Each day at this time of year, a growing flock of Canada Geese flies overhead in traditional V formation. Eons-old natural instinct drives these beautiful birds to gather together over the last days of summer to bulk up on grains and grass before migrating somewhere warm. They fly overhead at varying altitudes; often so low I can hear the eerie, rhythmic sound of their wings flapping. It’s a bittersweet moment for me, as the return of the Canada Geese signals not only the joy of nature but also the end of summer. And as the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, I want warm, comforting food – and since I’ve lived in the UK, warm, comforting food oft times means just one thing: curry!
Thermomix is superb for all aspects of curry. It especially earns its keep in Indian and Asian cuisine for grinding fresh spices and making curry pastes. I have never tasted anything as fresh and vibrant as the Thai Green Curry Paste I made in my Thermomix. As usual, it’s fast and easy, and oh so tasty!
And for those of you looking to reduce the amount of fat you consume, Thermomix is your ally. Because of the design of the Thermomix blade and its constant stirring motion, you can sauté vegetables in the Thermomix bowl with no added fat. You’re cooking in a closed container and the steam released from the veg remains in the bowl to keep your ingredients moist. It’s a brilliant way to enjoy tasty treats without the guilt!
Easy Low-Fat Beef Madras
Adapted from a recipe in Fast and Easy Indian Cooking by Rosy Laljee and Janie Turner, this version of a favourite Indian recipe cuts out the fat and “cheats” with a tin of coconut milk instead of fresh coconut and uses a store cupboard tin of tomatoes. The fat contained in the coconut milk is good fat and you can read about 15 Benefits of Coconut Milk here. It’s ready in about an hour, it has a deep full flavour and it’s also low in fat free! Serves 3 to 4 as a main course with rice and naan.
3 cloves garlic
4 cm fresh ginger, cut into 2 mm “coins” along the lines of the skin
2 medium or 1 large onion, about 200 g, peeled and quartered
30 g tamarind paste
1 x 400 g tin tomatoes
1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk (for a fat-free version, use 400 g water and a stock cube)
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground chilli powder
1 tsp. ground sweet paprika
500 g beef stewing steak, cut into 2 cm/ ¾ inch pieces (the smaller the pieces of beef, the faster they cook and tenderise. My experience is that the big chunks you get at the supermarket or the butcher’s take much longer to cook. Smaller is better!)
5 large or 10 small curry leaves
If required, start by grinding your whole spices, individually. Here’s a tip for you: using an empty jar from store-bought ground spice as your guide, weigh the same weight of whole spices into your TM bowl and grind on Speed 9 or 10 until fine. For instance, my jar contained 38 g of ground cumin so I weighed in 40 g of whole cumin, ground for a minute or so, and transferred into my jar with the help of a funnel. Brilliant, if I must say so myself Then use a pastry brush to brush out all the gorgeous, freshly-ground spices.
- Peel your garlic 4 seconds/Speed 4 ½ /Reverse Blade Function. Remove skins but leave cloves in the bowl. Turn off Reverse Blade Function
- Drop ginger “coins” and onion onto the running blades at Speed 6, then turn off. Scrape sides of TM bowl. Add tamarind paste, tomatoes, coconut milk and spices; blend 1 minute/Speed 7.
- Add cubed beef and curry leaves. Cook 100° C/60 minutes/Speed Spoon/Reverse Blade Function. Pop the internal steamer basket on top of the lid (instead of the MC) to allow steam to escape without spatters to thicken and reduce the sauce quicker. Go do something else and come back when your TM sings to you. Check if the meat is tender and if required, cook another 20 to 30 minutes to tenderise the meat. If your sauce is lovely and thick but your meat is not tender enough, add some stock or water and cook as before. Transfer to a ThermoServer and steam some rice or set aside, covered, and use your second TM bowl to steam some rice. Serve up and enjoy!