When I go grocery shopping, I'm always looking for those interesting ingredients that I've heard of but never tried, because I want to try making dishes out of them. This has led me to venture to several different food stores in a single grocery shopping trip sometimes, but it has led to some amazing results. This weekend, I was able to pickup not one, but two great ingredients that I've always wanted to test out from two different stores- savory and slightly salty curry leaves, and robust and gamey ground elk meat. I decided to make a spicy Indian-style curry dish out of the elk and curry leaves, and chose broccolini as a vegetable because... well, I had it.
The result was an amazing dish that had a variety of textures and really deep delicious flavors. Not too spicy, but totally flavorful and delicious!
Recipe serves 2 people.
2 cups broccolini, roughly chopped
2 small chilies, thinly sliced (I used thai chilies for this, but any small hot chili that is as spicy or spicier than chile de arbol works for this)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
6 ounces ground elk
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons curry leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon avocado oil (or another neutral vegetable oil)
1 cup rice to serve with
1. Add your oil and fennel seeds to a hot pan on medium heat. Toast for 30 seconds, then add in the finely chopped chili. Let it cook out for about a minute.
2. Add in your ground elk in small peaces, followed by the salt, pepper, garam masala, garlic powder, cardamom, and cumin. Combine and cook until the elk is cooked through, in about 5 minutes.
3. Add in the sugar, broccolini, and curry leaves, and stir in so the sugar melts. Then, deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Bring up to a boil, then steam for 5 minutes to help cook the broccolini.
4. Add in the heavy cream, then bring back up to a boil and cook out for about a minute. Serve over rice.
This dish is spicy but also creamy and has a ton of aromatic flavors from the garam masala, cardamom, and curry leaves. It creates a balanced feeling in the mouth thanks to the sugar taking out some of the potency of the chili (but not ruining its flavor) and the curry leaves adding a great savory note to the dish. The gameyness of the elk plays in perfectly like lamb or goat would in a traditional Indian curry.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =)