People often ask me which cooking class has been my favorite. That question is very hard to answer because there is amazing food at every one we do! I have learned, to my great inspiration, that there is no end to the talented chefs in Tupelo, MS!! I will say that there are a handful of recipes that stand out in my mind and today I want to share one of them with you.
Meet my friends, the Huqs!! Originally from Bangladesh, their family now lives in New York. They are part of our Tupelo community because Philip is a physician at our medical center. Iffat spends her time caring baby Isabella, lifestyle blogging at www.themagnoliadays.com, and entertaining friends in her home.
Iffat and Philip have taught two Cooking as a First Language Bangladeshi classes and a third is in the works! Among recipes they have shared are fried eggplant, Bangladeshi salad, Dhal, and my favorite, beef curry! I'm actually a little obsessed with this curry recipe! Ha! I'll never forget the first cooking class we did and I tasted it for the first time. As if the curry itself wasn't amazing enough, Iffat prepared the rice is such a way that just put it over the top. She added rose water to the rice, which created a floral scent on the palate after consuming. That might sound strange, but let me tell you, it is magical! All those flavors together-the beef curry and the rose rice...divine!!
2 lbs boneless beef stew meat
1 cup onions, coarsely chopped
salt, to taste
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped
8 cloves garlic
14 ounces potatoes, cubed
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 Tbsp red chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp lime juice
6 to 7 green chilies
brown sugar, to taste
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
fresh cilantro, to taste
Saute onions in a medium or large skillet until translucent.
Add the garlic, ginger and garam masala and roast together in the skillet for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
Then add the turmeric, red chili powder, ground coriander and cumin and allow mixture to fry for a few more minutes.
Next, add the beef and stir to coat it in the spice mixture.
Add water to cover the beef and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour and a half, or until the meat is cooked through.
Add potatoes for the last 30 minutes of cook time.
Add yogurt, ghee, lime juice and brown sugar and stir well.
Once potatoes and meat are tender, remove from heat and stir in green chilies.
Serve over rice or flatbread and garnish with cilantro.
In Bangladesh, folks eat with their hands. So that is what we did at Iffat and Philip's house! I think I need a little more practice. I wasn't very skilled at picking up the right amount of rice and meat for an adequate bite. Ha!
Iffat has said that she learned how to cook from her mother and grew up hearing the words "A little spice goes a long way". Thank you Iffat and Philip for sharing your culture with us and enriching our community!