Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Junglee Spice Free Sampler
Junglee Spice is my latest madness. I created these 1 oz samplers and sent them off to foodie friends: chefs, wannabe chefs, food lovers and, folks who like to cook. I am waiting for feedback. I have been told Indian cooking is difficult – the spices are too foreign and nobody quite knows what to do with them. Junglee Spice is an all-in-one blend. Generally speaking I hate multi-purpose spices – the “everything but nothing” spice. Flavors get blurred and dishes become blah. Junglee Spice is an experiment: I have used a judicious blend of spices with a dominant “note” - there is some method to the madness and I am curious to see hear what people think. It should give dishes an authentic Indian flavor no matter what you do with it. In typical Karma Chef fashion I am expecting people to wing it - there are no specific recipes only broad guidelines. Here is an extract from my letter:
Tips & Cooking suggestions:
Grilling Marinade: poultry (thigh and drumsticks work nicely), pork or beef, Marinate with, crushed garlic, balsamic vinegar plus Junglee Spice and Salt: An hour or two before grilling is best. But if in a hurry – no worry. Highly recommended you baste with melted butter (it makes a huge difference - all professional tandoori cooks do this– they actually use ghee)
Chicken Curry: To chicken pieces add little oil, Junglee Spice plus lemon juice or yogurt (about half cup) Heat oil - add chopped onions/garlic, before putting in your meat (add potatoes and/or peas if you like) cook some more, then a add a can of stewed/pureed tomatoes and one can of chicken broth and salt to taste. Simmer till potatoes are done. You turn this into a party dish by adding a small can of coconut milk (not the light type– please) or a dollop of heavy whipping cream before taking off the fire. Garnish with cilantro
Beans: Fry chopped onions/garlic and fresh ginger (optional – but please don’t use the powder), add a chopped tomato or two, plus Junglee Spice. Add your beans (Rinsed/drained) garbanzo, kidney, black or any other canned beans plus a can of broth or water. Slow cook till beans absorb flavor. Top off with cilantro, diced onions and lemon juice.
Keema (Indian mince curry) with ground, turkey/chicken beef or lamb. Fry diced garlic, onions, and fresh ginger (optional) add ground meat, and peas if you like, plus Junglee Spice, tomatoes (fresh or canned). Garnish with cilantro.
Junglee Spice is a work in progress and will be tweaked and fine-tuned based on your feedback. So please experiment and revert by 08/30/08. The field is wide open. You can add an Indian twist to your stew, stir-fry, chilli, burger or any other dish you normally fix.
If you know anyone who wants to try out Junglee Spice please email me. Samples are free for a limited time. The only condition is I need you to cook with it and give me feedback.