November 11, 2018

Black Cumin Gravy

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I first tasted this outstanding gravy ladled over tamarind-marinated beef tenderloin, but it’s good with all kinds of meats. Yes, it’s an Indian fusion recipe. Inspired by a dish once served at Vij’s restaurant in Vancouver. Need an all-purpose gravy guide? Hop on My Gravy Train.

1 tbsp (15 mL) cumin seeds
2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup (60 mL) ghee
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala
2 tbsp (30 mL) passata

Heat medium pan on medium heat 1 minute. Add cumin seeds. Heat, shaking pan occasionally, 4 minutes, or until starting to pop and turning dark brown. (Do not blacken.) Scrape into small bowl. Reserve pan.

In medium measuring cup, microwave stock 2 minutes, or until steamy.

In reserved pan, melt ghee on medium heat. Add onion, cumin seeds and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes, or until softened and golden. Stir in flour. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, 3 minutes, or until rosy gold colour. (Do not brown.) Stir in garam masala.

Remove from heat. While whisking vigorously, gradually add warm stock. Add passata and 1/2 tsp (1 mL) salt. Heat, whisking often, on medium 2 minutes, or until starting to simmer and thicken. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often and then constantly with whisk, 10 minutes, or until thick and glossy. Adjust salt.

Makes 2-1/4 cups (300 mL).

Oh No: Do not burn the cumin seeds. They are toasted to dark brown, but appear black in the gravy.

G is for Ghee: Indian clarified butter is called ghee. You may buy it at the supermarket or make your own.

P is for Passata: Crushed, strained fresh tomatoes are known as passata. Supermarkets sell this product in bottles or cartons.

Tool Time: I use a ball whisk for this recipe. It has open tines with a little ball on each end. Food won’t get caught in it.