Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Swedish meatballs via the Indian Sub-continent

Guy: Well for readers out there that have been attentively following the "happenings" here on Food Chains, you may be surprised to see Swedish Meatballs, again. You may remember one of our earliest posts supplied by our earnstwhile Swede Per for a meatball dish, provided here in this installation is a variation on that well known theme with an ethnic adaptive twist. With out going to deep into the degrees of separation lets just say I dedicate this Indian/Swedish Meatballs post to Per in acknowledgment of his birthplace, that same said city of my father's, Calcutta.
My friend Eva provided this recipe and story. After we had discussed Per's recipe Eva indeed confirmed Per's discussion on the swedish philosophy of "medium size", the idea that things are not to big or to small, as Eva added it is the idea that things are "just right". Eva said that the swedish were very good at incorporating other cultures food into their own. This following example I look at as similar to the English dish Chicken Tikki Masala, an English development on an Indian theme. As you may know, food chains is interested in the stories and emotional connections people have to food, and not just the food it's self. This recipe was Eva's aunties favorite, and a favorite of Eva's. When Eva returned home some years ago this was the meal she ate with her aunt. Unfortunately it was the last meal they would have together, however Eva says that the dish always reminds of her aunt and of her fond memories of her. So here we go with Eva's Indian Meatballs in a Creamy Tomato Sauce.

Serves 4-6
1 Lbs lean ground beef.
1 sml onion (red) grated.
1 tsp salt
1&1/2 tsp Garam masala
1 egg yoke
1/2 cup unsweetened bread soaked in 1/2 cup hot water.
butter for frying.
2 cans crushed tomatoes (15oz cans)
1 can diced chili peppers (4.5oz.)
1 tbsp curry powder.
1/2 tsp lemon juice.
1 tsp salt.
2 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp coriander (ground)
1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream.
Combine the tomatoes, chili peppers and spices (including lemon juice) in a pot.
Add the Sour cream and bring to a boil. Set aside for the meatballs.
Combine the beef, egg, soaked bread, onion and spices and mix thoroughly. Shape into moderate meatballs about 1 & 1/2 inches in diameter (remember Per's recipe!) this is made easier by using hands dipped in cold water.
Fry the meatballs on moderate heat shaking the pan now and then to brown the balls evenly.
Add the balls when browned to the cream sauce, cook on low heat for 15 minutes in covered pot.
Serve over rice.

For this meal I chose brown rice which worked well. I also added Lingonberry preserve as a condiment in the style of traditional Swedish meatballs. These balls and sauce were surprisingly flavorful and spicy despite the relatively conservative amount of spice used. My friend Bill was our guest for dinner on a chilly Seattle evening, we declared this recipe DELICIOUS!
And just the right accompaniment the 60's film farce "Candy" staring Swedish actress Ewa Aulin, both film and meatballs were greatly enjoyed by Bill and myself. Thanks to Eva for this great story and recipe!
Bon appetite in Swedish!


Nerissa said...

This is great info to know.

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