Day 8: Lamb Korma Recipe

Lamb Korma - turmeric with a dash of paprika

Tonight I made lamb korma from scratch for dinner. Our favorite lamb korma comes from a little strip-mall Indian place in Florida called Memories of India. Their korma is much redder than most kormas and isn’t as rich as the white korma. Most recipes on the internet and in my Indian cookbooks were for the white korma… so I had to improvise. Below is the recipe I came up with. The end result was very tasty although not quite a perfect duplicate of Memories of India. The end product had the korma flavor (thanks to the turmeric and coriander powder) but was a little more like curry than korma. It lacked a bit of richness (maybe use dairy-yogurt next time or saute the lamb/onions in butter) and a bit of sweetness (add a few tablespoons of brown sugar?). It also needed more coconut. Next time maybe I’ll add three or so tablespoons of powdered coconut – this might also fix the sweetness problem.

Dani’s Lamb Korma Recipe

Ingredients:

Ginger, one medium knob peeled and chopped
2 small to medium Onions
3 cloves of Garlic
1 Tomato
3/4 cup Plain Yogurt (I used a soy yogurt)
1/4 Coconut Milk
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
3 tablespoons ground Unsalted Cashews
1/4 to 1/2 Unsalted Cashews to include in Korma
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
2 Cardamom Pods
2 lbs. Lamb
3 teaspoons Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
dash Black Pepper
2 to 3 teaspoons Coriander Powder
Cauliflower
Potatoes
Peas
Carrots

1. Combine ginger (one largeish knob), onion (1 small or medium), garlic (four cloves), tomato (1) in blender.
2. Add yogurt (3/4 cup plain), coconut milk (1/2 cup) garam masala (2 teaspoons), ground unsalted cashews (3 tablespoons) and mix well.
3. In a skillet heat a tablespoon or two of oil over medium-high heat add 2 teaspoons cumin seeds and a cardamom pod, and sizzle for 15-30 seconds.
add extra chopped onion (1 small onion), stir frequently until brown.
4. Add lamb and sauté until lamb is browned and most moisture has evaporated.
5. Add turmeric (3 teaspoons), , paprika (1/2 teaspoon), a few grinds of black pepper, coriander  powder (3 teaspoons).
6. Add sauce, cauliflower and potatoes. Simmer 25 mins.
7. Add frozen peas/carrots and cashews (1/2 cup). Simmer 5 minutes.

Serve on top of basmati rice with a side of roti or garlic naan.

Things to consider next time: dairy yogurt/butter, something for sweetness, powdered coconut

 

Day 6: Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe

Tonight I adapted several recipes together with a dash of my own ingenuity and made a vegetarian lasagna. It was delicious. I will definitely make this again. See below for the recipe.

Official photo-of-the-day: sautéd onions and spinach

Ingredients:

About 9 Pasta sheets (make your own or use fresh pasta from Whole Foods)
1 15oz package of part skim ricotta cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan
1 egg
Approximately 4 cups of fresh spinach
2 or 3 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced thin
2 zucchini, peeled and sliced thin
1 onion, chopped and browned
olive oil
Italian seasoning (oregano, sweet basil, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary) to taste
about 1 1/2 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium sauce pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion and sauté until brown, stirring occasionally.

In another medium sauce pan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic and sauté until garlic begins to brown, then add spinach and quickly sauté until reduced in volume.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, egg, and Italian seasoning. After the spinach is done sautéing, add the spinach/garlic mixture to the mixing bowl and stir.

Ricotta, mozzarella, and egg

Spray a 9×9 inch pan lightly with cooking spray (I used grapeseed oil). Add a small amount of tomato sauce to the bottom, then line the bottom with a layer of pasta (about three sheets).

Spread half the ricotta mixture on top of the pasta. Next add a layer of sautéd onions, then lay out the thinly sliced zucchini into a third layer. Cover with a layer of tomato sauce.

Repeat: pasta, ricotta mixture, onions, zucchini, and more sauce.

Layer in progress

Top with a layer of pasta. Add a bit more sauce to keep the top moist during cooking. Then add the remaining 1/4 mozzarella and parmesan to the top.

In the oven (overexposed)

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, checking occasionally. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with garlic bread!

Have extra veggies? Consider adding some sautéd red or yellow peppers in addition to the onions.

Finished product! (some slices have been removed - seconds were in order)

Day 99

Happy Easter! Today we had friends over for a late lunch that extended for most of the afternoon. Anakin and Sharon brought sweet potatoes au gratin and a cake shaped like a lamb. Laura brought a loaf of homemade bread, as did Mike and Violet. Zoe contributed berries. I baked a small ham with a Dijon mustard and brown sugar glaze. Collaboratively Rachel and I made hot cross buns (featured in today’s photos). There was also homemade hummus, a cheese plate, pineapple, and lots of chocolate. After our feast we all played telephone pictionary, which is the greatest game ever. All in all this was a very good day.

Hot cross buns, pre-baking

Hot Cross Buns (from Easy Living magazine)

  • 7 g sachet fast-acting dried yeast
  • 450 g white bread flour
  • 50 g wholemeal bread flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (or 50/50 white sugar powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of mace, cloves, and all spice
  • 50 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 150 g raisins
  • 3 tbs chopped dried apricots
  • 250 mL tepid milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp plain flour

For the glaze

  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar (2 tbsp powdered, 1 tbsp white sugar)

1. Place the yeast, flours, sugar, salt, and spices into a bowl, add the butter and rub it in. Stir through the dried fruit. Add the milk and egg and mix well. Add a little extra water if the dough is too dry or extra flour if it’s very sticky. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 1o minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. (TIP: the dough for hot cross buns can be made the night before and given its first rise in the fridge. In the morning, remove from fridge, punch down the dough, make the buns and let it have its second rise in a warm spot in the kitchen).

2. Punch down the dough with your fist to expel the air, then knead on a lightly floured surface for 2-3 minutes. Divide into equal portions and shape each into a ball. Spray baking tray(s) with non-stick spray, then place the balls of dough on it, spacing well apart (2 to 3 inches). Cover with damp paper towel and leave for another 45-60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.

3. Heat oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. For the cross, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 1-2tbsp of cold water. Spoon it into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each cun. Bake for 10-20 minutes (depending on size) or until golden brown. Heat the milk and sugar until dissolved and then boil for 1 minute. Transfer the buns to a cooling rack and brush with the milk glaze.

Other pictures:

Anakin with lamb cake

Almost everybody who came to lunch today

Mike and Violet playing telephone pictionary

More Pictionary

Even more pictionary

Cut lamb cake... it looks so accusing

Tonight’s Dessert Creation

Tonight we made a beautiful dinner (which we forgot to photograph). We made balsamic-marinated chicken breasts, pumpkin dumplings (which turned out a little more like pumpkin gnocchi but which were still delicious), roasted asparagus and Brussels sprouts, and saffron rice.

For dessert I made Spiced Applesauce Cupcakes. They are quite good, but the Cinnamon-Nutmeg Cream-Cheese Frosting was the event.

Here is the recipe I used:

For cake
2 cups (8 3/4 ounces or 250 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
3/4 teaspoon (2 grams) cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (7 3/4 ounces or 218 grams) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (about 13 ounces or 365 grams) unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup (about 1 3/4 ounces or 50 grams) walnuts (optional), toasted, cooled, and chopped

For frosting
5 ounces (142 grams) cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces or 42 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces or 120 grams) confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan. I had no trouble getting my cake out of a nonstick pan by just buttering it, but if you don’t have a nonstick cake pan or are a little nervous, line the bottom with parchment paper and butter that too.

Make cake: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in walnuts (if using). The batter will look a little curdly and uneven but don’t worry, it will all bake up perfectly in the end.

Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely. You can speed this up, as I always do, in the fridge. OR recipe makes about 16-18 cupcakes. Cooking time approximately 20 minutes.

Make frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Sift confectioners sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.

Pumpkin Pie

Let me begin this post by saying that I do not like pumpkin pie. Except apparently pumpkin pie made by my friend Charlotte. THIS WAS THE BEST PIE I’VE EVER TASTED!

The filling recipe went something like this:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can Sweetened Condenced Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Some cinnamon,  nutmeg, vanilla, and garam masala.

The crust recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine sugar, salt, and spices in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mix. Gradually add evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Cut up pecan pieces into very small chunks and sprinkle them on top of the filling.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  5. Cool for 15 minutes. 
  6. Enjoy heartily. 

I might gain 20 pounds this quarter but I will enjoy it heartily.

Vegan Banana Bread Recipe

Today I made incredibly successful vegan banana bread for my friend Aleah.

The recipe went like this:

Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine, at room temp
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream margarine and sugars together. Add mashed banana, almond milk/vinegar mixture, and vanilla.

In another bowl sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt together.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Then add the pecans and chocolate chips.

Pour mixture into a greased 8×4 inch loaf pan. Top with brown sugar.

Bake for 1hr.