Meat and the Goldilocks rule

The Guardian - Feast - - News -

Prep Mar­i­nate Cook Serves 10 min 6 hr + 25 min 2

4 medium skin­less drum­sticks

(about 500g)

Lemon wedges, to serve

For the mari­nade

2 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tbsp ground co­rian­der

¼ tsp chilli pow­der (re­place with pa­prika for a milder heat)

1 large pinch su­gar

1 tbsp fresh gin­ger paste 1 tbsp gar­lic paste

In a small bowl, com­bine all the ingredients for the mari­nade. Put the For this recipe, you want the drum­sticks to be nei­ther too fat, nor too thin. Ide­ally, they should be medium-size, so they cook evenly with­out dry­ing out drum­sticks in a non­re­ac­tive con­tainer with a lid and pour over the mari­nade, mak­ing sure that ev­ery sur­face of the chicken is cov­ered. Cover the con­tainer and put in the re­frig­er­a­tor for at least six hours, and prefer­ably overnight.

Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 min­utes be­fore cook­ing, to al­low it to come to room tem­per­a­ture.

These ke­babs can be cooked in an oven or on a bar­be­cue. If cook­ing in an oven, heat it to 200C/390F/gas 6.

Put the drum­sticks on an oven tray in a sin­gle layer so they cook evenly, and pour over any re­main­ing mari­nade. Bake for 20–25 min­utes, then pierce the thick­est part of a drum­sticks with a skewer – the juices should run clear. If not, re­turn to the oven. The drum­sticks should be speck­led with brown patches, but the meat should not be dry.

On a bar­be­cue, the cook­ing time will vary, de­pend­ing on the heat of the coals. Again, pierce the thick­est part of the drum­stick to check whether the juices run clear.

Serve the ke­babs warm, with lemon wedges to squeeze over. Prep Cook Serves 5 min 40 min 6

1 kg large white pota­toes (such as Maris Piper), un­peeled

6 green chill­ies

4cm piece fresh gin­ger 2 tbsp veg­etable oil

1 tsp black mus­tard seeds 12 fresh curry leaves 1 tbsp cashew nuts 2 large onions, peeled and cut into small chunks

1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp salt

½ tsp su­gar

Put the pota­toes in a large pan with a lid and fill with cold wa­ter. Put the pan over a medium– high heat and bring to a boil. Keep on a low, rolling boil for 20–25 min­utes – cook­ing time will vary ac­cord­ing to size. They should be ten­der but not fall­ing apart. Once cooked, drain, leave un­til cool enough to han­dle, then re­move the skins, cut into 2.5cm cubes and set aside.

Us­ing a food pro­ces­sor, blitz the chill­ies and gin­ger to a paste – if you want to re­duce the heat of this dish, re­move the chilli seeds first.

In a fry­ing pan with a lid, heat the oil over a medium–high flame. Add the mus­tard seeds, curry leaves and cashews, and cook un­til the cashews darken in colour. Add the onions and cook un­til soft and translu­cent, but not coloured.

Add the chilli and gin­ger paste, the turmeric, salt and 200ml wa­ter, then bring to a boil, cover, and sim­mer for 10 min­utes.

Re­move the lid and add the diced potato. Bring the mix­ture back to a boil, then lower the heat, add the su­gar and cook, cov­ered, for a fur­ther 10 min­utes. If there is any ex­cess wa­ter in the pan, re­move the lid and cook over a high heat un­til the pota­toes have a glossy sheen.

Be­fore serv­ing, check the sea­son­ing and add salt or su­gar to taste. Recipes from Asma’s In­dian Kitchen by Asma Khan (Pav­il­ion Books)

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