Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Indian Begin Again

Strisce di Manzo, Peperone, Piselli e Sugo al Cheet Masala & Tandoori allo Yogurt
Beef, Peppers & Peas in Chaat Masala, Tandoori & Yogurt Sauce

After recently discovering the wonderful "Chaat Masala" and also the secret to making wonderful, rich, spicy and delicious yogurt sauces that do not curdle (!), I just had to try something out once more- it is just so fantastic! The simple addition of gram (chick pea) flour to the yogurt, makes it both stop curdling and also gives it a lovely sheen... oh, as well of course as thickening the sauce at the same time! There is nothing better suited to an Indian sauce! And it's so easy too!

I whipped this meal up out of nowhere- with a left-over slice of beef scallop that did not get turned into involtini the other night- there is only so much you can eat when you live on your own- even if you cook as much as I do! So I cut it into bite-sized chunks, added a red, yellow and orange mini bell pepper, a handful of peas and just a few more bits and pieces- spiced it up... and hey presto! An exotic and delicious meal in just 20 minutes... again!

The blend of coriander, cumin, black pepper, red chilli, salt, dry mango, celery, cassia & cloves is a wonderful, accessible mix which is apparently wildly popular in Indian street-food- and it is pretty clear why- it tastes absolutely wonderful! Spicy but mild and with a slight fruity tang from the dried mango powder, this is a much more interesting flavor than the average "curry" powder. The masala, or ground version, is also much more user-friendly, as you do not need to dry-roast and grind the individual spices before cooking. Which yes, we all know you are supposed to do- but let's be honest... who does? If you are not Indian, chances are you do not have all of the spices required, nor do you know exactly how to use them... so let's get real and let's have fun!

I started off by stir-frying the peppers, which I halved so that I could discard the seeds, in a little clarified butter until they began to brown gently. I then added the beef, making sure to lie the pieces in side by side and not to just drop them into the frying pan on top of each other... because I wanted them to brown and not to stew... that would come later. Once they had begun to brown, I added a little grated ginger and garlic, a handful of frozen peas and a tablespoon of the chaat masala. I stirred everything together well and then deglazed the frying pan with just a splash of water to bring up all of the good flavors that had developed... then prepared the yogurt to make my sauce!

In a small bowl, I dissolved a tablespoon of gram flour into a little water, stirring briskly to avoid and lumps. I then added a teaspoon of tandoori powder and 5-6 tablespoons of yogurt... and that was all I needed to do!

I sliced up a Spring onion and finely chopped a handful of parsley, which went into the frying pan next. After they had been in for a minute or so, I added the tandoori yogurt mix, seasoned everything with salt and pepper, added a tiny squeeze of lemon juice and stirred everything together well. I kept the heat low and let everything simmer away for another 10 minutes or so, adding a little water as the sauce needed it, as the gram flour does a wonderful job! But it also adds a lovely, rich, chick pea flavor which makes everything so much more wholesome and delicious. 

So there you have it- a fantastic dish, served with rice and sprinkled with a little chili- and perfect on a cold Frankfurt evening! Or at any other time, in any other place for that matter! So go ahead- enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment