Do you know what sad is? Yes, that sad. Like unhappy sad. I was that way last week. It always happens every year, around this time of the year. Specifically, right after the Christmas tree is hauled away, all the decorations taken down, and the radio stopped playing Christmas songs.
A friend said it could very well be SAD. Do you know what SAD is? Yes, the disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder. The same friend who told me about it said she needs light therapy to combat her SAD. I don’t need such therapy and frankly, I’m not even diagnosed with the disorder. But I always get the blues around the beginning of January.
It’s short-lived, but real. You know how I know? Because everything feels so blah. Jokes are annoying instead of funny. People are weird instead of unique. Shows are boring instead of entertaining. Food tastes bland and cooking feels like a chore. Everything just feels…..well…..so blah…..
So, I was in this blah mood last week. Until a special package arrived. I was reading in the kitchen when the hubs brought in the mail. He placed a package in front of me without telling me what it was. I didn’t immediately look at it. Until the fragrance hit me.
What was that?! A thick padded envelope that smells like heaven! It’s a package of spices from my gal pal Sonal! I tore at it and when it was open, I took another whiff. And then I buried my nose in it. And took a good, long whiff. Aah…..it was so wonderful! The aroma just melted all my blues away…..
But more importantly…..it gave me my cooking groove back…..
So, I’ve been cooking…..and I’ve been eating…..
Now I just have to tell you about them…..
Starting with this Crockpot Beef Curry. After days of not cooking, I thought I’d start slow and use my crockpot. Besides, it’s been lying idle far too long.
Crockpot Beef Curry
2 lbs beef stew meat or chuck roast cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
5 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cardamom pods, crushed
1 tbsp Sonal’s Curry Spice Melange (or substitute with your best curry powder)
1 tbsp Sonal’s kasoori methi (omit if you don’t have any)
1 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp olive oil
Chopped cilantro and more curry spice for garnish
1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan or skillet. Fry beef pieces until browned all over. Remove and place in crockpot.
2. Add the other tbsp of oil in the frying pan and sauté onions and garlic while scraping all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until onions are translucent. Remove and add to the crockpot.
3. Now sprinkle all the dry herbs and spices.
4. Then add the tomatoes and ginger.
5. Add the coconut milk and salt.
6. Now stir to mix everything.
And I also made these roasted tomatoes…..
With Sonal’s Tandoori Masala…..
So, so, so, so…..delicious! And so easy! It’s just a matter of mixing the tomatoes with olive oil, the spices, salt & pepper, and then throwing them in a 375°F oven for 25 minutes. That’s it! Oh, and when you get them out of the oven, sprinkle some chopped cilantro. So, so, so, so…..delicious!
If you don’t have Sonal’s Tandoori Masala, try this recipe for Roasted Spiced Tomatoes, instead. Or better yet, start following Sonal @simplyvegetarian777 and then beg her for some. Or even better yet, why don’t you go and tell her to start selling her spices. I’ll do my best to encourage her myself. ‘Coz we all want to buy, right? She should call them Sonal’s Special Spice Sachet. Sonal, are you listening? Sonal?