I have always loved the bright red look of Kashmiri curries and last grocery visit I picked up some mild but vibrant Kashmiri red chili. I looked up a few recipes for Rista, a lamb meatball curry online because I had ground turkey sitting in the fridge waiting for me. Didn’t follow the recipe completely. However, I did learn how to use the spice and a new meatball cooking technique.
The meatball mixture included baking powder and cornflour/starch. The meatballs were then simmered in water. This combination of no fillers like breadcrumbs or crackers and no binders like eggs, yielded a surprisingly soft and pillowy meatball. The curry itself was beautifully crimson, mild in spice, light in texture, and flavorful infused with meatball-simmered-water. I was surprised with the difference in taste. Aside from the use of this special chili powder and the cornstarch-baking powder, simmered meatball, the recipe was essentially the same as any Bengali curry.
Instead of struggling to follow a completely a unfamiliar recipe, this was a less intimidating way to try a different cuisine. Follow your own recipe and simply switch one spice for something different.
I added star anise to beef stew last week. That was wonderful too. Granted sometimes the experiments can be less than successful. But, I find that these small cultural modulations show me wide possibilities in my regular, every day and known recipes.
I am a fan of Kashmiri Mirch now. What other ways can I use it?
On the other hand, I followed Bobby Flay’s recipe for buttermilk pancakes with bourbon molassas butter last weekend. Familiar sweet pancakes all dressed up for a fancy weekend party. Food experiments come in all degrees involving a recipe, spice swap, technique change, substitutions by necessity, varying measurements and more. Pick one and play to have a tasty adventure.
Hope you are having as much fun in the kitchen as I am!
Wishing you happy adventures,