Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kheema Therapy

Aarti Party is one of the best things to happen to Food Network.  Aside from being a joy to watch, Aarti Sequeira brings some great new tastes to the home cook's arsenal.  One of the basic dishes she makes that is easily adapted to the migraine diet is kheema.  Substitutions are very straight-forward:  scallions or shallots can be used instead of onions (I've started veering more towards scallions because they are the easiest to prepare - cut of the bottoms, chop, and they're done), and the vinegar can be replaced with white vinegar (Add a little at a time and taste before adding more) or omitted entirely.

Two pointers may assist you.  First, Aarti says to saute the onions, add the garlic and ginger (cook a minute), and then add the dried spices and cook another minute.  I usually like to cook my dry spices more before adding wet ingredients.  This gets rid of a "raw spice" flavor that some fine less refined than my approach.  I prefer to either cook the spices first, then add the onions/shallots/scallions, or I sometimes add the dry spices with the onions/shallots/scallions and cook them a bit more that way.  In either event, the garlic and ginger go in last for a short time so that they do not burn.

The second issue is working with ground beef.  If you add regular ground beef or chuck to the spice mix, you end up with a lot of grease.  If you drain the grease, it takes a lot of the flavor away with it; if you don't drain the grease, your end result will be unhealthy and probably ruined.  If you cook and drain the beef, and then combine it with the spice mix, the flavors don't really get into the beef and your dish does not rise to its potenial.  There is an easy solution:  Ground sirloin gives off virtually no grease, so you can add it to the spice mix, cook it without draining, and it should come out perfectly. 

As a side note, if you make something that requires a sear on your ground beef ("Brown meat tastes good!" - Anne Burrell)  like pasta bolognese, grease will trip you up there as well.  Again, ground sirloin and other super-lean cuts will save the day.  It costs more, but at times like these, short cuts don't pay off.

No comments:

Post a Comment