When an email landed in my inbox saying “Every fancied a curry mid-week but just haven’t had the time or patience to get the old pestle and mortar out?”, my answer was a resounding “Hell yeah”. I have previously made the mistake of buying a mix of spices and failed to make the paste even when I followed the instructions to the letter. I’m a bit better with Thai curry paste but the sugar content of ready-made sauces makes my blood sugar spike just looking at them!
I have a little pestle and mortar inherited from my friend Isabel on her return to Spain, but I’m really not great at using it. I guess delivering for the elections hasn’t yet developed my muscles to the point I can crush a clove of garlic in less than 1h. I simply cannot put together a mid-week curry as effortlessly as Nigella, and my hair doesn’t look as good either!
Factor in All Saints’ Day and a 7.30pm Mass, and the beef that was laying around in my freezer for a stew of some sort turned into a Madras Beef Curry thanks to the new Braun Hand Blender MQ3126 Spice, the 1st blender on the market to have a specialised spice blender. You can make your own spice blends from fresh ingredients in a matter of seconds and to quote Jamie Oliver, “the smells are amazing”. The smell of the fresh spices start the moment the blade begins whirling is a treat in itself, but it also tastes like restaurant-quality food, done in a few minutes in your own kitchen while you drink and relax without your shoes on after a long day.
The Braun Hand Blender MQ3126 Spice is equipped with
- A unique metal Spice Grinder Attachment that can grind and mill to a fine texture
- Eleven seamlessly variable speeds for efficient blending with maximum precision
- The POWERBell PLUS blending shaft with an innovative extra milling blade for faster and more efficient blending results without splashing
- A Turbo button for even finer results
And boy, does it deliver on the promise!
Alessia’s Quick Madras Beef Curry (serves 2 to 3 portions) – Gluten and Dairy Free
1 Braun Hand Blender MQ3126 Spice
400gr diced beef
2 pieces of tumeric (amounts to 1tbsp ground)
2 large chunks of ginger (amounts to 2tbsp ground)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp black pepper corns
A generous bunch of fresh coriander (amounts to 2tbsp ground)
2 cloves of garlic
3 finger chillies (it makes it quite hot so modify it according to your taste)
1 cup broth (I used 1/3 of a vegetable cube)
Tomato paste (you can swap this with passata and avoid the broth)
1 red pepper
Extra-virgin Olive Oil
Basmati rice to serve
Optional: if you eat onions, you can add some to the beginning of the recipe and even chop it with the same tool.
Step 1: Grind the spices into a paste. For the purpose of a pretty blog post I have done them separately but just go for it, pop everything in the spice grinder and go turbo on it. The grinder can hold 150 grams of sugar cubes so it can hold this amount of spice comfortably.
Step 2: In a warm pan, pour a tablespoon of EVOO and rosulate the meat. Or if you are in a hurry, rosulate the meat you partly cooked in the microwave. You want it to be cooked no more than medium-rare at this stage. Remove the meat and put it aside. Put the kettle on.
Step 3: In the same pan, roast the spices for 1 minute. Bring back the meat and stir it until it’s coated with the spices. If you are cooking your own rice you want to start preparing it now. If, like me, you rely on microwavable pouches from the supermarket that cook in two minutes then prepare the rice closer to the end of the cooking time for the curry.
Step 4: Make some broth using either vegetable cube (lighter flavour) or beef (stronger flavour). Add 1/3 of the tomato paste tube to the meat, followed by the broth, and stir.
Step 5: Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer until the meat is cooked through and infused with the flavours of the spices. If you’re in a hurry, turn on the heat (careful not to burn the meat!) and let the sauce thicken. If you are happy to watch a whole episode of Parks and Recreation before dinner is served then let it thicken on a low heat.
Now your curry is ready to serve and you can enjoy the fullness of the flavours that the hyper-fast blender allows you to obtain in about the same time as an unhealthy ready-made sauce, without the diabetes and cholesterol that follow.
The tool is also easy to wash and the design to ensure safety and stability when using at such high power is top-notch, as you’d expect from the brand at the top of the market for hand blenders for many years.