Curry, more popular than ever today!

Curries are the most popular foods today in the world. Editor’s Choice India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine is a simple “How To” guide of the best selection of more than 150 authentic, delicious, easy-to-prepare healthy recipes. Using simple utensils and tools, my recipes have been tested and work the first time for people who want to add spice in their lives, and stay healthy.

My new book of curry recipes is relevant today as it was centuries ago when people turned to their physicians to make body, mind, and spirit happy with nature’s bounty – spices and herbs to stimulate their taste buds and increase the flow of saliva, relieve gas, and reduce nausea.

We are what we eat.  Your spiritual reawakening with Indian food is within sight.  Minimize stress and attain a balanced and positive outlook on life with something priceless – your well being.

Spicy Ground Lamb on Noodles

Ground Lamb with Mint, Green Chili, and Onions on Spaghetti (Keema-Do-Piazza aur Seviayan) (Photograph by Amina Rahman)

Serves 6

2 pounds lean ground lamb
½ cup plain yogurt
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ cup corn oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced fine
2 fresh green chilies, slit in half and cut into ½-inch pieces
¾-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped in half
2 cups water
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1 pound packaged thin spaghetti
16 cups water
1 tablespoon corn oil

In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb, yogurt, salt, turmeric, and cumin seeds. Marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté for 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown.

Add the ground lamb and stir. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lamb is half-cooked.

Add green chilies, chopped ginger, chopped onion, and garlic, and stir for 2–3 minutes.

Add 2 cups water and stir. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender and the liquid has evaporated.

Add fresh mint leaves and mix.

In a large pot, add 16 cups water and 1 tablespoon oil. Boil over medium heat. Add spaghetti and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes until done. Drain immediately in a colander.

On a platter, transfer the spaghetti and arrange the ground lamb on top. Serve hot with mint chutney and salad.

 

 

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New Ways to Improve Yourself

My book seeks to bring awareness and understanding of the great health benefits of curry spices and herbs utilized in India’s world-famous cuisine. For centuries these treasures of nature have helped people to stay healthy, handle stress better, attain good health and a balanced and positive outlook on life. These formulas have changed little today. We can endeavor to stay healthy by eating the right foods, improving ourselves and our circumstances, respecting others and teaching tolerance, sharing and protecting our culture and heritage.

Spicy Turmeric Lentils

Vanity should have no place where our health is concerned. By taking responsibility for our dietary wellbeing, we can learn to live in harmony and peace with ourselves and others. That said, sadly our shadows, siblings, parents, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, pets, peers, educators, political affiliations, and iPhones cannot do this for us!

Recipe: Kashmir-Style Meatballs

 

meatball-1319453Kashmir-Style Meatballs

(Kashmiri Ko a Kebab)

•••• •

Serves 6

 

 

Meatballs, or koftas, are also served as appetizers with sweet or hot mint and cilantro chutney. Prepared with lamb, seafood, vegetables, and legumes, they are combined with spices and herbs and sometimes bound together with chickpea our. Some meatballs are simmered slowly to absorb the aroma of the spices and soften while others are drizzled with creamy, seductive sauces.

2 pounds ground lamb
1 tablespoon Milk Solids (see p. 53)
3⁄4-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
1 fresh green chili, chopped ne
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
1 teaspoon corn oil
1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
3 tablespoons Clarified Butter (see p. 50)
1⁄2 teaspoon roasted Kashmir-Style Garam Masala (see p. 32) 1 teaspoon brown sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom

In a large bowl, mix the rst nine ingredients. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Divide the lamb into twenty equal portions and form into smooth balls.

In a small bowl, whip the yogurt with a fork.

Heat the clarified butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garam masala, sugar, and yogurt, and stir for 1 minute. Add 1⁄2 cup hot water and boil.

Drop in the meatballs, cover, and simmer for 7–8 minutes until the water has evaporated.

Turn the meatballs over and add 1⁄2 cup hot water and ground black pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid has evap- orated and meatballs are evenly brown and tender.

Sprinkle with ground cardamom, set aside for 5 minutes, and then skewer on toothpicks. Serve hot with roti, cilantro chutney, and Indian salad.

Book Theme

Indian Cuisine: Unquestionably, today the most striking feature about India is its enduring and unsurpassed cuisine, expanded and refined by many civilizations, cultures, and nationalities. There is absolutely nothing like curry in the world of sensuous culinary flavors to create harmony and balance in making the body, mind, and spirit happy!

Tradition:    The great Mogul (Mughal) Emperors Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan enriched their empire not only with extraordinary works of art but created India’s world-famous haute cuisine (high cuisine) or Mughal-style (Mughalai) cuisine: a combination of Persian (developed by the Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad between the eighth and tenth centuries at the height of their power), central Asian, and northern Indian cuisine made with elaborate sauces and great attention to detail.  Featured were lamb and chicken dishes in fragrant, seductive almond, cashew, and pistachio sauces sautéed in spices.

Lamb Pilao Rice

The traditional curry table consists of many different entrées, usually combinations of lamb, chicken, fish, and shrimp curry, and vegetables and legumes sautéed in curry spices and herbs and plain yogurt dishes served with long-grained basmati rice and unleavened baked wheat bread or roti.  Food is carefully selected to blend and harmonize with the different seasons and tastes.  Every dish is pleasing to the eye, palate, and stomach.  An accompaniment of side dishes, such as chopped cucumber in plain yogurt, mango, mint, or cilantro chutney, and chopped onions and tomato with lemon juice are served.  Desserts consist of seductive sweetmeats and seasonal fruits, followed by the ancient ritual of serving an ambrosial mixture of shredded areca nut (betel nut), cardamom, clove, nutmeg, and aniseed to enhance digestion and sweeten the breath.

Curry: The provocative spicy concoction curry evolved out of India’s five-thousand-year-old healing system called Ayurveda (science of life: body, mind and spirit) and has traveled a fascinating voyage through time.  The word curry comes from the south Indian Tamil word kari, meaning a richly spiced sauce with kari podi or curry powder.

Tasty and tantalizing to the palate and the senses, curry is essentially a stew or a casserole of meat, fish, or vegetables sautéed and cooked in a mixture (masala) of several pungent spices.  Chili peppers, turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions, coriander, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, bay leaf, black pepper, clove, nutmeg, mace, saffron, and other healing spices form a part of many mouth-watering curry dishes.

Healthy Cooking: The spices and herbs utilized in the preparation of India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine are not only the heating and cooling energy specialists of the body but aid the digestive process.  For example in India, turmeric powder, the popular yellow curry spice is used to strengthen and tone the stomach, promote appetite, and helps to get rid of parasites in the intestinal tract.  As a natural antioxidant substance, turmeric helps to prevent disease; slow the oxidation of oils, fats, and so forth; and check the deterioration of cells and tissues in the body.  Used in many of my recipes western researchers now claim curcumin or turmeric powder ‘is arguably the most potent anti-cancer nutrient in existence.’

We are what we eat.  My ‘gift of good health’ came from a spiritual reawakening through Indian food because it promotes creativity, life, vitality, strength, health, laughter, joy, and cheerfulness.

Capturing Haunting Flavors

Kababs

My inspiration for writing India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine is based on my personal life experience after I married my American husband and came to live in sunny Southern California.  The first six months of marriage in a strange new world were too bewildering for words.  I could not comprehend the depression that overcame me as a result of this ‘culture shock.’  I lost twenty pounds, suffered from a severe case of homesickness and most of all missed my mother’s delicious cooking… I knew if I did not do something about this, I would surely die of malnutrition.  Although I did not know how to cook, I took matters into my hands and eventually found a store in Hollywood that sold Indian curry spices and herbs.  I experimented for three years in my kitchen to capture the haunting flavors of my mother’s kitchen and taught myself the connection to stay healthy and remain healthy.  I burned many pots and pans and visited the Sears Home Store regularly, served my husband burnt rice, and distressed my neighbors with ‘strange’ aromas.  But with persistence I finally learned how to mix and use the different spices and master the art of Indian curry cooking.

Having fulfilled my passionate longing for authentic Indian cuisine to stay healthy and keep my body, mind, and spirit happy,  I typed one recipe a day on my IBM  typewriter.  Eighteen months later I had over 500 recipes for a trilogy of cookbooks.   Many rejections later, Contemporary Books, Inc. published my first cookbook Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991), followed by McGraw Hill, Inc.  Twenty-five years later, my book went out of print and iUniverse Publishing reprinted it.  They also published my second cookbook India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine with the Editor’s Choice designation because it is more than just a cookbook.  The priceless therapeutic benefits of curry spices and herbs utilized in this extraordinary cuisine are known to soothe the nervous system, increase internal body heat to relieve chills, and strengthen and promote digestion, absorption, metabolism, and circulation.

This is not rocket science, but a simple ‘How To’ cooking guide for preparing authentic healthy Indian cuisine.  I want to show young people that they can improve the circumstances in their lives by staying healthy and eating the right foods:

  • We are what we eat
  • Health is wealth
  • The magic of curry is in blending and sautéing spices (masala)