Monday, June 15, 2009

Mom's Citrusy Pepper Beef

I need a new filing system for my recipes. I initially started out with a relatively thin black folder, with printed recipes separated into sections labeled simply "chicken", "meat", "seafood", "vegetarian" and "desserts". It worked fine for quite a while, but ever since I've dived into the deep end of food blogging, that black file looks more ominous each day. Remember that Harry Potter book/movie (whichever one you prefer) where he has to deal with The Book Of Monsters, which in itself is a shaggy, snapping, slithering, sharp-fanged creature? That's what my recipe folder reminds me of these days. Torn edges, papers of all different sizes sticking out from everywhere, recipes out of order, falling apart, you name it. Not to worry, I've put this down on my summer project list, and I intend to make it all beautiful again!

In the meantime, I did come across a recipe that I hadn't made in
years. I have no idea why, because it's incredibly good and easy. Maybe because it's my Mom's recipe? Perhaps. I don't have to explain that, do I? I go through bouts of teen-like rebelliousness, let's just put it that way. But I've said it before and I'll say it again (before I lose my nerve), I love Mom's cooking. Her Pakistani/Hyderabadi recipes are beyond compare. Some of it is too labor-intensive for my liking, and other times I just don't get her measurements, so get really frustrated when the final dish never turns out like her original (it's a conspiracy, I'm almost sure of it!). But THIS recipe for Citrusy Pepper Beef is so brilliantly simple that I consider it one of my never-fail successes. Observe ...

Citrusy Pepper Beef (Kali mirchi ka gosht)
Serves 4-6

Click here for printable recipe

1.5 lbs boneless beef, cubed into tiny pieces (half-inch)
1 tsp meat tenderizer powder (optional - I used Shan's)
4 tbsp canola oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger paste
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
3-4 hot green chillies, chopped
1 small lime, juiced
Lots of cilantro, chopped

1. If you happen to have Shan's Meat Tenderizer powder, then sprinkle it over the pieces of beef and let it marinate for an hour or two. Or you could skip this step - it just means you'll have to cook your meat longer for it to become tender.

2. Heat up the oil on medium, then add the garlic and ginger. Stir it around for 1 min. Quickly add in the meat and stir to coat each piece with the oil, ginger and garlic and sear. Smells fantastic already!

3. Pour in a cup or two of tap water, give it a stir, then cover the pan and simmer on medium-low heat for about 1/2 an hour. (you might need a bit longer if you didn't do Step 1)

4. Take the lid off. There should still be some liquid left. To this, add the salt, pepper, green chillies and turmeric. Now turn up the heat and stir-fry this whole fragrant mixture till the sauce gets to a consistency that makes you happy - I like it fairly thick.

5. You're almost done! All you need to do is finish it off with freshly squeezed lime juice (lemon should be fine, but lime is my personal preference), and a whole handful of chopped cilantro. Stir to incorporate. Turn off the heat and serve - with parathas, onion slices, lemon/lime wedges and yogurt raita.

Verdict: I could eat this everyday. I'm not kidding. I could make sandwiches out of this for picnics, BBQs or simply a quick lunch. Or I could indulge myself and roll up the meat, onion and yogurt mixture in a paratha and devour it, still standing in the kitchen! DH heartily echoes this sentiment. And as you can see, it's so darn easy. The hardest part is just chopping up the beef - and you don't have to be skilled to do that. I'm so happy I rediscovered this recipe. It's too good to ignore.

On a side note, dear readers, can I just tell you how ecstatic I was to be reunited with my Ozzy after being separated from him during our Seattle vacation? I hugged and cuddled and caressed that little furball for a loooooong time. And it was mutual, I assure you! He just couldn't get enough of DH and I! He wouldn't let us out of his sight. He was throwing himself at us, just to be close to us, rubbing foreheads with me, licking me, sleeping between the two of us, climbing onto our laps. He wouldn't even let me sit on the computer.

How am I supposed to work with His Royal Meowness parking his @ss in front of my desktop like that?! Gawd, I wuv him!


unconfidentialcook said...

I love any recipe that calls for lots of cilantro! I bet this is great, and it does look as easy as 1-2-3. Thanks!

Creative Classroom Core said...

I am always looking for new beef dishes, and this one sounds like a keeper! Yum!

We have a all black cat at home as well, but ours is much fatter :)

Kerstin said...

I love the layers of flavor and I'm going to pass the recipe on to my hubby - I think he would really like it (he's the beef eater in our house :) )!

Doppelganger said...

Hahaha I was just watching that scene with the Book of Monsters in Harry Potter yesterday! This beef dish just sounds divine because of the lack of pretention I think ... it's just good old perfect beef, not pretending to be anything else! Unapologetic! that's how I like my meat, thank you!

As for your teen-like rebelliousness, I think you may have hit on something there! This could possibly explain my aversion to all things vegetative in my meals, considering that my mother would happily live on nothing but salads for the rest of her life! I'm off to grocery shop, and top of the list is some beef! I hope mine turns out looking as appetizing as yours does!

Jamie said...

You are moving to Connecticut? Where?

This dish looks fabulous and so delicious!

I understand wholeheartedly about missing the pet...

Cathy said...

Yum! What an amazing looking dish. I'm a sucker for anything citrusy. Good luck on the move - I love Connecticut.

Muneeba said...

I love tons of cilantro too, Catherine! I'd have put more on top as a garnish, but I ran out :)
FinsMom, your cat's fatter than mine?! This I gotta see!
Kerstin, I'm telling ya, this a hubby-centric dish ... he'll thank u for this one!
Shai, am so glad u get my bouts of rebelliousness! I don't think I rebelled enuf as a teenager (my mom was lucky), so I think it's coming out now!
Jamie, girl, I'm moving to CT by next month .. I'll probably blog abt it soon, but for now I just know I'm gonna MISS my NYC :(

Deeba PAB said...

Thanks for stopping by so I could find you & this finger-licking good dish! Will work as well with lamb right? And about a tsp of green papaya should work well as a tenderiser? This is YUM stuff! Off to explore the archives. BTW, I have a lot of teen rebellion looking me in the face, reminding me of my days!! LOL

Jennifer said...

This looks amazing, I cannot wait to try to make it. I love your kitty, what a beauty!

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Wow-this should taste great with either mutton or chicken too!!
I try to avoid all the laborious stuff that my mom's recipes call for-and ALWAYS end up with a product which just cannot be compared with the original :(

foodcreate said...

Mouthwatering ! I'm going to specially make this for my bother who in town for father day

Thanks for your recipe :)

And you can visit me if I can visit you:)


Pooja said...

wow delicious pepper beef! Moms recipes are always special!

Ann said...

At first,I really thought its a Soy chunk recipe:) Good for me, I can replace the meat with soy and add in your recipe ingredients:) Looks yumm. Oh! pl say my Hi to your kiity.

Yasmeen said...

Kali mirchi gost with Chawal & Khatti dal was on one of our favorite weekend lunch. Must say even I don't cook this as often as my mom but now that I'm reminded ,can't wait to make it again soon:)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful dish! What great flavors! Your cat is a real beauty!



Sara said...

I love the sound of this dish, and I actually have a freezer full of beef at the moment!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try this recipe it looks fantastic. Have you any more of your mums recipes?

Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful! I'm intrigued by the meat tenderizer powder - never used that before!

Wandering Coyote said...

Thanks so much for your comment on my blog - I really appreciate it! I love Ozzy! He's lovely!

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

MMMM...Muneeba! this dish is calling me,...Ythis dinner looks so lovely & yummie!!!
Your cat is a cuty too!

Muneeba said...

Deeba, green papaya would work perfectly as well!
5 Star Foodie, I know how you're so into the latest food innovations, so the meat tenderizer powder (citric acid mixed with a few other things) will definitely interest you.
Thks for the word of confidence abt Connecticut, Cathy, I hope it all works out!
Thks for complimenting Ozzy, Cheryl - so sweet!
Sweta, definitely try it with lamb, am sure it will be awesome!
To the folks at Foodcreate - I'll definitely check you out.
Pooja, u're right, mom's recipes are usually the best ... damn.
Ann, I never even thought abt soy chunks. The sauce in this dish is mostly flavored by the meat itself though, so how you pull it off with soy is something I'm really interested in! But if anyone can do it, you totally can :)
Yasmeen, you just described something I'm so craving right now! If only my khatti daal skills were better :(
Thank you Rosa, Sophie and Wandering Coyote for your compliments for Ozzy :)
Sara, if I had a freezer full of beef, I'd definitely make this dish again, even though I just had it!
Fizzytoast, I certainly do have more of mum's recipes - they're scattered all over this blog, and there's always more to come!

Resh said...

love kali mirch ka ghost! i had it over the other day at a fab restaurant and it was simply delicious. I am so glad you posted, because i would love to try this- except with Mutton :)

Varsha Vipins said...

I droooooooooooooooooooooool one yumm-o recipe ..missing beef so much..:(..n love tons of cilantro too..n chk ma post..u've been tagged..;)

lubnakarim06 said...

Oh wow that an flavourful recipe....

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That's so funny! I have the same recipe folder I think! lol