DIY: Italian Tomato Sauce With Curd Cheese Steak — Environmentally Conscious Cooking
We want to popularise the use of milk or curd as opposed to people eating meat, like they’d eat spaghetti and meatballs or have a steak. But Prabhupada has pointed out that the milk of the cow is nothing but the blood which enters the udder and is transformed into milk by inconceivable, mysterious power of the cow. Although milk is just grass and water which is ingested and digested by the cow, by the great, wonderful arrangement of Krishna, this animal is able to take useless (practically, for all human purposes) hay or grass and transform it into milk, which is really the most perfect food. Today we’re going to suggest that people, instead of eating a slab of meat, should learn to accept curd or curd steak, which is actually much better nutrition-wise, economic-wise, environmental-wise and time-wise. In every respect.
curd (fresh cheese) Note: 1 gallon of milk makes approximately 1-1/2 lbs of curd. Needed: 1 gallon milk, juice of 1 lemon, or approximately 3 Tbsp juice
Bring milk to boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, and as it rises to the top of the pot, pour in the lemon juice and stir. Curds will separate from whey, which should be clear yellow with slight trace of green. If milky, add slightly more lemon juice and heat up until the curds are entirely separated. Place a colander in the sink (or over a pot, if you wish to collect the whey, which is itself highly nutritious and can be used to make a protein drink or for other cooking purposes), Line it with a tea towel or muslin cloth, and pour the curds and whey into it. Gather the curds in the cloth, and grasping the ends of the cloth, twist it to squeeze out the whey from the curds. Allow to cool slightly, then squeeze out as much whey as possible. Press curds together in one lump, wrap up in the cloth, and place into the colander. Lay something heavy on top and leave for a few hours, or overnight in fridge.
2 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
10 – 12 tomatoes, cut into halves
1 Tbsp Hansadutta’s spice mix (see recipe below)
1 Tbsp Italian mixed spices
2 tsp black salt
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp raw sugar
Cook the curd steaks:
Heat ghee in skillet. Lay tomatoes face down. Sprinkle spices, salt and sugar over the tomatoes. Cover. Cook over high heat for short time – 5-7 minutes, or so. When tomatoes are soft, the juice bubbling, remove from fire, and scoop tomatoes and juice into a sieve, pushing the pulp and juice through to a bowl or pot beneath. Dispose of the skins.
Now, heat approximately 2 Tbsp ghee in skillet, slice curd however thick you prefer, lay the pieces on the skillet and fry over moderate fire till each side is browned. Pour tomato sauce over them, allow to simmer for a few minutes, offer to Krishna and serve!
Hansadutta’s spice mix (all ingredients fresh-ground into powder):
10 parts turmeric
1-3/4 parts nutmeg
2-3/4 parts coriander
4 parts cumin
1 part chili
2 parts asafoetida (hing)
1/4 part cinnamon
1/8 part cloves
1-1/2 parts ginger
2 parts fenugreek
1/4 part cardamom