As an Anglo-Indian family we have many blended traditions. One, is that we don’t do a traditional Anglo-Celtic or English style Christmas feast. Instead we cook Karti and Prawn Curry as our main course. We vote on which dessert to make and it can range from an Italian tiramisu to an authentic German Blackforest Cherry cake to anything in between. This year the family voted for pavlova. Both dishes take an enourmous amount of preparation time…time that we don’t have during an ordinary week. Therefore, we only cook these recipes when we’ve got ample time.
Karti rolls, for the uninitiated, are spice and yoghurt marinated rump pieces, rolled up in paratha’s with onion and lemon juice…and with fresh chilli if it takes your fancy. They take a lot of time and preparation to cook and we tend to only make them once or twice a year. We adore them…so much that we put our initials on our ‘roll stash’ so that no one gets more than anyone else! Yes, we are territorial about our food! 😆
Cut large chunks of rump and marinate in yoghurt and spice mix. We leave it overnight to really infuse those fabulous flavours.
Thread the meat onto skewers. If your are using wooden skewers don’t for get to soak them in water for a good 30 minutes. We use very long metal skewers.
The next step involves cooking the skewers on the bbq. We don’t cook directly on top a wire rack, instead we have a little skewer holder thingy so that the meat doesn’t touch any surface.
The metal frame slightly elevates the skewered meat from the heated surface. If the meat cooks on a rack or hotplate the yoghurt sticks to the surface and you lose important flavour.
Get your bbq lit up. We use our trusty weber grill. You don’t need anything fancy to get the job done.
Take the meat off the skewers as it cooks.
We add extra skewers between the six that the metal frame accommodates. Even then we need to use each skewer a few times to get all the meat cooked. We tend to cook this in a production line. Some of us are threading skewers while Mr Suziwong cooks. It’s a messy job for the skewer threaders!
While the meat is cooking, the dough for the paratha is resting. We usually make it the night before and then roll it out in the morning before we start cooking the meat. Once the meat is cooked and rested we cook the paratha. I’ll do a paratha making blog soon. I tried to do one this time round, but the chief paratha cook, my youngest daughter wouldn’t allow me to take pictures even when I promised she wouldn’t be featured on the blog.
Fold a piece of greaseproof paper in half. Put in on your surface and put the paratha on top so that sits halfway across the width of the paper and half of the paratha has paper under it. Line the meat in the middle of the paratha, place a few slices of fresh onion, a light drizzle of lemon juice and some finely chopped chilli if you’re a fan. Roll the paratha up and then roll the paper around the karti roll making sure to bring the bottom on the paper up into the roll so that no meat falls out of the bottom.
While Christmas was a good 6 weeks ago now and I’m very late in blogging our Christmas menu, I figured it was a timely blog considering the recent national discussions about what constitutes as a national dish in Australia. Considering the vast differences in cultural heritage of todays Australians, I’m not sure there can be such thing as a national dish that reflects who we are…after all, we’re all so incredibly diverse. As an Anglo-Celtic mother of two Anglo-Indian children I struggle to think of one dish that defines us as an Australian family because our family staples are Indian curries, Italian pasta dishes, traditional English fare such as roast beef and yorkshire pudding, Greek and Moroccan stews and the list goes on. What I do know is that the foods that define my Australian family don’t define other Australian families and thus how can there possibly be one food that represents us all since we’re a multicultural nation?
And since we’re a multicultural nation shouldn’t we be inclusive in our thoughts and actions not exclusive?
If you would like to cook Karty, you can download the recipe here