August 21st, 2015

khinkali

Beef bhuna

As I said recently, I like to try and do curries from first principles rather than buying pre-constituted sauces. I got this Bangladeshi recipe from here.

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Important note: if you do this at all, you are committing to do it more than once. Tamarind paste in particular comes in quanities much larger than are used for this recipe.

I was not familiar with the concept of a dry marinade - for me a marinade means some degree of liquid, so I was a bt alarmed that there wasn't anything resembling that in the first stage of cooking. This also meant some pretty vigorous stirring for several minutes after adding the meat to the oil with cardamom and pepper.

However, it worked pretty well, and the quantities given make for a very savoury mix of flavours without being too hot - the chili and garlic seem to meld into the general tastescape, and reviews were favourable. Even little U, taking it very cautiously and frequently asking for WATER, ate her share. So I think I probably will do it more than once.
diplomacy

An Age of License: A Travelogue, by Lucy Knisley

An autobiographical graphic novel about being a young comics artist on a European tour. Knisley is a very good artist, and there are a couple of lovely character moments, but there isn't really a lot of story here other than "I went to Europe, went to a comics convention, had a love affair and then hung out with my mother and her friends". Still, I'll look out for her other work.
pic#ortelius

A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England, by Suzannah Lipscom

A gazetteer presentation of important places in the history of Tudor England, as far as they can still be seen. Slightly frustrating that Ireland, Scotland and even Wales are omitted. The geographic order of presentation means that incidents from the late fifteenth century appear next to those of the early seventeenth, with all the bits in between jumbled throughout the pages. But at the same time, there is plenty to write about, and lots of good stories to tell linked with particular localities, some of which were new to me (poor Catherine of Aragon ended up associated with a lot of different places). More useful for people who spend more time kn England than I do.