|HOME | US EDITION | CUISINE|
September 10, 1999
Recipe for Success
Arthur J Pais
Three years after her first book, Curried Favors was published and won several top prizes, Maya Kaimal MacMillan is getting ready for the publication of another book. Like her previous book, which offered family recipes from south India, many of them from Kerala, MacMillan, the photo editor atGood Housekeeping, concentrates on Kerala cuisine.
Curried Favors is one of the steadiest selling Indian cookbooks in North America, with an estimated 30,000 copies sold. MacMillan, daughter of a Malayalee father and an American mother, thinks two factors weighed in her book's favor -- recipes and food legends which are hardly known to many Indians. "I was not interested in writing about food I was not familiar with," she says.
Secondly, the recipes have been tested over and over again. Being a food perfectionist who also happened to be a daughter of a scientist, helped her in shaping precise recipes she says. Many recipes were collected from her father, and she worked on them in her parents' home during weekday visits.
One of MacMillan's favorite dishes is Lamb Piralen, which she serves with Okra Kichadi, Kootu and Lemon Rice.
Two pounds of cubed leg of lamb, trimmed of fat
Marinate the lamb in the mixture of ground spices, fennel seeds, and vinegar for at least one hour.
In a saucepan of salted water, parboil cubed potatoes for 12 minutes, set aside.
In a large frying pan over medium- high heat, fry half cup sliced onion in oil until the edges are nicely browned. Add garlic and ginger and stir for two minutes, or until the onion turns medium brown.
Add marinated lamb and stir until the meat is no longer pink. Add salt and half cup water to keep the meat simmering. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the meat is tender and sauce is reduced to a very small amount.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick frying pan, over medium high-heat, fry the potatoes in 2 tablespoons oil until light brown, crusty and cooked through, for about 20 minutes. Add potatoes to lamb. Raise heat to medium-high and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce. Turn heat down to low.
In a small covered frying pan, heat mustard seeds and curry leaves in one tablespoon of oil over medium heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add a quarter cup of minced onion and fry until they turn light brown. Pour contents of frying pan over lamb and potatoes, stir well, and remove from heat. Taste for salt.
The whole effort takes about 80 minutes, apart from the marinating time. Serves six.
Five tablespoons vegetable oil
In a wok or large frying pan heat three tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add sliced okra and one green chile and stir-fry until the okra softens and browns around the edges. Stir in salt. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
In a food processor or blender combine coconut, coarsely ground mustard, cumin seeds, one green chile and five curry leaves with just enough water to make a fine paste.
Wipe clean the wok, and combine in it coconut paste, yogurt, half-cup water and little salt. Bring mixture to a simmer -- do not allow it to boil -- and remove from heat immediately (or else yogurt will separate).
In a small covered frying pan over medium heat, heat mustard seeds, dried red peppers, and 10 curry leaves until the seeds begin to pop. Stir contents of pan into coconut-yogurt mixture.
Stir in fried okra, adding more water if necessary to form a thick but pourable mixture. Stir in lemon juice; taste for salt. Serve at room temperature.
It takes 40 minutes to prepare and serves six to eight people.
ELECTION 99 |
SINGLES | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK