The Oven has baked its last loaf. This blog is no longer being updated.

My cooking videos appear at

I write on food at

Beef up a curry

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yesterday, I took part in a "gourmet" street food market event called "Food Bites" with my partners Indra and Sree (our enterprise is called Crazy Juliet, a story for another time). Our menu consisted of four types of Mediterranean-inspired sliders, which we described like this:
Pollo alla Parmigiana: Minced chicken breast flavoured with garlic, herbs and parmesan cheese bathed in a marinara sauce. Topped off with mozzarella and a sprinkling of fresh basil.
Lamb Casablanca: Rock the Casbah with this aromatic lamb patty. Served on a bed of luscious hummus and topped with sage-infused caramelized onions.
Soy Nut Wonder (V): The patty is a combination of soy, nuts, mushrooms, herbs and spices. Served with a curry apple sauce and crispy fried mushrooms.
Aubergine Delight (V): Oven-roasted aubergines are the star of this patty. It’s also packed with ingredients like (yellow) capsicum, chilli, lemon and pumpkin seeds. Served with pesto.
All the sliders come in a hand-made soft bun enriched with butter and egg, and topped with a variety of seeds.
Here's a picture of the mini burgers we put together for the food tasting a couple of weeks before the actual event (and before our final tweaking).
Crazy Juliet sliders for Food Bites  photo by Indra
Indra and Sree made all the patties and condiments, and I made all the buns. On the day of the sale, Indra and I assembled the sliders to order and Sree explained the flavours on offer and took care of the money. We started at 11am, the meat sliders were sold out by 2pm (the lamb first), and our last item was gone at 4.03pm.
Man, I don't know how people sell food for a living. It is so much hard work! I was on my feet practically the entire five hours and at the end of it, I was drenched in sweat. We didn't do too badly in terms of profit, though. And we were even asked if we catered for children's parties!
But it's not something I would do very often. Two or three times a year is probably all I can manage. Especially with a full-time job and other interests besides making food.
I was talking to my sister Joyce, who lives in California, about Food Bites. She would have loved to have participated and we would probably have partnered up if she was here. We may have considered making her beef curry puffs. It is the last recipe she posted at her blog WokTales two years ago (being a mum to two small girls is a lot of work and she's put the blog on hold). The curry puffs are similar to what our mother has been making since we were children. They won Joyce first prize at her husband Keith's office baking contest!
I used the minced beef curry as a filling in some bread snacks. I was inspired by the last Daring Baker's challenge to make empanadas, and used one of the dough recipes provided by the host, Patri.
Baked empanada (back) and layered bread cooked on the stove-top
Minced Beef Curry
From my sister, Joyce

2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated
5cm ginger, finely chopped or grated
6 pips garlic, finely chopped or grated
6-7 curry leaves, finely sliced
675g minced beef
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 tbsp meat curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp beef stock granules
Salt to taste
½ cup water

1 tbsp lemon juice

Heat oil and cook onions until translucent, then add ginger, garlic and curry leaves; cook another 1 minute. Add beef and cook until beef is browned.
Add potatoes, curry powder, cinnamon powder, beef stock granules and salt to taste. Add water, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked.
Add lemon juice, stir and leave to cool before using.


  1. Cheers for your wonderful blog that I only just found when looking at other blogs AND for your sisters blog that even though its defunct, has some really good recipes. I love the idea of feeding the masses quality food that mass producers simply couldn't (and wouldn't!) even attempt. A fantastic mix of colours and flavours and you deserved to make a good profit. I agree with it being hard work though! It's a bit like having a baby...if you wait long enough, the "pain" will mellow and you will try it again ;)

    1. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement, narf7! We learned a lot from the experience which will help reduce the "pain", as you said, if we do this again ;-)

  2. Yum! I have only used beef on a few occasions for curry. Thanks for sharing this and reminding me that it's also a great ingredient. Yours looks delicious.


Your views are welcome and appreciated. Have a nice day!