In India, beef is rarely eaten. Cows are rarely slaughtered, and if they are, violence may ensue over it. As an American-born Indian man, I never took up Hinduism, and I eat beef. (Funnily, those back in the motherland call us “American-born confused desis,” desi meaning Indian).
Traditional wisdom regarding how to eat food does not imply that we must abide by rules and regulations. At least, that’s how I see it. Considering the melting pot that is the world, why not blend the creativity and knowledge from different peoples to create a NEW product?
Well that’s kind of what we have here today. In this post I will share the basics of cooking an Indian style curry.
I don’t have all the pictures unfortunately, but I will make more detailed posts in the future.
For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:
- Beef liver, chopped into cubes
- Bay leaves (3-4)
- Cardamom seeds, whole (1 tsp)
- Turmeric, powdered
- Ginger, chopped finely
- Garlic, chopped finely
- 1 small tomato, chopped.
- Dried or fresh chili pepper
- Rice or Apple cider vinegar
Note that I have some quantities listed above, but please eyeball it and adjust accordingly. The above quantities are for a one-person meal. I am working on refining my methods so that I have more precise amounts of ingredients used so I can consistently make the same dish over and over as well as teach it.
Remember to source organically as much as you can. The liver in this picture came from an animal that I had the privilege of seeing slaughtered that same day. The animal lived happily on a local farm and ate a wide variety of grasses and other plants. Go to a local farmer’s market or find a farmer near you who provides fresh foods. Source tomatoes organically as well, as these crops have some of the most pesticides on them when raised conventionally. Below is a picture of the liver…very fresh.
I grew up in an American suburb. I never hung out on farms, hunted, fished, or grew my own food. But now, I'm spending time doing these things. Today, I witnessed multiple animals get slaughtered for the first time ever. When I saw the bull get opened up, I realized that the insides looked quite juicy, healthy, and nourishing as a food. This led me to conclude that I am on the right path as a conscious meat eater. Put yourself in the shoes of a pre-modern human trying to get some meat. Meat isn't an unlimited resource in this environment (unless it is farmed/herded/raised). It takes more work than sliding a credit card before you can cook the meat yourself and eat it. This leads to a better understanding of how valuable an animal's meat is. Using all parts of the animal just seems to me like a respectful thing to do after you kill an animal for its meat. Not overeating meats also seems like a good choice for long term health and sustainability. When a massive population needs to be fed, it's not as likely to happen this way. I'm glad though there are conscious farmers out there who still practice this way. #connect #to #the #source #food #health #conscious #meat #protein
Now there are many ways to cook an Indian-style meal. The difference between a seasoned cook and an amateur lies in the taste of the product, rather than the look. It’s easy to make it look good, but it may be too watery, too dry, too hot, or too mild. The blend of spices must create a palatable sauce that does not overpower the senses. Many people think of Indian food as very spicy; it can be, but not all spices are hot. Since many people seem to interchange spicy with hot, this leads to a lot of confusion. Cardamom is not hot, but it is a spice. A spiced sweet chai with cardamom and ginger however wouldn’t have many people calling it spicy. But order some spicy food at an Indian restaurant, and you will expect something hot, even though everything on the menu has spices in it.
Never overdo the spices in a curry dish. Seek a balance. That being said, here is the recipe.
Step by step recipe:
- First, coat the liver cubes in turmeric powder and salt (I prefer Himalayan pink sea salt) and mix well. I prefer to coat the meat in turmeric lightly. This is a standard step in many Indian dishes.
- Add some oil to the pan and turn up the heat to medium or medium-high. I used mustard oil, a common oil used in India (you can find it in an Indian grocery store). I often use coconut oil as well. Avoid canola, soy, safflower, and corn oil. Those cheap vegetable oils are not healthy.
- Add bay leaf, cumin, and whole cardamom seeds to the pan. Let the spices heat in the oil for a few minutes.
- Add tomato slices. This adds some juice to the curry. Adjust the heat so that it’s not too hot unless you’re a frying expert.
- Add chopped onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Add vinegar, about 1 tbsp should do.
- After a minute of frying, add enough water (I prefer spring water) so that all the ingredients are simmering in a layer of it. Cook everything in the mixture for another 10 minutes, adding water periodically so that nothing goes dry.
- Add the liver cubes. Keep heat on medium and cook until meat is finished. (Approximately 15 minutes).
- Make sure to add water periodically, and add salt to taste (I like to take a spoon and taste a small amount of sauce to determine if it needs salt. Sometimes the amount of the salt that was added to the meat before adding it to the pan is enough, sometimes not).
You should end up with a yellow-ish curry! That’s it for now. Enjoy.