A Taste For… Miso | Japanese-Style Miso Cod

Are you familiar with umami? Discovered (and named) by Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda back in 1908 and known as the fifth taste group (alongside sweet, sour, bitter and salty), umami is most commonly translated as ‘savoury’ or ‘meaty’ and is a flavour profile that most of us enjoy in our food, whether or not we could name or identify it. Although it occurs naturally in many foods – including mushrooms, ripe tomatoes, chinese cabbage, asparagus, sweetcorn and shellfish – many cultures have become adept at creating umami-rich foods by cooking, curing and fermenting; these include cheese, green tea, fish sauce and yeast extract.

Miso is one such umami-bomb – an ingredient at the core of Japanese cuisine.

Miso Cod on Kavey Eats (overlay)

Made by fermenting soybeans, salt and additional grains such as rice or barley with a mould fungus known in Japanese as kōji-kin, the result is a thick, salty and intensely savoury paste used as a seasoning throughout Japanese cooking.

There are many different varieties available in Japan, often broadly divided by their colour. The most common misos are red and white, made with soybeans and rice. White has a higher percentage of rice than its red counterpart and is the mildest and sweetest. Red, aged for longer, is stronger and saltier and darkens with age through red into brown. Some vintage misos are almost black in colour.

There are other types that are made with different grains such as barley, buckwheat, rye or millet.

Regional differences also play a part; in Sendai the locals prefer their miso slightly chunkier, so the soybeans are coarsely mashed rather than ground; in parts of Chubu and Kansai there’s a preference for darker, saltier and more astringent miso. In Eastern Japan, mild and sweet pale misos are the favourites.

Fermentation of foods has been prevalent in East Asia since ancient times. Grains and fish were fermented in the Neolithic era and there are records describing the use of Aspergillus moulds in China as far back as 300. BC Fermented soybean products may have been introduced to Japan from China at the same time as Buddhism in the 6th Century CE.

Until the late 19th century, Japan’s population ate mainly fish and vegetables. Since miso is high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, it became an important nutritional element of the Japanese diet, especially for Buddhists following a strictly vegetarian regimen.

In Japan, miso is obviously a key ingredient in miso soup (for which it is combined with dashi stock) but it also features in sauces, marinades, pickles and dressings (such as the tofu, sesame and miso dressing for green bean salad that we shared in our last issue). It is even used in sweet dishes; miso mochi – chewy dumplings made from rice flour – offer a delightful balance of sweet, salty and savoury.

Miso also lends itself to fusion cooking, offering a great way to add saltiness and savouriness to your dishes. Combine with honey, mustard and oil for a salad dressing; whip into butter and spread on fresh bread or melt over steamed vegetables; thin with water and brush onto meat before grilling or barbequing; stir half a teaspoon into porridge instead of salt; or add to a bean casserole for extra flavour. Whenever you need a kick of umami, miso is the perfect ingredient.

shutterstock_142619971
Miso | image via shutterstock.com

Japanese-Style Miso Cod

This simple marinade works beautifully with cod but can also be used with other fish such as salmon. It’s also delicious on aubergine or firm tofu.

Serves 2

Ingredients
2 tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
2 tbsp sugar
2 fillets of sustainable fresh cod, skin on

Note: White miso has a slightly sweeter and milder flavour than the red version, which suits this recipe well. However, you can use red miso paste instead; use a touch less in that case.

Method

  • Preheat your grill to a medium-hot setting.
  • Heat the mirin, white miso paste and sugar in a small saucepan, over a gentle heat, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Place the fish fillets skin side down on a piece of foil.
  • Spread the paste generously over the surface of the fish, top side only.
  • Grill until the fish is cooked through and the paste is bubbling and starting to char. Depending on the thickness of your fillets, this will take 5-8 minutes.
  • Serve with rice and green vegetables.

Miso Cod on Kavey Eats-0176

Where to buy miso

Search the major supermarkets. Most now offer miso pastes in their speciality ingredients ranges (though these may not be available in every branch). Do check the ingredients – some products are actually ready made marinades or soup blends (with additional ingredients added to the miso). For use in recipes, you need a plain miso.

If you have an oriental supermarket within reach, you’ll usually find a decent selection at lower prices. Online stores also offer a wide choice.

Try clearspring.co.uk (organic), japancentre.com, souschef.co.uk, waiyeehong.co.uk and wingyip.com.

 

This piece was written in 2014 and first published in Good Things magazine. ©Kavita Favelle.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Kimchi Biscuits | Ferment Pickle Dry

I recently reviewed new cookery book release, Ferment Pickle Dry. This lovely book by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley shares a wide selection of recipes for preserving food by fermenting, pickling and drying. More unusually, the book also provides ‘partner recipes’ that showcase how the preserves can best be put to use in your cooking.

Two lucky readers can win their own copy of Ferment Pickly Dry in my giveaway but everyone can enjoy these delicious kimchi recipes from the book, which publishers Frances Lincoln have given me permission to share with you.

Ferment Pickle Dry cover Ferment Pickly Dry - Kimchi biscuits (small)
Book cover, kimchi biscuits made with different kimchis – image by Kim Lightbody

Kimchi Biscuits

Extracted from Ferment Pickle Dry by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley

These moist, almost cake-like savoury biscuits are a brilliantly healthy and filling snack. They have the same satisfying bite of a falafel, but with a spicy kick. You can make these recipes with napa cabbage kimchi, fermented pink turnips, carrot kimchi or baby courgette kimchi for a variety in colour and flavour.

Makes 10-12 of each biscuit

Ingredients
100g/3½oz/¾ cup wholewheat flour, plus extra for dusting
50g/1¾oz/½ cup quinoa flour 50g/1¾oz/½ cup buckwheat flour
150g/5½oz/²⁄³ cup butter, softened 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
clip_image001100g/3½oz of fermented pink turnip cut into small pieces
100g/3½oz napa kimchi

Note: Replace the napa kimchi and pink turnip with the same quantities of carrot kimchi or courgette kimchi for biscuits with different flavour and hue.

If you make the courgette kimchi biscuits, try adding 2 tablespoons spirulina powder for a vivid green colour and health boost.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 230°C/425°F/ gas mark 7. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Process the flours, butter and salt in a food processor until the mixture starts to turn into a dough, then remove half of the mixture and set aside.
  • Add the pink turnip to the remaining mixture in the food processor and process until all the ingredients are well combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the turnip dough from the food processor and set aside on a floured work surface.
  • Return the remaining half of the flour and butter mixture to the food processor, add the napa kimchi and process until all the ingredients are well combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the kimchi dough from the food processor and set aside on a floured work surface.
  • Roll out the turnip dough on the floured surface into a 15cm/6in long, thick sausage, then cut into 2cm/¾in- long pieces.
  • Roll each of these pieces into balls and place on the prepared baking tray. Use the bottom of a glass to gently press the balls into discs about 5mm/¼in thick.
  • Repeat this process with the other kimchi dough.
  • Place both baking trays in the oven and bake for 12–15 minutes.
  • The biscuits won’t go hard, but will crisp up slightly on the top

 

This recipe extract was published with permission from Frances Lincoln. Ferment Pickle Dry is currently available from Amazon UK for £16.59 (RRP £20).

Pumpkin Kimchi Recipe | Ferment Pickle Dry

I recently reviewed new cookery book release, Ferment Pickle Dry. This lovely book by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley shares a wide selection of recipes for preserving food by fermenting, pickling and drying. More unusually, the book also provides ‘partner recipes’ that showcase how the preserves can best be put to use in your cooking.

Two lucky readers can win their own copy of Ferment Pickly Dry in my giveaway but everyone can enjoy these delicious kimchi recipes from the book, which publishers Frances Lincoln have given me permission to share with you.

Ferment Pickle Dry cover Ferment Pickle Dry Baby Courgette and Pumpkin Kimchis

Book cover, carrot kimchi (left) and baby courgette kimchi (right) – images by Kim Lightbody

Pumpkin Kimchi

Extracted from Ferment Pickle Dry by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley

Prep 15 minutes + 3-day process Ready 10–14 days
Makes approx 500ml/18fl oz jar

Ingredients
400g/14oz pumpkin
10 tbsp (100g/3½oz) coarse sea salt
Paste
1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean hot chilli flakes)
2 large leaves napa (Chinese) cabbage, chopped
50g/1¾oz (10cm/4in long piece) large leek or ½ bunch of spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
10 large garlic cloves, grated
2.5 cm/1in piece (25g) piece of ginger, skin scraped and grated
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white miso paste (optional)

Method

Day 1

  • Peel, deseed and cut the pumpkin into rough squares and rectangles of no more than 1cm/½in thick and place in a large bowl.
  • Add the salt and mix together until the pumpkin is coated. Cover and leave to stand at room temperature overnight.

Day 2

  • Rinse the pumpkin well, washing off all the salt.
  • Place all the ingredients for the paste in a blender and blitz until smooth. Add the paste to the pumpkin and mix until it is coated.
  • Place the pumpkin in a large sterilised jar P12, seal with the lid and leave to stand at room temperature overnight.

Day 3

  • Place the jar in the fridge and leave to chill for 10 days, then taste to check if it has fermented enough for your liking.
  • It can be stored in the fridge for 3–5 weeks. The flavour will become stronger over time.

This recipe extract was published with permission from Frances Lincoln. Ferment Pickle Dry is currently available from Amazon UK for £16.59 (RRP £20).

Baby Courgette Kimchi Recipe | Ferment Pickle Dry

I recently reviewed new cookery book release, Ferment Pickle Dry. This lovely book by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley shares a wide selection of recipes for preserving food by fermenting, pickling and drying. More unusually, the book also provides ‘partner recipes’ that showcase how the preserves can best be put to use in your cooking.

Two lucky readers can win their own copy of Ferment Pickly Dry in my giveaway but everyone can enjoy these delicious kimchi recipes from the book, which publishers Frances Lincoln have given me permission to share with you.

Ferment Pickle Dry cover  Ferment Pickle Dry Baby Courgette Kimchi

Book cover, carrot kimchi (left) and baby courgette kimchi (right) – images by Kim Lightbody

Baby Courgette (Zucchini) Kimchi

Extracted from Ferment Pickle Dry by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley

Prep 20 min
Ready 3–4 days
Makes approx 500ml/18fl oz jar

Ingredients
8–9 baby courgettes (zucchini)
60g/2¼oz/¼ cup coarse sea salt (pure, without iodine or anti-caking agent)
Paste
1½ bunches spring onions (scallions) or 1 leek, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
1cm/½in piece of ginger, skin scraped off and grated (1 tsp)
7 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes) or dried chilli flakes
1-2 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar

Method

  • Cut the courgettes lengthways 3–4 times, but don’t cut them all the way through. Rub the salt into the cuts.
  • Place the courgettes in a bowl and pour in enough water to cover.
  • Leave to soak for about 1 hour, then rinse them well.
  • Place all the ingredients for the paste in a bowl and mix with a fork.
  • Work the paste into the cuts in the courgettes, then pack the courgettes upright into a large sterilised jar and seal with the lid
  • Leave to stand at room temperature overnight, then transfer to the fridge and leave to chill for 2–3 days before eating.
  • This can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

 

This recipe extract was published with permission from Frances Lincoln. Ferment Pickle Dry is currently available from Amazon UK for £16.59 (RRP £20).

Save

Ancient Methods, Modern Meals | Ferment Pickle Dry

There is something deeply satisfying about preserving, especially when you have grown the produce yourself.

In today’s modern world of fridges and freezers, and the availability of almost everything at almost anytime of the year, it may seem an unnecessary skill and yet I’ve seen a steady increase of interest in preserving. The move away from preserving in the last few decades is not surprising – a generation who had no choice but to preserve fresh produce when in season no doubt felt liberated when new technology liberated them from that chore, and the availability of produce flown or shipped in from around the world made seasonality less relevant.

What this stole from the generations to follow was the pleasure that comes with eating seasonally. I don’t imagine any of us would want to go back to an era where we could eat only that which was grown locally during any given month – supplementing these with staples and imports is no bad thing when it comes to pleasurable variety – but at the same time, I know that I get much joy from anticipating and then enjoying British-grown produce such as fresh asparagus, early sprouting broccoli, strawberries, sweetcorn, tomatoes, winter squashes and much more when they are at their peak. I miss them when they are gone, but that makes the pleasure next year all the greater.

Being contrary creatures, now that we no longer need to preserve many of us have voluntarily returned to it. Perhaps it gives a more personal connection to how food is produced, not to mention a connection to our ancestors of many, many, many millenia.

There are many books on the market for those who want to preserve, but I’m particularly excited about Ferment Pickle Dry: Ancient methods, Modern meals by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley, published this month by Frances Lincoln.

Ferment Pickle Dry cover

The authors are passionate about growing, preserving and cooking using traditional techniques which they share and teach at their Walthamstow workshop, The Fermentarium.

What I love about the book is the way it’s organised and presented. As the title suggests, the book is divided into three broad methods of preservation, fermenting, pickling and drying.

Fermentation involves a metabolic change that converts sugars to acids, gases or alcohol. Many of the fermented foods you are familiar with have a distinctive sour taste that is down to the lactic acid produced by fermentation – foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Most of us enjoy the fermentation of sugar to alcohol that creates beer, cider and wine.

Pickling uses an acid solution to preserve the produce within it by killing or vastly inhibiting the growth of the bacteria that cause food to spoil. In some cases, pickles are also partially fermented, and salt also contributes to the preservation process.

Drying foods simply means removing moisture, either by use of the sun, or man made heating. Since most of the bacteria and yeast that cause food to spoil or change thrive in moisture, dried foods discourage such spoilage.

In each section, you will find a very varied selection of recipes taking inspiration from the preserving traditions of countries all around the world. For each of these recipes, the authors also provide ‘partner recipes’ which offer clever and delicious dishes making use of the various preserves.

This is the aspect that excited me most about the book – I’m a great one for making preserves but often lacking in ideas and inspiration for how best to make use of them.

In the Ferment section, plain live yoghurt is used in blackcurrant yoghurt ice cream, fermented gherkins & grapes are used in a sour grape pickletini and in fermented gherkin & nasturtium caponata, long-fermented pizza dough is used to make peppe rosso 10-inch pizza onto which several fermented toppings are also used, cabbage & apple sauerkraut is used in sauerkraut bubble & squeak, preserved lemons feature in preserved lemon cous-cous and amazake is used in drunken rice pudding. Of course, this section also includes guidance on sourdough starters followed by a selection of sourdough bread recipes.

The Pickle section includes a vast array of pickled fruits and vegetables. Pickled cherry tomatoes feature in a Greek salad, pickled plums are used to great effect on a pickled plum flammekueche, pickled oranges lift a dish called pickled oranges, spice cuttlefish & squid ink linguine. I’m particularly drawn to honey-pickled garlic and the subsequent pulled pork with swede mash, grilled nectarines & honey-pickled garlic. We’re too late this year but next year I’m keen to use our pickle our homegrown French beans and use them to make pickled bean falafel. As a huge fan of Japanese miso, I love the sound of miso pickled mushrooms and miso pickled eggs both of which are used in misozuke and soba noodle salad. There are also herrings pickled in a variety of different ways. Whilst most recipes in this section are savoury, there are also dried fruit pickled in brandy which can be used in a decadent coffee meringue cake.

The Dry section includes funghi, vegetables and fruit. I will be using my dehydrator (more on that soon) to make dried wild mushrooms for use in both wild porcini soup and dried mushroom sauce. I’m utterly intrigued by the various vegetable ‘barks’ such as sweet potato crackling which then features in a potato crackling fritata. A honey-glazed Chinese beef jerky strikes me as an unusually delicious flavour of dried beef. Many dried herbs are used to great effect in a variety of infusions and teas. And dried fruit are used in a delicious and healthy nutty fruit bar.

Ferment Pickly Dry - Kimchi images
A double page spread from the book showing some of the kimchi recipes in the Ferment section, image by Kim Lightbody

Note that not every recipe has an accompanying photo, but a fair number do. My only minor negative about the book is the photography; the dishes are very small on vast empty backgrounds – I appreciate negative space as a design tool but here it seems to have been taken too far and leaves me peering intently at the dishes wishing I could zoom in to make out more detail.

Preceding the recipes, the introductory chapters of the book provide suggestions for basic equipment that you will need, a guide on how to sterilise and seal correctly and an introduction to a few key ingredients. These, together with the straightforward recipes, make this a suitable book for those new to preserving, as well as those who simply want to expand their repertoire.

GIVEAWAY + RECIPES

The publishers are allowing to me share a couple of recipes extracted from the book with you; check back here in a few days for some fantastic kimchi recipes plus a very unusual recipe for how to use them.

I also have two copies of the book to giveaway.

Kavey Eats received a review copy from Frances Lincoln.
Ferment, Pickle, Dry (RRP £20) is currently available from Amazon UK for £16.59

Save

Smoked Salmon & Leek Macaroni Cheese

PARTNEREDPOSTFor most of our shallow frying, Pete and I use a combination of vegetable oil and butter. We love butter for its rich flavour but it burns easily whereas vegetable oils can be heated to a higher temperature without smoking or burning; mixing butter into oil gives us the best of both worlds. A light olive oil is a good choice, neutral in flavour and perfect for cooking.

Today it’s not unusual to have at least one if not two bottles of olive oil in the kitchen cupboard – a regular one for cooking and a richer extra virgin one for salad dressings and drizzling over carpaccio or cheese – and there is much shelf space given to olive oil in most supermarkets. But when I was a kid, it wasn’t so easy to find good quality Italian olive oil here in the UK. Bertolli is one of the brands that has been available in the UK, and respected for its quality and consistency, for as long as I can remember. Far longer than I could possibly remember, in fact – it was founded in Tuscany back in 1865!

One of the products that wasn’t available during my childhood was olive oil in spreadable form. Bertolli make an Original and Light olive oil spread, both made using good quality olive oil. The latest in the range is their Bertolli with Butter, a spreadable combination of olive oil and butter. Of course, you can use it in place of butter – in sandwiches or on jacket potatoes, and in many varied sweet and savoury recipes. Indeed, Gennaro Contaldo recently worked with Bertolli to create a range of pasta recipes that are quick and easy to make, and taste delicious.

Pasta is at the heart of many of our favourite recipes – especially during colder and darker months when rich, warming comfort foods are the order of the day.

Smoked Salmon and Leek Macaroni Cheese on Kavey Eats 3

I’ve heard people say that making macaroni cheese from scratch is far too time consuming or difficult but it’s actually not that complicated and it doesn’t take hugely long either. And it’s one of those dishes that’s really so much better homemade!

Bertolli have a lovely recipe for macaroni cheese with prosciutto and leeks which we’ve adapted by substituting smoked salmon for the ham. This is very much inspired by a fabulous lunch at Mat Follas’ Bramble Cafe a few months ago.

Previously, we’ve always made white sauce by cooking the flour and butter together first to make a roux, and then adding the milk. For a cheese sauce, cheese is simply stirred and melted in to the white sauce. Bertolli’s recipe shortcuts the white sauce by heating butter, flour and milk all at once and to our surprise, it doesn’t result in lumpy sauce – it’s just as silky smooth as the traditional way! Thanks to Bertolli for this wonderful tip; we’ll be making all our white sauce bases this way from now on.

Smoked Salmon and Leek Macaroni Cheese on Kavey Eats 2

Smoked Salmon & Leek Macaroni Cheese Recipe

Adapted from Bertolli’s recipe

Prep 15 mins | Cook 20 mins | Serves 4 | Skill Easy

Ingredients
250 g macaroni or pasta of your choice
15 g Bertolli with Butter
1 small leek, sliced into thin discs
100 g smoked salmon, chopped into thin strips 2-3 cm long
For the cheese sauce
50 g Bertolli with Butter
50 g plain flour
600 ml semi-skimmed milk
0.5 tsp English mustard powder or 1 teaspoon mustard
175 g mature cheddar cheese, grated
25 g Parmesan cheese, grated

Note: This recipe works best with a hollow pasta which the cheese sauce can easily fill. Instead of macaroni, we use penne rigate (ridged tubes cut on the angle, slightly larger in diameter than macaroni).

Method

  • Cook pasta according to packet instructions in boiling salted water. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile melt the Bertolli with Butter and sauté leek until softened. Set aside.
  • Make cheese sauce by placing Bertolli with Butter, flour and milk in a large saucepan and bring to boil, whisking continuously.
  • Make sure your grill shelf allows for the size of the ovenproof dish you are using, then preheat the grill to medium high.
  • Add Cheddar cheese and mustard to the saucepan and stir until completely melted into the sauce.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta, leeks and smoked salmon and mix through well.
  • Pour into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the top with grated Parmesan.
  • Place ovenproof dish under the grill until golden brown and bubbling.
  • Serve immediately.

If you’d like to serve a side dish with this, I’d recommend either a crisp green salad with a simple homemade vinaigrette dressing or a simple stir fry of courgettes or green beans in butter and garlic.

Smoked Salmon and Leek Macaroni Cheese on Kavey Eats-9008
Smoked Salmon and Leek Macaroni Cheese on Kavey Eats 1

Save for later on Pinterest using this handy recipe collage pin.

Smoked Salmon and Leek Macaroni Cheese on Kavey Eats (Tall Pin)

Kavey Eats was commissioned by Bertolli to develop and publish this recipe.

Save

Save

Mamta’s Indian Lamb Meatball Curry | The Keema Sutra

PARTNEREDPOSTYesterday I shared the news that my mum Mamta is one of the two Keema Nans working with Simply Beef and Lamb on their latest campaign, The Keema Sutra. Two of mum’s most delicious keema recipes are in the Keema Sutra flipbook , along with many of her tips for cooking Indian food.

Watch her show you how to make her Indian Lamb Meatball Curry in this short video and then have a go yourself.

Keema meatballs 1 MINI

Mamta’s Indian Lamb Meatball Curry

Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: Under 30 minutes

Lamb mince makes delicious kofta (meat balls) which can be added to any curry sauce that you like. This meatball curry is really delicious, perfect to serve for a special meal. Despite the long list of ingredients, this curry is easy to make and relatively inexpensive too.

These meatballs can also be served plain as a snack or starter – you can even squish them into flat burger patties and serve in mini burger buns. Just shallow fry in a pan and serve with a fresh green chutney or your choice of condiment.

For the curry, the meatballs are dropped into the curry gravy raw and simmered until cooked through.

If you like, make double the quantity of meatballs and freeze half to use another day.

Ingredients
For the Meatballs
450g/1lb lamb mince
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 slices white bread (2 small or 1 large slice), roughly broken up
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1.25cm/½ inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
1-2 green chillies (adjust to taste. If you do not have green chillies, add red chillies to taste)
1½ tsp salt, or to taste
½tsp freshly ground black pepper
A few fresh coriander leaves (or mint if you prefer)
For the Curry Sauce
30ml/2tbsp vegetable oil, for cooking
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
2.5cm/1 inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 large cardamoms, broken slightly with a mortar
6-8 whole black peppercorns
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
5cm/2 inch piece of cinnamon stick or cassia bark
½tsp ground coriander
½tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground chilli powder, adjust to taste
1 tsp mild ground sweet paprika, for colour
Salt, to taste
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped, or use 200 grams chopped tinned tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
¾pint water (adjust for how thick you want the curry to be)
1 level tsp garam masala (see note)
2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves

Note: Mamta recommends making your own garam masala for a more intense and aromatic flavour. Her homemade garam masala recipe is here.

Method

To make the meatballs:

  • Place all meat ball ingredients, except the lamb and egg, in a food processor and process finely. If you do not have a food processor, grate the bread, great or finely chop the onion, ginger, garlic and chillies and then add the other ingredients.
  • Place the lamb in a large bowl. Add the onion mix and the egg. Mix well by hand or with a large spoon. Transfer to an airtight container, cover and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight to marinate. This helps the flavours to infuse.
  • Shape the mixture into 20 walnut-sized balls. Wetting your fingers and palms with water helps.

To make the meatball curry

  • Heat the oil in a pan, then add the whole spices – cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cardamoms.
  • When the cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add the curry sauce onion, ginger and garlic.
  • Fry until golden to dark brown. Be patient, this stage can take a while.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, paprika and salt. Cook until the oil separates or the mix looks shiny.
  • Add the water, bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer.
  • Add the meatballs one by one to the simmering (not boiling) sauce.
  • Allow to simmer without the lid for about 20 minutes or so (closing the lid sometimes makes the meat balls break up), gently turning the meatballs over and shaking the pan from time to time.
  • When meat balls are ready, any oil will separate and float to the top of the sauce. Add half the coriander leaves and garam masala, stir gently and transfer to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with remaining coriander and serve hot with freshly made chapattis, steamed rice or plain pilaf rice.

Tip

To serve meat balls as a snack heat a little oil in a shallow pan. Add a few meat balls at a time and fry them on medium heat, turning over frequently, until they are nicely browned and meat is cooked through. Garnish with salad and serve with mint and coriander chutney, chilli sauce or tomato ketchup.

Mamta Gupta 12 MINI Mamta Gupta 15 MINI Mamta Gupta 20 MINI

Do visit the Keema Sutra flipbook for more wonderful keema recipes that will show you how delicious, versatile and family-friendly keema can be.

Save this recipe to Pinterest for later using this handy collage image.

The Keema Sutra - Mamtas Indian Meatball Curry Recipe

More keema recipes from other bloggers joining in with the keema sutra campaign:

Kavey Eats and Mamta’s Kitchen were commissioned by Simply Beef and Lamb to participate in this campaign. Photography by Simply Beef and Lamb.

Save

My Mum is a Keema Nan!

PARTNEREDPOSTFor the last few months, mum and I have been keeping a little secret! Together, we’ve been working with Simply Beef and Lamb on their latest campaign to remind the British consumer how delicious, affordable and versatile lamb is through the delicious Indian dish, keema.

Mamta and Pervin 02 SQ MINI
The keema nans! Mamta and Pervin

Mum (who is the home cook behind MamtasKitchen.com) is one of two ambassadors for the campaign along with Indian restaurateur Pervin Todiwala. Together, they are the Keema Nans! Yes, a groan-worthy but rather glorious pun… but wait for it, we have another one for you… the campaign itself is called the Keema Sutra!

As Mamta’s daughter, I come from a family that loves lamb and mum’s keema and other lamb mince dishes are a firm favourite.

During these last couple of months, I’ve been helping mum to prepare two recipes and lots of handy cooking tips for inclusion in the Keema Sutra, popped into the photography studio to watch the professional food economist, stylist and photographers create gorgeous recipe images and went with mum on the day she was filmed making one of her two dishes.

I know I’m biased but I think mum is brilliant in the videos and I know her recipes are utterly delicious. I really hope she helps more people give the Keema Sutra keema recipes a go.

Studio Shoot
Fascinating watching professionals at work, choosing props, cooking and styling, shooting the image and checking on screen

The other part of the message is to know what you are buying. Mum rails against the myth that spices are used to disguise poor quality meat and has always been a firm proponent of the message that when it comes to meat, you should buy the best you can afford. Simply Beef and Lamb supports the Red Tractor Mark which confirms that rules about food safety, animal welfare, traceability and environmental impact are followed. They also run the Quality Standard Mark, which ensures that all beef and lamb marked with the logo meet very high quality standards. Look out for these logos when you shop.

Come back tomorrow for mum’s delicious Indian Lamb Meatball Curry recipe!

Kavey Eats and Mamta’s Kitchen were commissioned by Simply Beef and Lamb to participate in this campaign.

Save

BSFIC August Roundup | Fruit

August’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream was all about Fruit – a real celebration of summer!

Blackberry Lemon Tea Pops 8 a

Gloria at Homemade and Yummy kicked off with these wonderfully refreshing Blackberry Lemon Tea Pops using lemon tea, fresh blackberries and some candied lemon zest for added zing!

Rose Plum Yoghurt Ice Lollies 3

Next, Choclette made my mouth water with her Rose Plum Yoghurt Ice Lollies, the mix whipped up in her power blender and poured into her new moulds. They look so good!

lolly pic for BSFIC

More delicious ice lollies from Family Friends Food – Helen made these pretty ombré Vegan Blueberry & Coconut Ice Lollies made using coconut yoghurt as a base for fresh blueberries and lemon juice.

Blueberry Custard Ice Cream on Kavey Eats-8857

Having been fixated on ice lollies for a while, I went back to ice cream this month with my Blueberry Custard Ice Cream, an all-natural pretty lilac colour.

Peach sherbert

Caroline Makes is the only one other than myself that’s not gone lolly mad this month! She made this superbly elegant and pretty Peach Sherbert Ice Cream, a cross between a sorbet and an ice cream.

papaya-apple-lollies-2-small

Baking Queen Lucy has also made ice lollies, and I utterly adore the colour and flavour combo of her Papaya and Apple Ice Lollies – I’ve never come across papaya used like this before and it looks so good!

lemonade-lollys-web-800x445

One more lovely set of lollies to finish, Lisa at Lovely Appetite made these cute Pink Lemonade Ice Lollies combining fresh raspberries with lemons.

IceCreamChallenge mini

Thanks, everyone, for all your lovely entries!

Shakshuka Boats | Tomato & Red Pepper Baked Eggs in Tortilla Cups

PARTNEREDPOST

My first thought on seeing these new bite-size versions of Old El Paso’s Stand ‘N’ Stuff tortillas was to bake eggs in them, with a rich tomato sauce bubbling underneath. Given Old El Paso’s Mexican flavours, such an idea might put you in mind of huevos rancheros – fried eggs laid onto round corn tortillas and smothered in a fiery cooked salsa – but actually, my inspiration was shakshuka – eggs poached or baked in a spiced tomato sauce. This Middle Eastern dish is becoming really popular around the world, especially for breakfast and brunch.

I decided to use a punchy chipotle paste to add a smoky chilli heat to the tomato and red pepper sauce, my little nod to huevos rancheros.

Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats 1

My Shakshuka Boats are pretty quick to make – the sauce takes no more than ten minutes, assembly of the boats is very quick and the eggs take just 5-8 minutes under a medium grill. However, if you want to make it even quicker, substitute a jar of ready made chilli con carne sauce (that you would usually add to minced beef) or spiced tomato salsa and cook for a few minutes in a pan to thicken up a little.

Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8943 Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8960
Hens eggs, quails eggs

I tried this recipe with both quails eggs and hens eggs. Both worked very well so it’s completely up to how much egg to sauce you fancy! On balance, I preferred the large yolks of the hens eggs.

Shakshuka Boats | Individual Tomato & Red Pepper Baked Eggs in Tortilla Cups

Makes 12 (serve 2 to 3 per person)
Total time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients
For the tomato and red pepper sauce
400 grams tinned tomatoes
100 grams roasted red peppers
Generous pinch of salt
Half teaspoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons of chipotle paste, to taste
For the shakshuka boats
12 Old El Paso’s Stand ‘N’ Stuff mini tortillas (see note)
12 small hens eggs or quail eggs (see note)
25-30 grams of Parmesan or similar hard cheese, finely grated
Optional: parsley or coriander to garnish

Note: I bought a jar of roasted red piquillo peppers for this recipe but any roasted red peppers will do.
Note: If you can’t find chipotle paste, substitute one to two teaspoons of a spice mix such as fajita seasoning, cajun spice rub or chilli con carne seasoning. Alternatively, keep it simple with some sweet smoked paprika and a little chilli powder.
Note: If you can’t find quails eggs or small hens eggs, buy medium or large hens eggs. Before adding the eggs to the boats, break each one into a small bowl and scoop out one to two tablespoons (depending on whether the egg is medium or large) of the egg white, taking care not to break the yolk. Leftover egg whites can be used to make meringues or frozen to use later.

Method

  • If the red peppers are not already skinned, carefully peel or scrape the skin off, and then chop into small pieces.

Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8913 Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8922

  • Place all the tomato and red pepper sauce ingredients into a large frying pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the sauce has thickened. This should take around 8-10 minutes, depending on your pan and the heat.

Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8918 Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8924 Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8948

  • Lower the grill tray so that it’s not right up under the elements, then preheat the grill on a low-to-medium setting.
  • Lay the twelve tortilla boats out on a baking tray. Add about one tablespoon of the sauce to each one, spreading it out across the bottom. If using quails eggs you can use a touch more.

Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8926

  • Break the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, remove excess egg white if necessary, and slip the egg gently over the tomato sauce in a tortilla boat. Repeat with all the eggs and boats.
  • Top the eggs with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and transfer to the grill.

Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8930 Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8950 Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-170402
Hens eggs, quails eggs, under the grill

  • Grill until the egg whites are cooked, with no translucent areas remaining. This will take 5-8 minutes depending on whether you are using quails eggs or hens eggs, the heat of your grill and the distance between the grill element and the eggs. These cooking times result in cooked whites and soft yolks. Check regularly throughout the cooking time and give a little longer if needed.

Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8935

  • Garnish with parsley or coriander leaves, if using. Serve immediately.

Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8944 Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats-8964
Hens egg yolk, quails egg yolk

I hope you love these cute little shakshuka boats and are inspired to try your own.

Here’s a Pinterest-friendly collage to save the recipe for later.

Shakshuka Boats on Kavey Eats

My shakshuka boats are perfect for breakfast and brunch or a light lunch or dinner and a great option when you need to cook eggs for several people at once; if you’ve ever tried doing twelve fried eggs at the same time, you’ll know what I mean!

Here are some more ideas for the new Mini Stand’n’Stuffs:

Kavey Eats was commissioned by Old El Paso for the development and publication of this recipe.

Old El Paso Mini Stand ‘n’ Stuff Tortillas are available from major supermarkets (RRP £2.29).

Save

Save

Save