It seems to take me about a week before I get around to posting food pictures. So here it is, the food I made last weekend to get me through the week. These two recipes were tried and proven recipes, though I think they get a little better each time I make them. The vindaloo this time was especially tasty, although I think I will make it spicier next time. The important thing is to get a piece of meat that is nicely marbled. I wanted to buy lamb originally, but the prices put me off and I got a piece of pork shoulder instead. This turned out to be excellent and I didn't miss the lamb (much) at all! Both recipes were found ages ago online, sadly I don't remember the original sources, but I have made various changes to both of them.
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp cardamom
1 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper (like I said, I would add more myself)
1 tsp brown sugar
5 tbsp white wine vinegar
Mix these ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. The original recipe calls for grinding the whole spices to make a powder, but who has a spice grinder? Not me.
2 large yellow onions, chopped
Cook onions in a large pot until rich dark brown. Remove onions and put them in a blender (or food processor) and blend. Add 3 tbs water (or more if necessary) until you have a smooth paste. Add the onion paste to the spice mixture above.
1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled
8-10 cloves of garlic
3 tbs water
Throw in blender/food processor and blend until you have a paste. Add a bit more oil to the pot and throw in the ginger/garlic paste. Stir until fragrant, add and stir for a few seconds:
1 tbs coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
Then add and brown a little:
2 lbs meat, cut into bite sized pieces (can use whatever you want)
Add the vindaloo paste and I usually then add some water so that everything is nice and loose and the meat is mostly submerged. Simmer for 1 hour and then add:
2 large yukon gold potatoes (cut into large chunks)
and cook for another 45 minutes or an hour.
Paneer (you can make your own, which is delicious or you can be lazy and just pick up some queso fresco)
1 pound frozen spinach
juice of half a lemon
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala (i don't actually have this so i usually add a dash of cinnamon and a litte more cumin and coriander)1 medium onion chopped fine
4 garlic cloves and 1 inch ginger, pureed
salt to taste (I hate to taste! Just gimme the measurement)
Heat oil in a medium saucepan and add the ginger/garlic paste and the onion. Fry until brown, then add the spices, except the garam masala. Stir vigorously on high heat until the pungent, individual smell of the masalas changes to a more blended aroma. Add the frozen spinach with a little water and slap a lid on it. Let it thaw and cook for quite some time. You basically want the whole thing to turn into a soft mush. A person who wants to haul out the blender can puree the spinach before hand, but if you are making vindaloo anyway, you've got time to kill. Give the whole thing a hearty stir now and then. Salt to taste and add the lemon juice, garam masala and paneer. Let cook for a few more minutes.
Note: both the vindaloo and saag paneer taste increasingly good with time. If possible, make ahead.