Today we talk about Salazar’s Second law of Expat Life (the First Law is, “Do not contradict the Indian Official”, but that’s another story). The Second Law: You can only eat so much microwave biryani.
After a wait of some weeks I received my shipment of stuff from the US – this is a shipment my company allows me, so that you can bring household goods, etc. Included was an array of kitchen things: dishware, cooking knives, pots, pans, all of that. Once I got everything unpacked I was off to my local Spar Hypermarket to get ingredients.
The veg for my meal you see above: Carrots are generally less uniform in size and shape than the US version, but are less watery and have good flavor. Indian onions are smaller and slightly red; they are served everywhere fresh as part of the salad that accompanies a typical Indian meal. Lastly, I bought some striped eggplant, a variety of Solanum melongena; these are palm-sized eggplants with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. (Googling around a bit I find that eggplant was first cultivated in the region of India and Pakistan some 4,000 years ago … who knew?)
I sautéed all these with butter, salt and pepper, then added a bit of white wine and some ginger-garlic paste. This stuff is good – if they had it in the US I would use it by the kilo.
My main dish was boneless lamb. The cost was 209 Rs., about $4, for 445 grams, or just under 1 lb. – this I think is an expensive ingredient from Indian standpoint but pretty cheap compared to US. I used this in making Marzwangan korma, a recipe which came from here:
One of the things I like about this book, it classifies dishes by region. Marzwangan korma is a Kashmiri dish; Kashmir is about as far North as you can get in India. The seasonings in this dish include: Turmeric, Cardamom, Chili, Cinnamon and Tamarind. Making it is easy, first you kind of poach the lamb to cook it and give its first layer of flavor; then you fry the main spices, glaze the cooked lamb in the hot spice mix, then add a little of the poaching liquid and reduce it down again to let the glaze penetrate the meat.
Sorry no pics of the end result … Once all this was on the plate, journalistic record keeping was the last thing on my mind. Suffice to say I am slave to the microwave no longer.