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Cooking Beef Mince Curry & Rotis

Time to eat

I decided to cook a Durban Mince Curry & Roti whilst chasing the clock. Lots of lessons learned, but all in all a great result.

The name of the game today, was speed. Firstly, it is month end and I am busy with my day-job paperwork & secondly because my amazing and wonderful wife’s tummy is grumbling and she whatsapped me saying that she is popping home for lunch.

So, thanks to the M word being used by a member on another post, I decided to do a quick n easy mince curry.

I also decided to something not so quick n easy, to see if I could do it quick n easy, and that is to make butter roti’s at the same time.

To all the Aunties … let me just say something first. I have respected you and your skills for a very long time, but that respect just doubled, tripled. … even more than that.

So, I started off with a touch of oil and some ghee in my favourite AMC pot. To that I added 1 medium onion, that had been finely chopped. Maybe ‘finely chopped’ is a bit of an exaggeration, because I was chasing the clock, after all.

When the onion was starting to brown, I added some fresh garlic & ginger, some chopped green chillies and come curry leaves. I mixed it all up and let sizzzzle until my gut said it was time to add the masala.

I added 4 tablespoons of masala, but should have added more – as I will explain later. The masala was mixed well into the rest of the ingredients and left to sizzle on low to medium for 2 minutes.

When the pot started to cook dry, I added a splash of water to the mixture, which brought it to life. I may be right, I may be wrong, but nowadays, I always add a bit of water to my masala when it is three quarter done tempering. It allows all the ingredients to mix up nicely, and as I said above, it just seems to bring everything to life.

While watching the clock and starting to get into a mild panic, I sifted 2 cups of flour for the roti, then melted 4 tablespoons of butter which I added into the flour.

Bliksem, time for the mince to go in, so in went the mince, mix, mix mix and let it start browning.

One cup boiling water into the mixing bowl, and a pinch of salt. Mix, mix, mix then let run on low in the food processor using the dough hook, or whatever it is called.

Muttering under my breath, something about that I was not born to multitask, I gave the mince a good stir and then put the lid on.

Mutter under my breath again, this time due to the fact that I forgot to grate tomato’s. 2 tomatoes grated in record time and added to the mince. Mix, mix, mix again

I was watching this curry with a squiff eye, there did not seem to be enough masala in. Do I trust my gut, or trust the recipe?

Trust my gut. I made a cute little ‘masala tempering pool’ in the middle of the pot, into which the oil from the rest of the meat flooded in. I added another tablespoon of masala and let it boil away there in the ‘masala tempering pool’ for a few minutes, whilst I was strutting around the kitchen feeling like an engineer.

With a boost of confidence, I peeled two potatoes and cut each into 6’ths. Used my special ‘yellow potato muti’ and added them to the pot. Gave a mix and added about half a cup of water and covered with the lid.

Gave my wife a call and told her that she can come home so long. It is about a three minute drive from her work to our house, so now the pressure was on like a scone … I mean on like a roti. Ok, whatever. The pressure was on.

Meanwhile my dough had kneaded beautifully and was ready to divide. I rolled it into a big ball and divided into 8 pieces.

Each piece was then rolled into a ball.

Now comes the hard part ….. rolling them and getting them round.

I have a Chakla Belan for rolling roti’s so not only did I feel like a multi-tasking engineer, I also felt like old Floyd …. just missing the wine. (Us oldies will remember Floyd and his wine.)

First one, looked like a blotch, but tasted great. The lady of the house enters and I am determined to get it right.

As I am rolling the second roti, I come up with this genius plan to roll the dough out as far as I can and then use a pot lid to cut a perfect circle, like a cookie cutter.

Just as I have almost rolled it out all the way, boom, it hits me … and I feel very doff, but also happy that I figured it out.

Today is going well, I am not only a multi-tasking engineer & traditional cooking utensil guru, I am also a genius for figuring out the plainly obvious.

The Chakla is round, because one must roll to the edges.

How plainly obvious and simple.

Right, time for the perfect roti for my special lady.

Roll, roll, roll x 50. Eish, this is not easy.

In the pan. I use a pancake pan, it works well.

Into the pan, medium heat… wait for it to bubble.

Flip and brush with butter, then repeat about three times.

This should take about a minute until your roti is cooked.

As I was standing back to admire my handy work, it hit me like Mike Tyson in my stomach. I forgot to make sambals.

Ok Shane, just serve and act natural.

All’s well that ends well. 1 hour flat.

The lady of the house ate quickly and rushed off to go and pick up my son from school. I dished up a quick plate for the neighbour and then came to try and make the perfect roti with the remaining dough.

I managed two more good ones, one for myself and one for my son who just got back from school.

As I dished, I knew that this meal would not be complete without some sort of salad, so I grated a carrot, chopped some onion and chilli and, at long last, got to eat.

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