamoms

4 black cardamoms

1 nutmeg

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp saffron strands

WHAT YOU NEED FOR MARINATING THE MUTTON:

3lbs/1.2 kg Mutton or Lamb

5 green Indian/Thai chilies, chopped

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 cup yogurt

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped

2 tbsp home made biryani masala 

1 tbsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp red chili powder

1 tbsp salt

WHAT YOU NEED FOR PREPARING RICE:

2 1/2 cups basmati rice

2 tsp salt

5-6 cups of water

WHAT YOU NEED FOR CARAMELIZING ONIONS:

4 yellow onions, sliced 

1 cup vegetable oil

A pinch of salt

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE DOUGH SEAL:

1 cup whole flour

1/2 cup water

WHAT YOU NEED FOR GARNISHING:

1 tsp saffron strands

6 tbsp milk

Some caramelized onions

1/2 cup cilantro,

1/2 cup mint leaves


WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO:

Part I

1. Grind the biryani masala spices into a fine powder. Keep aside.

2. Marinate the mutton. Add salt, ginger garlic paste, chilies, biryani masala, turmeric, red chili powder, yogurt, half a cup of cilantro and mint leaves, and mix well. Let it marinate for minimum 2 hrs (for best results marinate overnight).

PART II

3. To prepare the rice, firstly rinse it at least 5-6 times, then soak it in a cup of water for 15-20mins (water should rise a couple of inches above the rice). Once the rice absorbs the water on the surface it is ready to be cooked. 

4. Fill a pot with water, add salt and bring it to a boil on a high flame. When the water starts boiling intensely, add the rice, and lower the heat to a medium flame. 

5. Cook the rice for approximately 15 minutes or until it  begins to float on the surface. 

6. Make sure that the rice is al dente, which means that it should be undercooked.

7. Strain the excess water and set it aside. 

PART III

8. To caramelize the onions, add a cup of oil in wok and heat it on a high flame. Once the oil starts bubbling add the onions and fry it till it turns golden brown.

9. Place the caramelized onions on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

PART IV

10. Lastly, soak saffron strands in milk and set aside for at least 15mins.

12. Finally, it's time to cook the biryani. Heat ghee/unsalted butter in a large vessel, over a medium flame. Turn the heat down to a low flame.  First, add the marinated mutton (make sure it's at room temperature before cooking) and mix it with the ghee, then add a layer of caramelized onions over it, then add the rice.  Top it off with the saffron soaked milk

13. Cover with a lid and seal it with the dough. Add a pan filled with water over this, and let the biryani cook on a low flame for at least 45-60 minutes. For best results slow cook the meat for an hour and a half.

14. When the biryani is ready, take the pan off the vessel and break off the dough. Open the lid and garnish with the remaining caramelized onions, and coriander and mint leaves

15. Mix well and serve with raita (yogurt mixed with tomato, onions, cucumber, cilantro and a pinch of salt).


TIPS:

  • Make sure to get fresh mutton, specifically mutton which is still on the bone (shoulder meat).

  • Rinse the mutton 8-10 times and dry it. Before marinating, you can also use a tenderizer like raw papaya paste on the meat.

  • To add some extra flavor to the rice,  add about 4 black peppercorns, 4 cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp cumin seeds, and ghee to the rice when it's being cooked.

  • Slow cooking the meat ensures that it remains tender. If you have the time, slow cook the meat for an hour and a half for best results.

  • You can also garnish the biryani with some nuts and dry fruits like chopped almonds and cashew nuts, raisins, etc to enhance the overall flavor of the biryani. 


 

 

 

 

 

Potato Chops


Crunchy potato patties stuffed with a spicy mince filling


Yields: 6 servings, Total Time: 25-30 mins


WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE MINCE FILLING:

1 bowl of ground beef

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 small green Indian chili

2 tsp garlic ginger paste

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp salt

Vegetable oil

Cilantro 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE POTATO PATTIES:

4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, and mashed

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup bread crumbs


WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO for the mince filling:

1. In a deep pan, heat some vegetable oil over a medium flame. Add the onions, and fry till slightly translucent.

2. Chop the chili and fry it with the onions. Add the ginger garlic paste, pepper, cumin, coriander, saltturmeric and chili powder. Mix well.

3. Add the beef, and mix well till the spices get well absorbed in it. Lower the heat to a medium - low flame. Cover and cook for 15 mins, or till the beef turns brown. 

4. Add some chopped cilantro and mix well. Set aside, and let it cool for a while.

WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO FOR THE POTATO PATTIES:

1. Make a ball of the mashed potatoes, and create a well in the middle by using your fingers to dig in. Add the mince filling in this well, and close the well. Flatten the ball between your palms to form a patty.

2. Dip the patty first in the beaten eggs, and then the bread crumbs

3. In a pan, heat some vegetable oil over a medium flame, and fry the patties for 15 - 20 minutes, changing sides occasionally till it turns crispy brown.

4. Serve hot with tomato sauce.

 

 

Goan Chorizo Tacos


Soft shell tacos made with a filling of spicy Goan sausages. 


Yields: 12 servings, Total Time: 25 mins


What you need:

10 links of Goan pork sausages

1 big onion, sliced and chopped

7 flakes of garlic, chopped

1 handful of Baby Spinach leaves

1 tablespoon Sour cream

1 tablespoon Hot Salsa

2-3 Jalapeños

Half a cup of Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 Tortilla (Add more for more tacos)

Vegetable oil


What to do:

1. Cut the thread and tear open the casing of the sausages to get the meat out. Chop it up and leave aside.

2. In a pan, add about a teaspoon of oil and fry the sliced onions for about 2 minutes over a medium flame. Now add the chopped sausages. Mix, and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes. Goan sausages secrete a lot of oil when it's been cooked. So fret not if you see an oily pool form within a few seconds of adding the sausages. Once cooked, take the pan off the flame and keep aside.

3. Now, heat a flat pan over a medium flame. Place the tortilla on the pan, and while it's heating sprinkle some cheddar cheese over it. Once the cheese melts, take the tortilla off the pan and place it in a plate, cheese side facing up.

4. In another pan, add a tablespoon of oil and over a medium flame fry the chopped onions and garlic together until it softens.

5. Put the softened onions and garlic mixture on the tortilla and add salsa and sour cream over it. Mix well and spread across. Add the jalapeños and a few baby spinach leaves over it. Finally, add the cooked sausages. Fold the tortilla and voila you're taco is ready to eat. 

 

P.S Normally, I would have suggested replacing an ingredient if it's not available, and I know that Goan sausages are hard to get out of Goa, but in this case I'm not willing to replace the Goan sausages with anything else. The essence of this dish is the Goan sausage and it won't be the same with any other kind of chorizo or meat for that matter. For more on Goan sausages check out the food blog on this site. 

Ema Datshi


A bhutanese chili and cheese soup considered to be the national dish of Bhutan. 


Yields: 4 servings, Total Time: 15-20 mins


What you need:

1 Medium onion, sliced

1 ripe tomato, chopped

2 long green chili peppers

5 flakes of garlic, whole

1 medium potato, sliced

5-6 cubes of white processed cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1.5 cups of water 

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

salt and pepper to taste


What to do:

1. Heat a wok over a medium flame, add oil and heat the onions, tomatoes, garlic and potatoes.

2. Slit the green chili peppers vertically and chop it in half. Add this in the wok and stir. (You can add more if you want it to be more spicy)

3. Now add water and mix everything well. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Add the cheese cubes and stir continuously till the cheese melts. Cover the wok. After 10 minutes open and add butter. Mix well.

5. Finally add salt to taste. Pepper is optional since the dish is already spiced with green chili.

6. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the soup turns slightly thick. Check if the potatoes are cooked thoroughly. 

7. Serve hot with steamed rice or grab a spoon and just dig in.