SATURDAY COOKING: XACUTTI

My sister reminded me of this cookbook, “New Curries” from The Australian Women’s Weekly collection. It’s full of yummy recipes and with some coolish weather last week, I made this XACUTTI (pronounced sha-koo-tee)
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“It’s a Goan curry, perhaps not as well known as the vindaloo, another specialty of the formerly Portuguese, now Indian, state. Traditionally made with mutton or chicken and a dry curry paste containing fried coconut, it has lime juice added just before serving.”
As always with a curry, the list of ingredients is big but the end result is very flavoursome. And it’s very easy to make!

1 cup (80g) dessicated coconut
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 whole cloves
8 dried long red chillies
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons blck peppercorns
2 star anise
6 cloves, garlic, quartered
2 tablespoons ghee
1 large brown onion (200g), chopped finely
1 kg diced rump
2 cups (500ml) water
2 cups (500ml) beef stock
2 tablespoons lime juice

Method:

    1. Dry-fry coconut in large frying pan over medium heat, stirring, until browned lightly; remove coconut from pan. Dry-fry cinnamon, cloves, chillies, turmeric, seeds, peppercorns and star anise in same pan, stirring, about 1 minute or until fragrant.
    2. Blend or process coconut, spice mixture and garlic until fine.
    3. Heat ghee in large saucepan; cook onion, stirring, until onion softens. Add coconut spice mixture; cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add beef; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes or until beef is coated with coconut spice mixture.
    4. Add the water and stock; simmer, covered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover; cook 30 minutes or until beef is tender and sauce thickened slightly. Stir juice into curry off the heat; sprinkle with fresh sliced chilli if you like.
    5. Eat!

I used chuck steak instead of rump.
Make sure you GRIND the spices with the coconut as opposed to “blend or process”. I got quite a few pieces of cloves, star anise and chillies left in the curry, which is not really nice.
I also cooked the curry in the oven in a large casserole dish. I started the oven at 170°C for an hour and then I cooked it for 2 more hours at 150°C. There was a lot of liquid left. So I waited until the next day when it was cold (and it’s always better to eat a curry the next day anyway) to skim the fat of the top and then put it in the fridge. The meat and liquid then thickened.
I added vegetables when I reheated the curry and cooked it a bit until the curry was quite dry, and then I added the lime juice.

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