A little story for T about digging and cooking clams with April Bloomfield, Elizabeth Falkner and Anita Lo, at Lo's house on the south shore.
Sweet old email from my grandfather. The dish is kofta curry. The meat is lamb.
Today is Madaraka day. I am alone at home and the time is 11 o clock in the morning. I thought, it is the best time to write you.
Probably for six people you will need 1 kilo of mince meat.
In a bowl, add the meat, then start adding 1 t/s of garam masala, a pinch of red chilly powder, 1 tb/s of dhana jiru (powder of coriander and cumin seeds), 1 tb/s of green masala (4 cloves of garlic, 1 small piece of fresh ginger, 2 green chillies put into a chopper and made into a paste. You will use what remains for making the sauce). Also add in the bowl chopped onions of 1 small onion, chopped green coriander, and pinch of salt.
Mix well, and make small round shape balls with your hands and put them on a plate. Now what you have to do is to fry them lightly in a pan with a little oil.
The next preparation is the sauce. In a cooking vessel add the required quantity of oil, may be quarter to a half cup. Just check. When the oil is hot add chopped onions (2 small ones) until they turn into a golden brown, now add the remaining quantity of green masala and 3 liquidized tomatoes and keep turning the mixture with a wooden spoon.
Now a pinch of red chilly powder, 1 tb/s of dhana jiru, and 1 t/s garam masala. Add two cups of water and salt as required. Cook for 5 minutes or slightly more. Should you need some more water, you can add it.
When this process is done, add the fried koftas and cook for 10 minutes. Finally for garnishing sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander.
Well that is all.
With lots of love,
My grandparents live a few miles down some very long, bumpy dirt road on the edge of Nairobi, in a tiny wood cabin on stilts surrounded by hibiscus, bougainvillea, frangipane, morning glory, pink sorrel, overgrown taro plants, fruiting avocado trees, other things too. Their windows can't close. They stay open all day and night. It's wonderful.
Not just any Gibson, but the one you drink at Prune while catching up with dear friends.
Fell down a google-image hole almost entirely unrelated to my research and it looked like this:
I refer to the instructions my father sent me six years ago:
You'll need good cheese. 50-60% good (unsalted) Gruyere grated big, 30-35% Appenzeller grated big, 15-20% Vacherin Fribourgeois (cut into small cubes).
You could replace the Gruyere with French Comte. You could replace the Appenzeller with another sharp cheese. The last cheese is excellent and not really replaceable.
Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the caquelon with it. If you crush the garlic into the cheese (some people do) I think it overpowers the fondue.
Pour dry white wine in the caquelon and bring to simmer. Add a mixture of kirsch (don't use the American one you took from my bar, use the Swiss one (or is it German?), there's a little left in the bottle) and a teaspoon of cornflour to the simmering wine.
If you don't have Kirsch, and don't want to buy any, you could use vodka, I guess.
Add the two grated cheeses. Simmer over a low flame. Keep the cheese at the bottom moving so it doesn't stick. When they've melted, add the cubed Vacherin Fribourgeois. When that's melted, adjust thickness either with wine or wine plus a little cornflour.
Fresh ground pepper is optional, I'd say do it at the table. And remember to cut the bread several hours before so it dries out a bit.
Dusting off my weird old story about late English romance novelist Barbara Cartland and her cookbook, The Romance of Food. Happy Valentine's Day!