During our three-week stay on the island this summer, Will was visiting friends in England, so he missed the Indian meal cooked for us by Clara's high school friend, Jhumku. The meal featured sheehk kabobs, mango rice, and homemade chutney. Last night, I gave Will a taste of what he missed. His unsolicited opinion: "This is really good." To be more authentic, the kabobs should be molded around a bamboo skewer, or made into meatballs and skewered with pieces of onion and bell pepper. But for ease of grilling, I made the "kabobs" into patties. Something green—perhaps green beans instead of corn—would have balanced the plate's color wheel a little better! Note also that I served Patak's Major Grey chutney from a jar, instead of making my own chutney. The mangoes ($1.79 each) at Just Food Coop are outstanding, but a batch of homemade mango chutney requires half a dozen of them, so I settled for fresh mango in the rice.
Thanks to Jhumku Kohtz for the recipes, and for some great Indian cooking back in June.
1. In a food processor, chop together to create a medium paste: 5 jalapeños, 6 cloves of garlic, and a two inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled).
2. Combine 2 tablespoons of the ginger paste with: 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seed, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed, 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Note: I ground together the spices with a mortar and pestle before combining with the ginger paste. Combine with 1 pound ground meat (beef, turkey, or lamb).*
3. Knead in 1 beaten egg, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
4. Shape into meatballs (or patties, see above) and grill.
1. Soak 1 cup basmati rice in cold water for half an hour, rinse in several changes of water
2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and stir in: 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 4 cardamom seeds, and 1 bay leaf. Heat, stirring, for 30 seconds.
3. Add one small finely chopped onion and sauté until golden.
4. Add cubed pieces of one mango.
5. Add 1 3/4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
6. Add a pinch of saffron, 2 cubes of chicken bouillon, 1/4 stick butter, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and boil for one minute.
7. Add rinsed and drained rice, bring to boil, cover, and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
8. Remove from heat. Let sit, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
*I used local grass-fed beef from Thousand Hills Cattle Company in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. All ingredients were purchased at Just Food Coop.
My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .
The frontispiece from Countee Cullen's The Black Christ and Other Poems (1929). Illustration by Charles Cullen. Click to enlarge. On...
Here's the poem I wrote and read for the student-organized International Day of Peace gathering in Bridge Square on Wednesday, Septembe...
Two of my very brief essays were published online this summer. The first was the essay " Telephone ," which appeared in June in t...