Father's Day special: Food blogger Poorna Banerjee shares the recipe for Larb and Aloo Keema Curry
She's among the handful of popular bloggers in the City of Joy who is known for easy-to-make, delectable recipes. We are talking about the young and bubbly food blogger Poorna Banerjee, who has shared two awesome dishes with us to win over your father on Father's Day tomorrow.
"Ever since my father turned 60 and started losing the strength in his teeth, I had to come up with ideas that would incorporate meat into the menu and make it easy for him to eat them. The two recipes here are simple in their ingredients and cooking process, easy on the tummy, and does not involve deep frying," tells Poorna.
Larb (Warm Northern Thai Minced Meat Salad)
Ingredients (Serves 2):
2 tbsp short-grained sticky rice (like Gobindobhog), or Jasmine Rice, washed, drained and dried | 250 gm minced chicken or pork | 50 gm red onion, sliced thinly | 2 tbsp fish sauce (or light soy sauce) | 2 tbsp lime juice | ½ tsp chilli flakes | 1 green chilli, chopped (optional) | 1 tbsp chopped holy basil (tulsi) leaves or mint leaves | 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves | 1 tbsp chopped spring onion greens | 1/4 tsp white pepper powder | Salt to taste (if required)
First, make the roasted rice powder by slowly toasting the short-grained rice over low heat in a pan till the grains change their colour to deep golden, shaking the pan gently so that the rice gets coloured evenly. Remove from heat, let it cool down, and then grind to a fine powder.
In a cold pan, add the minced meat and 2-3 tbsp. cold water. Now, over medium heat, stir and cook till the meat is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes for chicken, and 12-15 minutes for pork, ensuring that the meat is cooked, but it doesn’t colour much and has a little bit of moisture remaining, about 1-2 tbsp worth.
Once the meat is cooked to your liking, add the onions, and stir them in. Immediately remove from heat, and stir for a minute or so, to ensure the onions wilt slightly into the meat. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, chilli flakes, green chilli, all the herbs, and the roasted rice powder.
Add salt at the very end, after tasting and checking if you need more, and then, serve on its own as a starter, or with some lettuce on the side to make lettuce wraps with it, or with some hot Jasmine or any kind of short-grained rice.
Aloo Keema Curry
Ingredients (Serves 2-3):
250 gm minced meat (mutton, chicken, or pork) | 100 gm diced potatoes |
50 gm chopped onion | 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste | 100 ml crushed tomatoes (or 4 tbsp. tomato puree mixed with 3 tbsp. water) | 2-3 sprigs (10-15) curry leaves | 1 stick of cinnamon | 3-4 whole cardamom | 5-6 whole clove | 6-8 whole peppercorn | 3 dried red chillies | 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder | ½ tsp turmeric powder | 1 tsp coriander powder | ½ tsp black pepper powder | ½ tsp garam masala powder | 1 tsp curry powder (optional) | Salt and sugar to taste | 3 tbsp mustard oil (or any vegetable oil)
In a pressure cooker, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the whole spices – cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, dried chillies, clove, and stir fry for 20 seconds. Add the onion and the curry leaves, and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion looks light golden brown.
Add the ginger-garlic paste, followed by the coriander powder, turmeric, black pepper, garam masala and curry powder. You don’t need to add the curry powder, but if you do, it adds a lovely depth of flavours. Then, add the tomato, and cook till the liquid is mostly evaporated and the oil starts to separate from the spice mixture.
Then, add the minced meat, and stir to break it down so that it
doesn’t form clumps – about 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Follow it up with potatoes, salt, sugar, and about 1 cup of water (use more or less as per your liking – for me, 1 cup is good). Cover the pressure cooker and let it come to full steam, then cook for 4-5 minutes, or until your mince and potatoes are cooked as per your calculations.
Turn off the heat, let the pressure release naturally in the cooker (will take about 20 -30 minutes), then serve with hot rotis or paranthas.