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Cuppylicious!, Formal Occasions, Meat, Poultry, Soup and Salad, The Daring Cooks' Challenge

Golden Chicken Broth/Consommé

Wonton Soup en Consommé

Wonton Soup en Consommé

Total time: 7-10 hours.

Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cooks’ September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!

1 kg chicken bones or skinned Marylands
1 boiling chicken or 2 kg (2¼ lb) wings
400 gm (14 oz) onions, about 4 medium
400 gm (14 oz) carrots, about 6 medium
200 gm (7 oz) celery, about 4 large ribs
50 gm (1¾ oz) dried mushrooms, about 12
200 gm (7 oz) broccoli stalk, two large stalks

Soup or Consommé
2 litres (8 cups/2 quarts) chicken stock
500 gm (1 lb) chicken mince
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 cm (1½ inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
4 cm (1½ inch) piece fresh ginger, extra, peeled, chopped
½ red capsicum (red bell pepper), chopped
2 spring (green) onions, chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
2 red bird’s eye chillies, seeded (optional), thinly sliced
½ cup (120 ml) (30 gm) (1 oz) Vietnamese mint leaves
1 cup (240 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) coriander (cilantro) (Reserve 18 of the smallest leaves and 6 of the tips for service) wash the rest of the bunch including the roots.
1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice
1 – 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce

Stock on the left, Consommé on the right

Stock on the left, Consommé on the right

Clarifying the soup
1 egg white per 4 cups of stock (for clarifying)
1 cup crushed ice per 4 cups of stock

Recipe makes about 48 wontons only 18 are used for this recipe. The rest can be frozen uncooked for other occasions.
500 gm (1 lb) chicken breasts or tenderloins with the tendon removed.
1 tablespoon (30 ml) rice wine, mirin or sherry
4 teaspoons (20 ml) soy sauce
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) ground white pepper
½ cup (120 ml) (30 gm) (1 oz) finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
2 finely chopped spring (green) onions
48 wonton wrappers
Egg or water to moisten the wonton wrappers so they stick together

Step 1 – Stock
1. Cook your bones and chicken until brown.
2. Sweat the vegetables in the oil or butter until soft.
3. Put ingredients in a stockpot and cover with cold water.
4. Cover with a lid, then bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, skimming foam from surface, for 2 hours or until meat falls from bone. Lift out the chicken and keep for another use.
6. Strain stock through a muslin-lined sieve. Discard solids.

Step 2 – Soup
1. Fry the mince until brown and cooked. Allow any juices to cook off. You don‟t want any burnt bits as it will make your stock bitter.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes
3. Skim off any fat.
4. Strain the soup to remove any solids. Stop here and serve with wontons. Allow 1 cup/240ml per serve. Or move on toward Consommé.

Step 3 – Consommé (clarified with egg whites)
1. Place egg whites in a bowl. This is the time to taste your stock and decide if it needs more flavourings or salt and pepper. Add seasoning to the egg whites.
2. Whisk the whites to a bubbly froth and add the crushed ice.
3. Add to the cooked meat. Mix together.
4. Add this mixture to the simmering stock. Whisk for a slow count of three.
5. Let it heat slowly back to a simmer. Don‟t stir it again.
6. The raft is a delicate thing. It is vital it doesn’t break apart (if it breaks apart it will all mix back into the soup and you’ll have to start again with the egg whites.), you want to bring it up to a simmer very slowly. Keep a close eye on it. I try to push the middle back so I get a good hole. Once the raft is substantial, break a little hole in it if there isn’t already one.
7. As the consommé simmers, you will see bubbles and foam, come up through your hole. Skim it off and throw it away. When the bubbles stop coming and the consommé looks clear underneath, then you‟re ready to take it out. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for ten minutes.
8. Removing the consommé from underneath the raft is another nerve racking procedure. You want to break as little of the raft as possible, but you have to get underneath it to remove the liquid.
9. Enlarge your hole with a ladle and spoon it all out as gently as you can. You can strain it if you want too but hopefully the liquid is clear.

1. Finely chop the chicken with food processor or cleaver. Transfer chicken to large bowl. Add sherry, soy sauce, pepper, coriander and spring onion; mix well.
2. For wontons, work with about twelve wrappers at a time, keeping remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoon meat mixture onto center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten with egg or water and gather edges around filling, pressing firmly at top to seal; cover and set aside.

To serve
1. Heat consommé or broth.
2. Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat to 375°F/180°C. Add eight to ten wontons at a time, cook until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
3. Place the broth into your warmed bowls. Add 1 wonton and place the others beside the bowl.
4. Add 3 Vietnamese mint leaves and 3 chilli rings to each bowl. Place a tip of the Vietnamese mint beside each bowl
5. If you have it add a 1 cm (1/3 inch) wide strip of edible gold leaf to each bowl.

I split this into two days. Chicken stock on the first day, chilled and scooped the fat out. Then soup, wontons and consommé on the second day.

The directions were fairly straightforward and detailed, so I didn’t see a reason to reinvent Peta’s wheels. When I sat down to eat it, I said “Ah, it’s pretty but I didn’t need it to be pretty.” By the time I was finished eating my first bowl, I’d decided that yes, it needs to be pretty like this if I do it again. The visual difference is astounding, and the time is totally worth it.

Bread Loaves, Breads and Desserts, Cuppylicious!, The Daring Cooks' Challenge

Herb and Garlic Brioche

Herb & Garlic Brioche

Herb & Garlic Brioche

Total time:  3.5 hours

Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cooks’ September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes! Brioche was one of the optional recipes.

2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm) (10 oz) all-purpose plain flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (28 gm) (1 oz) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) salt
½ cup (120 ml) milk, warm
½ cup (1 stick) (120 ml) (115 gm) (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (1 gm) chopped chives
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (1 gm) chopped parsley
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (2 gm) Italian mixed herbs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (2 gm) freshly crushed garlic

Thyme & Rosemary Brioche Bread Bowls

Thyme & Rosemary Brioche Bread Bowls

1. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
2. Slowly mix the warm milk, butter, mixed herbs and 2 of the eggs into the flour mixture
3. Knead until the dough is smooth. The dough is ready to rise when it is completely smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in size.
5. Transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface and punch it down a few times.
6. Finely chop the fresh herbs and mix with the garlic.
7. Press the dough out into a rectangle then spread with the chopped herbs.
8. Roll up like a Swiss roll and place on a lined baking tray.
9. Cover the pan and allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in size.
10. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
11. Remove the dough covering, gently brush the loaf with the remaining beaten egg, bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until the brioche is golden brown. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer it to a wire cooling rack.

In my old-school Joy of Cooking cookbook, the instructions for brioche include “throwing the dough on the counter violently” (not even kidding). This recipe is so much easier. 🙂 I loved this brioche so much, I also made bread bowls for gumbo. If I hadn’t run out of butter, I’d have made something sweet, too. That’s next on the list.

Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Meat, Poultry

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash and spätzle

Chicken Paprikash and spätzle

The boy called this “Jimmy New-tonne Curry”.  I think it was the fun pasta.

Total time: 1 hour

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
3 tablespoons butter, bacon fat, or lard
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped, seeded, peeled tomatoes
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or one can of chicken broth)
1/2 cup sour cream

Serves 2-3.

Melt butter or fat in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until desired doneness – I prefer golden brown, so about 10 minutes.

Add paprika, chili powder, and salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken pieces and stir them in the pan until they’re well coated in onion mix. Cook 3-5 minutes more or until all pieces of chicken look like they’re ready to braise (white all over or even browned on each side).

Add tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes. Slowly stir in chicken broth until completely incorporated. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and slowly stir in sour cream. Return to heat for 2-3 minutes.

Serve with potatoes, rice or pasta. Seen here with spätzle.

I meant to spoon the chicken and sauce over my noodles. After I took this picture, I immediately mixed them all up together. And I’m sure I’ll catch flack 20 ways from Sunday for saying this, but chicken paprikash is just a fancy name for HUNGARIAN CURRY.

Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Pasta & Rice, Side Dishes, The Daring Cooks' Challenge


Spätzle with Chicken Paprikas

Spätzle with Chicken Paprikas

Total time:  35 minutes

Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks’ July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

2 large eggs
½ cup (120 ml) milk or buttermilk
1½ cups (360 ml) (210 gm) (7½ oz) all-purpose (plain) flour (approximately – have more on hand, in case)
up to 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of herbs and spices (optional – I added 1 tsp nutmeg instead)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (3 gm) fresh parsley, chopped (optional decoration, I skipped this)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and any herbs and spices that you want to incorporate into the spätzle.
2. Incorporate the flour in small batches, by sifting in a small amount at a time and mixing until the flour is completely integrated. Keep adding flour until the dough becomes elastic, smooth and very hard to stir.
Boil a large pot of water. Dip a table spoon into the boiling water to wet it. To form the spätzle, fill the tablespoon about half way with dough, and release into the boiling water.
4. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Drain the water from the spätzle. Because it’s full of fun craters where water can hide, you will need to drain it especially well. Toss with the chopped parsley.

Seen here paired with chicken paprikash.

I pushed my dough through these holes I found in what I think is a food processor salad bowl (I really have no idea, I just found this thing in my “miscellaneous drawer” in the kitchen). I got a little warm standing above the boiling water, but it was worth it. Because the pieces were so much smaller and more spätzle-y, I only had to cook them 8-10 minutes, but I had to do two batches.

This was so fast and easy, and it made a light and tasty noodle.

Cuppylicious!, Meat, Sauces and Dips, Seafood

Not-so-Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning

More like "everything but the kitchen sink" seasoning.

I’ve never tasted Old Bay Seasoning, so I don’t know how close this comes, but I thought it tasted pretty awesome in Jen’s Grandma’s Best Crab Cakes. You need a spice grinder or mortar & pestle.

Total time: 8 minutes

4 bay leaves
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground mace
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground allspice

Most people use Old Bay Seasoning for seafood, but I hear tell of folks who put it on everything like a season-all or season salt.

I had to grind them all together in my mortar. I suspect I could have gotten away with ground bay leaves if I had them and ground celery seed or maybe even celery salt (to replace seeds & salt), but I think grinding up the red pepper flakes is important, too.

Beef, Cuppylicious!, Meat, Pork, Poultry, Soup and Salad, The Daring Cooks' Challenge

Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo in a brioche bread bowl

Our May hostess, Denise of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need from creole spices, homemade stock and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

Total time: 2-5 hours, depending on how you manage your time, or if you’re using canned chicken broth. This took me exactly 3 hours and 24 minutes, including my bread bowls and chicken broth.

Serves 10-12.

1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) rendered chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) flour
2 large onions, diced
1 chicken (3 ½ to 4 lbs.), cut into 10 pieces I used chicken breasts
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) Basic Creole Spices, or store-bought Creole spice blend I used double. Mmmm…
2 pounds (2 kilograms) spicy smoked sausage, sliced ½ inch (15mm) thick I left this out.
2 stalks celery, diced
2 green bell peppers (capsicum), seeded and diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 quarts (3 liters) Basic Chicken Stock (recipe follows), or canned chicken stock
2 bay leaves
6 ounces (175 gm) andouille sausage, chopped
2 cups (480 ml) (320 gm) (11 oz) sliced fresh okra, ½ -inch (15mm) thick slices (or frozen, if fresh is not available)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Filé powder, to taste I left this out.
Tabasco, to taste I left this out, too.
And I added 1 Tbsp of red pepper flakes. I should have added a handful, since I like it warmer. Maybe next time.

1. Prepare homemade chicken stock, if using. The challenge came with a recipe, but I was making stock for several meals, so I did my own.
2. Prepare homemade Basic Creole Spices, if using.
3. Season the chicken pieces with about 2 tablespoons of the Creole Spices while you prepare the vegetables.
4. Make sure all of your vegetables are cut, diced, chopped, minced and ready to go before beginning the roux. You must stand at the stove and stir the roux continuously to prevent it from burning.
5. In a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan, heat the chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil – it will start to sizzle. **DANGER! IT SPITS!!** Reduce the heat to moderate, and continue whisking until the roux becomes deep brown in color, about 15 minutes.
6. Add the onions. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the onions into the roux. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue stirring until the roux becomes a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.
7. Add the chicken to the pot; raise the heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
8. Add the sliced smoked sausage and stir for about a minute.
9. Add the celery, bell peppers, tomato, and garlic, and continue stirring for about 3 minutes.
10. Add the thyme, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally.
11. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, skimming off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.
12. Add the chopped andouille, okra, and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper, several dashes of filé powder, and Tabasco, all to taste.
13. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat from the surface of the gumbo. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls over rice. Pass more filé powder at the table if desired.

Seen here served in a homemade bread bowl.

I didn’t think I’d like gumbo. I had some seafood gumbo as a kid (made by a really burly, wild Italian man), and I didn’t think I’d care for it this time around – BUT I DID! Not only that, but I really enjoyed it. I should have made a full recipe.

Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Sauces and Dips, Soup and Salad, The Daring Cooks' Challenge

Basic Creole Spices

Basic Creole Seasoning

Basic Creole Seasoning

Our May hostess, Denise of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need from creole spices, homemade stock and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

Makes ½ cup

Total time:  8 minutes

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (33 gm) celery salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) sweet paprika
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (18 gm) coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (6 gm) freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) garlic powder
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) onion powder
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (4 gm) cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) ground allspice

Mix together all spices in a bowl. Transfer the spices to a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. Store up to six months

Cuppylicious!, Meat, Poultry, Soup and Salad

Satay Chicken Wraps

Satay Sandwich

Satay Sandwich with chicken, carrots, onions, cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts and plenty of raita on homemade naan

Guy Fieri’s Satay Chicken Salad Wraps without some of the obnoxious recommendations.

Total time: Approximately 2 hours.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, pounded, cut into 1-inch strips
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 cups julienned, finely chopped, or shredded vegetables such as onions, carrots, bell peppers, bok choy, chinese broccoli, or mustard greens (pick at least 2 vegetables!)
1 cup washed and rinsed bean sprouts, clover sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, julienned cucumbers or thinly sliced tomatoes (pick at least 2!)
1 tablespoon minced ginger, optional for bean sprouts
1 teaspoon minced garlic, optional for bean sprouts
cilantro and green onions, to taste
raita or other dressing
naan or pita or flatbread or tortillas

Marinade for the chicken:
3 Tbsp peeled, roughly chopped ginger
3 Tbsp roughly chopped onion
2 Tbsp roughly chopped garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Serves 6.

In a food processor or blender, combine all marinade ingredients until smooth.  Place chicken and marinade in a plastic bag or other container and store in the refrigerator.  Marinate at least 1 hour.

Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes. Once cooked through, remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm. To the same pan add the vegetables and saute for 2 minutes longer, remove to a bowl and keep warm.  If using bean sprouts, now’s the time to add them into the frying pan with ginger and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

I serve these “family style”, with fresh naan. To build a sandwich, I slather raita across the naan, then layer on the meat, warm vegetables, cold vegetables or fruits, then garnishes (and sometimes more raita).

My favorite so far is chicken, carrots, onions, sauteed bean sprouts, cilantro and green onions, with the homemade naan and raita.

Breads and Desserts, Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Indian, Pasta & Rice, Side Dishes, The Daring Cooks' Challenge



Appam, or hopper, is a rice pancake

Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

Total time: 12-16 hours.

1 ½ cups (360 ml/300 gm/10½ oz) raw rice
1 ½ teaspoons (7½ ml/5 gm) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
½ cup (120 ml) of coconut water or water, room temperature
1 ½ tablespoons (22½ ml/18 gm) cooked rice
½ teaspoon (2½ ml/3 gm) salt
about ½ cup (120 ml) thick coconut milk (from the top of an unshaken can)



My edges weren't thin all the time, but it still worked out.

1. Soak the raw rice in 4 to 5 cups of water for 3 hours. I kept forgetting to do this, so I soaked overnight. Worked great. 😉
2. Dissolve the sugar in the coconut water or plain water and add the yeast. Set aside in a warm area for 10-15 minutes, until very frothy.
3. Drain the rice and grind it in a blender with the yeast mixture to make a smooth batter. You can add a bit of extra water if needed, but I did not. Add the cooked rice, and grind/blend to combine well.
4. Pour into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 8-12 hours. You not only want the mixture to rise and collapse, but to ferment. When it is ready, it will have a slightly sour and distinctly yeasty smell. Don’t worry–they are mild tasting when cooked!
5. Add the coconut milk and salt, and a bit of water if necessary, so that you have a batter that is just a bit thicker than milk. Notice how it bubbles after you add the coconut milk. I recommend test-cooking one before thinning the batter.
6. Heat your pan over medium heat. Wipe a few drops of oil over it using a paper towel. Stir the batter and pour in 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the size of the pan. Working quickly, hold the handle(s) and give the pan a quick swirl so that the batter comes to the top edge. Swirl once only, as you want the edges to be thin and lacy.
7. Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Uncover and check. The center should have puffed up a bit, and will be shiny, but dry to the touch. When ready, loosen the edges with a small spatula and serve immediately. These need to be served hot out of the pan.

The leftover batter can be refrigerated for a day or 2.

Wow. These are new and amazing to me, and I will be making them again and again. I enjoyed them so much, I was looking around for more.

Beef, Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Indian, Meat, Pork, The Daring Cooks' Challenge

Sri Lankan Curry

Sri Lankan Curry

Sri Lankan Curry with pork

Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

Total time: 1.5 hours.

1 pound (½ kg) boneless meat, or about 1 ½ pounds (¾ kg) short ribs or cross ribs (or boneless lamb shoulder) I used pork!
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
10 fresh or frozen curry leaves
1-3 green cayenne chili, finely chopped
generous 1 cup (250ml/250 gm/9 oz) finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon (5 ml/3 gm) turmeric
1 teaspoon (5 ml/6 gm) salt
½ cup (120 ml) coconut milk
1 tablespoon (15 ml/15 gm) tamarind pulp
¼ cup (60 ml) hot water

1/4 cup tamarind paste
3 cups (720 ml) water

Dry Spice Mixture:
1 tablespoon (15 ml/13 gm) raw white rice
1 tablespoon (15 ml/10 gm) coriander seeds
1 teaspoon (5 ml/4 gm) cumin seeds
one 1-inch piece (2½ cm) cinnamon or cassia stick
seeds from 2 pods of green cardamom


Sri Lankan Curry

Sri Lankan Curry with pork and hot curried chicken, with rice and appam

1. Cut the meat into ½ inch (13 mm) cubes or separate the ribs. Set aside.
2. In a small heavy skillet, roast the dry spice mixture over medium to medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously, until it smells amazing! You will be able to see that the rice is a toasted color.
3. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and grind/pound to a powder. Set aside.
4. In a large, wide pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the curry leaves, green chile, onion and turmeric and stir-fry for 3 minutes. I cooked my onions until they were golden brown. So good. Add the meat and salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so all surfaces of the meat get browned.
5. Add the reserved spice mixture and the coconut milk and stir to coat the meat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the tamarind paste to the 3 cups of water.
7. Add the tamarind/water mixture to the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook uncovered at a strong simmer for about an hour, until the meat is tender and the flavors are well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot.

Shown here with hot curried chicken, rice, and an appam.