Monday, April 30, 2007

Stuffed up nose? Try something spicy for dinner!

Even though it was unplanned, during the next few days, it may seem like we are having dinner around the world with the titles of the recipes this week! We start off on our excursion tonight with this dish of Indonesian Beef Curry with Coconut Rice.

Since I was using brown basmati rice, I ended up starting it first since it can take 40-45 minutes to cook. Instead of using all water, half of it is replaced with coconut milk to give the rice a soothing cool flavor. While waiting for the rice, I started working on the curry by browning thin strips of top round in a bit of canola oil. Since there is a fair amount of beef, you want to do this part in two steps - if you don't, the beef will expel too much juice and begin to steam instead of properly searing. When the beef is done and removed, shallots, ginger, six garlic cloves and two whole serrano chiles are added to the skillet and allowed to soften. Using the whole chiles gave the dish quite a hit of heat - however, if you prefer just the flavor more than the heat, you can tame it by removing the seeds and ribs before adding them.

Instead of using a prepared blend of curry spices, this recipe calls for adding the individual spices of coriander, salt, cumin, cloves, pepper, a few cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick. After these are given a quick toast in the same skillet, the beef is added back into the pan along with vegetable broth to help finish cooking. The broth also creates the thick sauce that coats the curry once finished - right before serving, a splash of fresh lime juice is added to brighten the flavors. While this spicy curry is somewhat soothed by serving it over the refreshing coconut rice... don't let its homely appearance fool you - it still packs a wallop and is a delicious way to clear your sinuses!


  1. Looks delicious! I wonder how much a ground cardamom equivalent would be...

  2. Mmm...this one is on my "to try" list. And I promise to try to cook the beef in two batches so it won't steam - I can be an impatient cook and this is my most often-made mistake when cooking! ;)

  3. Okay, that looks great. I love curries of all shapes and sizes...

  4. Jen - Good question! From what I gathered from a few searches, it seems that one pod yields 1/6 teaspoon cardamom. Though, ground may be less flavorful that using the actual pod.

    Alysha - It does make a difference! Though, sometimes I don't always have the time either!

    Culinary Cowgirl - Thanks!