Is scratch cooking a lost art?
If you compare the meals served in many of the kitchens today to meals served years back, there is one very big difference. Nearly every meal has come from a box, bag, or pouch. Take breakfast, for example. Did you have toast? If so, did you make the bread? Cereal? One of those little packs of oatmeal, all flavoured up and just waiting for you to add water? Did your breakfast originate in the freezer?
If you do a quick survey of your own kitchen, you may be surprised at what you find. I discovered that the best way to clean up my act was to focus on cooking only from scratch. Now, my kitchen has only a few holdouts, most of which are there for food storage purposes.
The Nadan dishes from Kerala are prepared scratch mainly using the locally available ingredients. In Nadan cuisine, spices play an important part. The main spices used are black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, garlic, cumin seeds, and coriander, turmeric and green and red chillies
Nadan lamb curry Instructions to cook.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Lamb, cut into medium pieces – 500 gms
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Ginger/ garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chilies, sliced – 1 Shallots, sliced – 1/2 cup
Curry leaves – 1 or 2 sprigs
Water – as required
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 or 2 sprigs
Green chilies, sliced – 1 or 2
Ginger, julienned – 1″ piece
Garlic, sliced – 3 large cloves
Onion ,thinly sliced – 1 cup( 1 large)
Coconut, sliced – 2 to 3 tbsp
Kashmiri chili powder – 1/4
Tomato, chopped – 1/4 cup
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – as required
To roast and grind:
Dry red chillies – 4 ( see notes)
Coriander seeds -1 and 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2″ piece
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black peppercorns – 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
1) Heat a heavy bottomed pan and dry roast all the ingredients listed under – To roast and grind – stirring continuously for 2 to 3 minutes.
2) Allow this to cool completely and grind to form a fine powder.
3) In a pressure cooker add the prepared masala powder, lamb, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, one green chili, shallots , curry leaves ,salt to taste and sufficient amount of water( about 3/4 to 1 cup).
4) Cook until lamb is done. (For best result, cook covered in a heavy bottomed pan for about 45 to 60 minutes.). Set aside.
5) Heat oil in a clay pot or in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add curry leaves, green chilies, ginger and garlic. Sauté for few seconds.
6) Add onion and sliced coconut . Cook until onion turns soft, stirring frequently, add chopped tomato and mix well.
7) Cook until tomato turns mushy. Add kashmiri chili powder, and sauté for about 1 minute.
8) Add the cooked lamb along with the stock into the onion mixture. Add more salt if required.
9) Cover and cook over medium flame for about 10 to 12 minutes or until gravy turns thick. Finally add 1 tsp coconut oil and few curry leaves, switch off the stove. Serve with rice.