Perfection…at Last!

September 19, 2009

After what seems like months on end I've perfected a few recipes. I have my Rajmah recipes down. One is posted and the other will be a surprise in the book (it's actually my dad's own recipe for rajmah). My butter chicken is great! And now today I've scratched off Lamb Keema and South Indian Sambhar.

Guess what I learned about Sambhar? If you want the dal (lentils) to break down to the right consistency you have to wait to put in the tamarind paste and the veggies. My mom made a good point. She said likely the tamarind paste prevents the lentils from cooking all the way - go figure. So it ended up being a 2-part process but well worth the effort. I also learned that too much tamarind paste is not a good thing. I decided to try one more tablespoon than my recipe called for and that second batch that I was making today ended up down the drain. It killed me to do it but I only want to save the best for all you taste testers - some of whom are tasting real - authentic Indian food for the first time.

Some of you have asked for me to do my recipes on low heat as well as high so you can see the variations and decide if you'll be out of the house longer one day to cook on low. But with sambhar, surprisingly, the low setting only meant things cooked for an hour more. I'm using the Rival Crock Pot and I wonder if the low/high settings really make that much of a difference. They seem to be very different when you look at the liquid boiling inside.

The lamb keema was cooked to absolute perfection. I have to thank one of my newest taste testers - Hallie for this one. I originally thought the peas need to be cooked in with the meat or meat substitute but they're actually greener and fresher if you put them in at the very end along with tons of cilantro. Thanks for the feedback Hallie!!

I know quite a few of you signed up for the mock keema recipe. I am going to try it two different ways AGAIN this weekend and then will put it out there.

The dishes are done - along with the two large crock pots I was using today. I have to go to a baby shower tomorrow and I was wondering what to take as a gift....hmmmmm...a crock pot maybe?

Hmmmmmmmmmm.......I'll let you know tomorrow!:)

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