I wanted this blog to be part-South Asian cooking primer, part musings on Mediterranean/American/Italian cuisine and part dessert food-porn. I haven’t had much opportunity to cook South Asian food post baby no.2, mainly because I’ve been blessed with my mom’s good old home cooking most of the time.
But since it was Eid ul Fitr and my mom ran off to the homeland for a month, I got a chance to whip up some of the good stuff. The stuff that when I asked my husband to give a taste, rolled his eyes back and said “THIS is what makes the world go round”. Now, I won’t take all the credit. It’s a pretty standard curry recipe: onions, garlic, spices – with the exception of tomato paste. That’s a nifty little trick I learned from my mother in law. Intense tomato flavor and meat tenderizer in one. But it’s the meat that makes all the difference. Goat meat, very popular in the subcontinent, not so much in the states – is so flavorful, so tender. Though not as overpowering as lamb can be. I usually get ~3lbs from the shoulder/ribs/foreshank area.
I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but they are seriously things to invest in if you enjoy south asian cooking.
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion or 2 small
- 2 tbsps garlic/ginger paste (or 5 garlic cloves and 1.5 in ginger root, minced)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsps cumin powder
- 2 tsps coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- 2 tsps turmeric
- 4-5 lbs goat meat (cut into small pieces)
- 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 6 cardamom pods
- 6 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4-5 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 2.5 cups water
Heat oil over medium high heat in a nice, big pot. Slice onion and add to hot oil. Let it soften (for 5 to 8 minutes) and add the garlic/ginger paste, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, chilli and turmeric and mix well. Let the spices cook for 2-3 minutes, adding water as necessary to keep he spices from sticking to the bottom. Add the goat meat pieces and stir to coat every piece with the flavor base. Let cook for 10 minutes (similar to the searing stage of a meat braise). Add salt, then the garam masala (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns). Add water and bring to a boil. Then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 45-90 minutes, depending on the age of the goat. Young goat cooks in as little as 45 min.
Taste for doneness (meat should be tender) and seasoning.