So today is Super Bowl Sunday — the dread of many a wife to football fiends. This post is dedicated to you poor damsels who must endure hour upon hour of testosterone-fuelled chants at an unhearing television. The only way to muffle the orders to professional athletes being barked by your husbands is to fill their mouths with food and drink. And believe you me, you will be called upon to serve vast quantities of heavily-spiced food.
Most of the dishes requested will be finger food that is easily eaten while your men are perched at the edge of the sofa scrutinizing every play. But you can undermine hubby’s friends’ plan to remain eternally in your living room. Serve one sit-down course so they’ll be forced away from the TV — if they cannot see it, they cannot yell at it.
I suggest a nice curry for the lads. It fulfills the spice requirement and has the added effect of filling the belly, increasing the feeling of satiety even after one ceases swallowing its savoury goodness. Perhaps this piquant potion will reduce their overall consumption. In addition, I have heard reports that a good Indian curry tends to impose a certain pressing physiological requirement within a few short hours on those not those not used to its complex mixture of exotic spices. In a word, a nice curry will put the “bowl” in Super Bowl Sunday for a few of your guests, hastening their departure. Everyone enjoys a “home field advantage”, do they not?
I used to make a lot of curries from scratch, blending many spices from the East in careful ratios. But I stumbled upon a shortcut by the name of Patak. The Patak company blends the spices for you, reducing your burden while increasing the probability of your getting it right! With the help of kind Mr. Patak, you can serve an award-winning meal your guests will rave about long after their hangovers are forgotten.
Let’s serve the boys a beef, potato, and pea curry! Here’s what you’ll need…
- a jar of Patak’s Curry Paste (I recommend “Madras” flavour for your first try)
- 2 lbs. beef, cut into ½” cubes
- an amount of ½” cubed potato that is equal in volume to the beef
- one large onion, cut in quarters and thinly sliced
- one or two chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups of frozen peas
- ½ bunch of coriander (a.k.a. cilantro) leaves and stems, chopped
- Canola oil for frying
- steamed Basmati rice
Here’s what to do…
- Heat ½ cup oil in a large pot until very hot (you should be able to smell it) on medium-high heat.
- Toss in the onions and stir. Allow to fry until they have lost their raw aroma and are browned.
- Add the meat. Stir to brown on all sides. There’s nothing wrong with a little charring… it adds to the flavour!
- Add about a third of the contents of the Pakak jar. Stir and fry for about a minute.
- Stir in the tomatoes and fry for another minute or two.
- Add two cups of water and stir, scraping the spices off the bottom of the pot.
- When the water begins to look murky and separates into oil and sauce (about 5 minutes), add the potatoes.
- Add enough water to just cover the meat and potatoes.
- Let your curry return to a boil and reduce the heat so it stays on a medium simmer. Do not cover.
- When the potatoes are almost cooked, add two cups of peas. Make sure there enough water to keep the sauce thick and not watery.
- After 7 minutes, add the coriander leaves and turn off the heat.
- Let sit for 5 minutes and serve over Basmati rice with hard-boiled eggs cut into eighths and fresh lime wedges (for squirting the juice into individual plates of curry).
- Add a few cloves and/or cardamom seeds and/or mustard seeds to the onions at the beginning of Step #2.
- Season with ground black pepper at the beginning of Step #3.
- Add 2 tbsp. of ground cumin and 1 tbsp. of ground cinnamon at the end of Step #3.
- Add 1 or 2 tbsp. of brown sugar in Step #6.
This is just an example of the kind of curry you can make. You can also use any kind of meat, including ground meats — ground lamb is fantastic in curries! You can also use sweet potatoes, add peanut butter, coconut cream or coconut butter, or other vegetables. If you’re really creative, try using ingredients that are your home team’s colours!
Have a great Super Bowl Sunday!