April 21, 2011 by Dana
I always find it amusing to look back and think about what I knew to be true when I was younger. To think back to high school, and look back on those absolutely unquestionable facts of life. The things that if someone tried to convince me otherwise, I would have written that person off.
One of those things, which I 100% unequivocally knew to be true, was that I was going to be a teacher when I grew up. A music teacher, to be precise.
It’s the reason why I spent every moment not in class in a choir. It’s the reason that I only applied to one college (because if I was going to be a music teacher, I was going to go to the Crane School of Music). It’s the reason that I declared my major immediately upon acceptance.
And then, after taking three semesters of music education classes, I changed my mind. Ok, so I didn’t want to be a teacher. But I still knew that I would always work in the music industry. So I switched my major. And I graduated with a degree in the Business of Music.
And then, after working in two different non-profit performing arts administration jobs, I changed my mind. Again. The non-profit world was just not for me.
Today, I’m the Executive Assistant to the CEO of an air conditioning and refrigeration distribution company. It’s probably the farthest thing from a music educator that you can imagine.
If you asked me in high school, college, or even after I graduated, if I ever thought this is what I would be doing, I would have thought you were a weirdo.
And if you told me I would love it? I would have thought you were crazy. Or on drugs. Or both.
I realize, however, that it’s really no surprise that I wanted to be a music teacher; I had some pretty amazing role models. The music teachers in my school were inspiring. They were talented, caring, great teachers, and all around wonderful people. Who wouldn’t want to be just like them?
So when I saw on Facebook that one of my former music teachers was having a tasty Indian dish called Keema for dinner, I knew I had to try it out for myself. I may not be a music teacher, but that doesn’t mean I can’t eat like one. ;)
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 ½ pounds ground turkey
2 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 lb potatoes
6 oz plain Greek yogurt
¾ cup soy milk
¾ cup frozen peas
1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
½ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
When searching for Keema recipes, this one from Food & Wine caught my eye. I loved that it incorporated so many spices, without resulting in a dish that was hot-spicy. The only significant changes that I made were to use ground turkey instead of beef, and to omit the cilantro. If cilantro and beef are your thing, then by all means, go for it.
1. In a large deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute longer. Add the turkey and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Drain off any fat.
2. Add the coriander, cumin, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of the salt to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the potatoes, yogurt, and milk. Bring just to a boil. Cover the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
3. Stir in the peas and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until the peas are just done, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice (and the cilantro).
I am so glad that I tried out this dish, because I absolutely loved it. Even Jake, who made a face when I said what I was making, enjoyed it. I couldn’t find any naan flatbreads at the store, so I served it with whole wheat pita wedges. We loved scooping the Keema into the pita pockets and making mini sandwiches.