Follow Us @SewHalfCrazy


An Indian Interlude

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled continuation of "The Baker's Quest" for a colorful and cultural culinary conquest to conquer a new challenge: Kheema.

I have mentioned many times that I do not do spicy food. Thanks to some good friends, I have gotten better, branched out, and toughened up my taste buds a bit. I still don't really enjoy that sharp, stabby type of burn, though. I do, however, love learning about and exploring other cultures. Food is obviously a great way to do that. Needless to say, Indian culture is a bit of a double-edged sword for me.

Firstly, I love all the bright colors in Indian culture. My friend Nova is Bangladeshi, which I know is not the same thing, but the dress is very similar. Sarees in every color of the rainbow as far as the eye could see at her wedding reception. I also think Indian women are quite possibly the prettiest in the world, and the strong family values are to be admired and appreciated.

So much Indian food, however, is spicy like lava. Remember Nova's wedding reception I just mentioned? Again, I know Bangladeshi is not the same, but the food was similar enough for this example. Mike and I specifically asked what wasn't spicy, and some very nice women directed us to a few particular dishes, so we loaded up. I thought I was going to die! I don't think I touched anything like that food for three or four years after that.

All of that to lead up to last Sunday. I was watching Aarti Party (yes, I DVR cooking shows and I am fine with it). Aarti was making some of her favorite dishes from her childhood, which included this intriguing looking dish called Kheema.


From Aarti Sequeira

3 Tbsp canola oil

1 med onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (1" thumb) fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp store-bought or homemade garam masala

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne, optional

1 lb ground beef

2 med tomatoes, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup shucked fresh English peas or 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 tsp malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few extra leaves for garnish

4 chapatis or pitas, warmed

In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden. Add the garlic and ginger, and saute for another minute. Stir in the coriander, paprika, garam masala, cumin and cayenne, if using and cook for 1 minute.

Add the beef, breaking up lumps with a spoon, and saute until the meat is no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of water and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the fresh English peas. Stir well and simmer, partially covered, about 10 minutes or if using frozen peas, add them now, and cook another 5 minutes, partially covered.

Stir in the vinegar and chopped cilantro. Garnish with torn cilantro leaves and serve with warm chapatis or pita bread.

Long story short, it was awesome! The spices are warm and cozy and had just enough heat. It's also familiar enough as well that your kids will like it! It was exotic and new and exciting. I say "was" because it's now gone and it didn't take long. Everyone else at our Sunday night get-together loved it too. Add this to your repertoire and impress all your friends with your culinary cultured...ness.

No comments:

Post a Comment