Category Archives: Meat

NY Times: Tell Us Why It’s Ethical to Eat Meat


Since this blog has become primarily vegetarian and vegan, I found the new contest by the NY Times particularly interesting and wanted to share it with you:

Ethically speaking, vegetables get all the glory. In recent years, vegetarians — and to an even greater degree vegans, their hard-core inner circle — have dominated the discussion about the ethics of eating. […] In response, those who love meat have had surprisingly little to say. They say, of course, that, well, they love meat or that meat is deeply ingrained in our habit or culture or cuisine or that it’s nutritious or that it’s just part of the natural order. […] Few have tried to answer the fundamental ethical issue: Whether it is right to eat animals in the first place, at least when human survival is not at stake.

So today we announce a nationwide contest for the omnivorous readers of The New York Times. We invite you to make the strongest possible case for this most basic of daily practices. […] So get thinking. And get writing. You have two weeks and 600 words in which to make sense of our species’ entire dietary history. Bon appétit!

Meat-eaters, would you considering entering this contest? What do you think about the central question – is it ethical to eat meat or just something we enjoy and are used to?

*Note: I don’t post this question in judgment of meat-eaters – I do occasionally cheat on my veg ideals, though I hate to admit it.  But I am definitely interested in the debate from both sides.

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Filed under Food Issues, Meat, Vegan, Vegetarian

Eat Cheat: Maya Kaimal Indian Simmer Sauces

The success of your no-muss-no-fuss meals depends very much on what you keep in the house.  Fortunately, I live right above a robust market, so I can generally grab most things, but even so, it is MUCH easier to motivate yourself to cook when you already have the ingredients and can just get down to business without a store run.

We all have ingredients that we keep on hand almost all the time.  They vary from household to household.  In my apartment, we almost always have bread, whole wheat pasta, brown basmati rice, bags of frozen vegetables and a package of tofu.  We also have cabinet drawers full of Indian spices.

The other night I was downstairs in my local market checking out what I could buy that would make a quick and easy meal.  I figured I should buy a few different things that I could whip up in a jiffy so that I wouldn’t have the laziness excuse not to do it.  I spied a jar of Maya Kaimal Coconut Curry sauce and decided to give it a try.

I put some rice in the rice cooker, dumped some frozen vegetables and cubes of tofu into the curry sauce and simmered it for about 10 minutes.  Dinner was done.  That was it.

It was very tasty. I personally have never had a coconut curry that was Indian (only Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, Sri Lankan) and didn’t really know it existed.  The curry reminded me of some Thai dishes I’ve had.  It was so easy and yummy, and you can feed 4 people from a single jar.  There are also directions on the jar for making the curry with meat, for the non-veg among us.

I got myself the Tikka Masala one too, but haven’t tried it yet.  To be clear, this may or may not be satisfying for an actual Desi person who knows their way around a kitchen or has been fed by someone who does.  I haven’t tested it on the husband yet.  But let’s be honest – Desi’s aren’t reading my blog anyway, unless it’s to chuckle at how cute I am at botching their cuisine.  So for the rest of us – enjoy!

Addendum: Tried the Tikka Masala but not really a fan.  Too tomato-intense and rich for me.  But you might like it, you never know.

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Filed under Chicken, Eat Cheat Series, Ingredients, Meat, Quick and Easy, Vegan, Vegetarian

Dish #9 – Royal Chicken Korma

I’ve owed you this post for several weeks now. Forgive me!

On the same night that I made Dal Masur, I also made Royal Chicken Korma from Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbook, “From Curries to Kebabs.” I botched it, but it was still a good recipe 🙂

I’ve always been a fan of korma. I’ve eaten Navrattan Korma and “Vegetable Korma” in Indian restaurants here in the U.S. They are usually sweet, creamy white curries with nuts, fruit and vegetables in them. So good. My husband tells me that these are not authentic – big surprise.

A little reading in Madhur Jaffrey’s book, along with some internet research, tells me that korma came from the Mughals, the Persian conquerors who invaded India and stuck around for a couple of centuries. The Mughals have a fascinating history, some of which I was lucky enough to learn from my father-in-law, and some I learned from William Dalrymple.

Recipes from the web:

I’m not ashamed to admit that, as I stated above, I botched this recipe good.  I halved the recipe, but forgot half the time that I was halving it.  I added about 5x the cinnamon that was called for.  In the end, I was so put off by all the cinnamon and disappointed by my failure that my husband’s protestations that it wasn’t bad didn’t convince me.  I will happily try this recipe again.  It had some really interesting aspects to it (e.g. soak a thread of saffron in warmed heavy cream for 2-3 hours).

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Filed under Chicken, Cookbooks and Blogs, Meat

Dish #6: Kofta

A couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law sent me a special, unrequested recipe.  She sent me one of my husband’s favorite recipes, kofta (meatballs), and told me to make it as a surprise for him.  I told her I would, but that I was going to hold it for Valentine’s Day dinner.  Since I do my desi cooking on Sundays so as to have plenty of time to work, we celebrated Valentine’s Day one day early.  I’m happy to say that it came out wonderfully!  I served it with boondi raita and onions with lime and chat masala.

I was pretty ambitious and tried to make rasgulla – a traditional Bengali sweet – for dessert.  My mother-in-law sent me her recipe for it and I followed it closely, but something went wrong somewhere.  Instead of swelling while cooking in the sugar water, the little balls completely dissolved.  I was bummed about it, but my husband said I outdid myself on the koftas and ate heartily, so it was okay 🙂  Plus, I kept a store-bought package of rasgulla in the refrigerator, just in case.

Anyway, below is my mother-in-law’s kofta recipe – enjoy!  It’s wonderful.

Ingredients:
Kofta:
1 lb ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1/2 onion, cut very tiny
1 tsp ginger garlic paste 1 teaspoon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together and form tiny balls.  Fry in batches in 5 tablespoons of oil.

Curry:
1 onion, cut long
2 tomatoes, cut small
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp chicken masala
4 tbsp of tomato sauce
Salt, to taste
Cilantro, to taste

In half of the remaining oil in the pan, cook the onions until they are fairly brown.  Add ginger garlic paste and tomatoes.  Cook on medium heat for a few minutes, then add turmeric and one glass of water. Turn the flame down and let the curry boil for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the fried koftas and cover with a lid on medium flame.  Add chicken masala and turn the heat off, keeping the pan covered.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  What are you cooking for your honey?

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