What’s cooking in Nepal?
Lamb Curry (Khasi ko Masu ko Jhol) and Mint Chicken
Lopsee is from Kathmandu in Nepal. She has lived in more than 8 countries and likes to explore. She now lives in Madrid, in Spain, but will soon leave to another country again. When living in other countries Lopsee misses her family and friends, and since she misses Nepali food a lot, she cooks Nepali dishes once a day! ‘I need Nepali food’, says Lopsee, cannot live without it, but I do make shorter / quicker versions of the dishes. Lopsee has shared her Lamb Curry recipe with us, and of course we were happy to try that out! We loved the delicious smells that filled up our kitchen, and my husband and children came to check more than once if it was ready! 😊
About Nepal and Nepali food:
Nepal is a small country which has 32 different languages. The common language is Nepali. Typical dishes in Nepal contain rice (Bhaat), lentils (Daal), meat (Masu), vegetables (Tarkari) and Achar (sort of chutney). And of course, Momos (dumplings), which according to Lopsee could be the most famous food from Nepal and a definite must-try. Momos are loved by the Nepalis as well as by foreigners, but the spices for Momos are less easy to be found in Europe, so that makes one more reason to travel to Nepal one day!
Photo credits of the beautiful photos of Nepal: Sameer Tuladhar. Website: www.sameertuladhar.com
We will start with the Lamb curry. Scroll down if you would like to try out the Mint Chicken recipe.
What Lopsee says about the Lamb curry recipe:
‘Every household makes the same thing differently, so there isn’t a “set” recipe for anything and the quantity of spices also vary. We go by smell, look and taste. Lamb/Mutton is traditional, and this is just my version of my mom’s and cousin’s recipe. It is a “simple” version compared to theirs. It is a “water-y” soup type.’ The lamb curry is eaten with Basmati rice on the side.
Lamb Curry recipe:
Ingredients for 4 people:
- Lamb meat (with the bones), 600 gr
- 1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds
- 5-6 whole Cloves
- 7-8 Cardamom seeds
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 10-12 peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped, or 1 table spoon of garlic paste
- Ginger, according to your taste, finely chopped, or 1 table spoon of ginger paste
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 can, or fresh, diced tomatoes
- 2L of chicken broth
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- 5 medium sized potatoes, diced
- Basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
- 1-2 tablespoons of Meat Masala (I used Tandoori Masala), depending on your taste.
- Kitchen King Masala (I could not find this, so left this one out)
- Chili powder, according to your own liking
- Dried red chillies, depending on your taste, Lopsee puts in 15 small ones because she likes to eat very spicy.
How to proceed:
- Chop up the onions
- Peel and dice the potatoes
- In a large saucepan, heat some oil (medium heat).
- Once the oil is hot, reduce heat and add the bay leaves (3 or 4), peppercorn (10/12 pieces), cumin seeds (1 teaspoon), cardamon seeds (7/8) and whole cloves (5/6). Add one cinnamon stick. Fry it for few seconds. Add dried chilies.
- Add your finely chopped onion, finely chopped ginger and garlic (Lopsee prefers to use ginger and garlic paste-1 or 1.5 tablespoon). Fry for few seconds until the onions are soft or change color.
- Now it is time to add the spices. Lopsee always adds the Garam Masala last. She usually starts with tumeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder and then the garam masala. Wait a few seconds and fry each spice and then add another, have to keep on mixing/stirring. After the spices you can add salt to your preference.
- Add the spices: Coriander powder (1 teaspoon), Turmeric Powder (1 teaspoon), chili powder (how spicy you want) and cumin powder (1 or 1/2 teaspoon), then add Garam Masala (1 tablespoon), and mix and fry for few seconds.
- Add the meat with bones and mix. Fry it until it changes color (have to keep on mixing/stirring).
- Add peeled and diced potatoes. Mix well.
- Add Kitchen King Masala and Meat Masala (Lopsee goes by smell and eyes but she adds at least 1-2 table spoon) and mix/fry.
- Add one can of diced tomatoes, or your freshly diced tomatoes, and mix it together for few seconds.
- Once everything has been mixed together, add 2 Liters of chicken broth and mix.
- Add chopped cilantro (1 packet) on top and cover it. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3-5 hours.
- Once the meat is tender, take it out and add more cilantro on top and serve with Basmati rice.
Mint Chicken Recipe:
We loved the Lamb Curry and so Lopsee shared a second recipe with us! The Lamb Curry was Lopsee’s family’s recipe. The Mint Chicken is from her uncle’s family. They are quite different: the Mint Chicken is less spicy and fresh in taste.
Ingredients for 4 people:
- Chicken (we used 600 gr)
- 6 Cardamom pods
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 2-3 Bay leaves
- 5-6 cloves
- 1 table spoon ginger paste
- 1 table spoon garlic paste
- 1 small onion
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- ½ table spoon Garam masala
- Chili powder, according to your taste
- Cream (we used 300 ml)
- Coriander (whole bunch)
- Mint (whole bunch)
- Rice for on the side
How to proceed :
- Fry cardamom pods, bay leafs, cloves, and the cinnamon stick.
- Add ginger and garlic paste
- Add a tiny bit of chopped onion
- Once that is a bit soft, add the chicken.
- Add salt, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder.
- Once the chicken is getting soft and coloured, add a bit of cream.
- Make a paste with coriander and mint. All you have to do to make this paste is put the coriander and the mint in a blender with a bit of water. You add the water in little quantities until you have your desired texture.
- Add the paste to the chicken
- Cook 10 more minutes on medium heat.
- Add some more cream.
- Serve with rice.
Thank you so much Lopsee! We now know why you cannot live without Nepali food. We loved it!