Cardamon Beef Spaghetti on a Sunday

February 22, 2015

Today I just felt like sleeping in longer than usual. It’s just too bloody hot to hit the field. So I decided to stay in and make myself cardamon Chili bean Beef spaghetti.

To make this dish. You need to get hold of cardamom powder and not cardamon pods. REMEMBER THIS! I am 100% sure you can find it in any of the spice shops thru out little India, be prepared to pay a bit more. As cardamon powder unlike it’s more commonly sold counterpart, whole dried green cardamon is expensive – cardamon is a strong aromatic that is widely known to have healing properties thru out the Middle East, Indian continent and Orient.

Thru out the length and breadth of Africa this aromatic spice is a widely consumed staple, it features from everything to bread, sweets and pulai. As it is widely believed to have magical healing properties.

The ever wandering Bedouins flavor their coffee during the mistral season when dust storms are frequent with 50% ground cardamon and the rest Ghanian beans. As cardamon is known as a mucous destroyer and muscle relaxant that would otherwise render normal living in the Sahara impossible.

In the southwest corner of Mali, in the triangle formed between the Senegal river to the west and the Niger to the east where illegal goldmines and shanty towns dot the landscape like wild mushrooms. Cardamon commands the same value as gold gram for gram. Kids who work deep in these zero safety gold mines during the dry season would not be able to burrow like Duracell powered groundhogs if their overseers did not regularly hand out cardamon laced candies. Their lungs will clog and they will die.

I once told a UN (united nothing) field officer, if the world was serious about halting the trade of blood diamonds – all they had to do was persuade the African Congress to pass a resolution to make cardamon a controlled substance like tobacco and alcohol. He thought it was a joke! Wonder no more why tribal wars are a mainstay feature on the African continent.

Further up beyond the never ending Sahara up along the narrow shoulder of the Nile that crosses into the upper reaches of the diamond encrusted Congo basin, where elephants still amble along the same ancient route slaves once lumbered as they were prepared to be shipped to Zanzibar.

In this god forsaken place where blood diamonds and poached ivory is still widely and openly traded in bazaars – cardamon is so highly prized for its medicinal value it’s considered legal tender – in these parts where even the mighty French Foreign Legion considers out of bounds since it is the equivalent of Raffles place a veritable Mecca for all the troublemakers, warlords, rouge traders in the whole of central Africa – the calming antispasmodic effects of cardamon is believed to be able to do everything and anything under the sun ranging from imparting bullet proof powers to staving off malevolent evil curses and hexes – here cardamon is known by its ancient name Al Heyl – uttered usually by touching the front helm of the shamagh as a sign of reverence for the great herb that all believe without exception was a heavenly plant that was once secreted to earth by a benevolent angel from syurga.

In these parts where it is not unusual for a men to walk around wearing a shouldered holstered revolver and carrying a samsonite briefcase – and to hear intermittent gun shots renting out from time to time, there is a common saying know to all in these parts.

‘Water is important….but not as important as cardamon, as a man without a morsel of cardamomn is like a ship without the sea.’

Ingredients:

– 4 table spoon olive oil
– 250 Grammes ground beef
– 1 rounded table spoon of cardamon powder
– 1 large white onion (diced) separate into two bowls
– 2 garlic sections finely chopped
– 1 rounded table spoon chili bean paste (get the one’s where the chili is dark and you can’t see the beans. You can get it in NTUC)
– 1 teaspoon meat curry powder
– 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
– 3 or 4 tablespoon Mushroom flavored dark soya sauce (lee kum Kee brand. The original recipe uses fermented dates syrup, but I can’t get it. But this is about 90%)
– salt to taste
– a bit of pickled mango chutney. (I like to add a bit more to create a tangy flavor)

Directions:

Cut half white onion. Fry one half diced with garlic till brown. Add ground beef. Cook 10 minutes, sprinkle cardamon powder evenly. This will remove the gamey smell of beef, stir in chili bean paste. Add dark soya sauce. Sprinkle curry powder. Black pepper, chutney. After cooking for 15 add remainder of other half of diced white onion. Do not overcook second batch onions as you want the texture of the semi cooked onions to be crunchy. Cook for another 10 minutes low flame.

If you like, you the can dress the dish in either chopped cilantro or fresh coriander. I much prefer it plain.

Note : this is a dry dish. Do not add any water. Serve with el dente spaghetti or flat bread. Once you cook it 2 or 3 times, it will only take you 15 minutes tops to whip it up. It’s not heavy like Italian spaghetti, there is no butter, milk or cheese. So it’s very light and I highly recommend this as a evening meal accompanied by either a chianti or robust Pinot.

Medicinal properties: cardamon strengthens the lungs, staves off runny noses. If you are sensitive to dust and often sniff and sneeze. I would seriously recommend this dish as a prescriptive cure. During the haze season. I usually eat this dish at least three times a week.

Women who are nervous, agitated, argumentative and like to find fault should consume this dish religiously during the height of the hot season – alternatively just add 3 pods of dried green cardamon to hot pipping tea.

Children who like to run around like monkeys and have trouble finishing their homework and suffer from a chronic inability to concerntrate should have lemonade with ground sprinklings of cardamon.

Men who experience sexual problems in so far as they run out of breathe during their nocturnal sojourns with their dearly unfortunate other half – should seriously consider consuming my cardamon spaghetti before intimate encounters if they are indeed serious about restoring matrimonial harmony and felicity.

Ministers who regularly face rigorous questioning in Parliament. Or political figures who suffer from a lack of imagination to prosper under the media spot should also consume this dish – as not only will it fortify their constitution and improve their carriage – as consuming my recipe will stave off nervous tic along with other conditions associated with anxiety such as stammering, babbling, mumbling along with mitigating butterflies in the stomach and involuntary body movements such as farting and distracting shaking of body parts.

Enjoy.

(I will post a pic later)

image

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