Hot and Spicy Kangaroo Curry Recipe
Kangaroo meat, as a type of wild game, is very low in fat. This means that if it is not to be served tough and as good as inedible on a plate, it has to be cooked either very quickly on a high heat, or very slowly on a low heat. I've been experimenting a lot with kangaroo recipes over the past few months due to it being frequently available in a local supermarket but it occurred to me that I hadn't yet attempted to make a kangaroo curry. This recipe is based loosely on the Indian curry that is bhuna/bhoona in that the sauce is comprised principally of onions and tomatoes, together with typical Indian spices. I deliberately made this medium to hot but if you wish to make it milder, you could either reduce the quantity of chillies used or remove the seeds and membranes (which contain the bulk of the heat) before they are added to the pot.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hours 30 min
Ready in: 2 hours 45 min
Yields: 2 servings
- ¾ pound kangaroo leg steak meat
- 1 medium white onion
- 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
- 1 medium red chilli*
- 1 medium green chilli*
- ¾ pint chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 teaspoon medium curry powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
- 6 ounces/ ¾ cup basmati rice (or as desired)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander/cilantro, plus extra to garnish
- 1 large garlic clove
*These medium to larger sized chillies are not as hot as the smaller ones which can of course carry a hefty punch. It is vital to know the strength of the chillies you intend using in order to prevent effective disaster in the shape of a curry which is far too hot to eat.
The kangaroo leg meat used in this recipe came in the form of mini leg steaks. These firstly had to be chopped in to small bite sized pieces with a sharp knife, approximately one inch cubes. The onion was peeled, halved and moderately finely sliced. The chillies were topped and sliced in to discs. Remember to remove the seeds before slicing if you want a milder curry or are in doubt as to the strength of the chillies.
Pour the vegetable or sunflower oil in to a large pot and add the garam masala and curry powder. Put the pot on to a low to medium heat and gently fry the spices for a minute or so to cook off the harshness, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Do be very careful, however, not to burn them or they will become extremely bitter. Essentially, when you can quite distinctly smell them cooking, they are done.
Add the onion slices to the spiced oil and continue to stir fry on the low to medium heat for a couple of more minutes until the onion is just starting to soften.
The kangaroo meat goes in to the pot next and the heat can at this stage be turned up slightly. Fry off the meat, still stirring all the time, until all the pieces are evenly sealed.
Pour the canned tomatoes in to the pot and add the sliced chillies. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock, stir very well and turn up the heat until the liquid just reaches a simmer. Turn the heat right down, put the lid on to the pot and continue to simmer as gently as possible for two hours. Do check it every half hour or so, giving it a careful stir and making sure the liquid level doesn't get too low. If by any chance it is necessary, add a little boiling water to the pot and stir it through.
After two hours of simmering, taste a little bit of the kangaroo meat (letting it cool slightly first, of course) to ensure it is super tender. If not, cook a little longer until this is the case. You should also at this stage, if required, adjust the seasoning with more salt and/or pepper.
When you are satisfied that the kangaroo is tender, wash the rice in a sieve under running cold water. Bring a pot containing plenty of water, some salt and the turmeric to a boil and add the rice. Stir once but well and leave to simmer for ten minutes. Note that rice is like pasta - the most common reason for it "sticking" is not having enough cooking water in the pot.
Add two tablespoons only of the coriander/cilantro to the kangaroo curry and stir it through. Re-cover the pot and switch off the heat. This lets the kangaroo meat rest ever so slightly while the rice is cooking and the flavours of the herb will also gently permeate the meat and sauce.
Drain the rice through a sieve at your sink and let it steam off for two or three minutes. You need to get rid of the excess liquid in the form of steam to further reduce the risk of the rice being sticky. Return the rice to the pot and add the final tablespoon of coriander. Peel the garlic clove and grate it in to the pot. Stir to combine with a fork rather than a spoon.
If you wish, you could simply lay the rice in a serving plate and spoon the kangaroo curry on top. In this instance, the rice was plated on one half of an oval serving plate and the curry on the other half. The remaining fresh herb should be used to garnish the curry.
As with many soups, stews and curries, this dish is very often richer in flavour when served the day after it is made. This is due to the various incorporated flavours having had greater time to infuse. If you wish to prepare this curry one night for a quick and easy dinner the following night, simply prepare as per the instructions above on the first night, omitting the rice. Allow to cool and refrigerate in a glass or stone bowl covered with plastic wrap. Never store a curry in a plastic dish - the plastic will soak up the juices and your dish will be at best irrevocably stained but most likely permanently ruined altogether. On the following evening, the kangaroo curry can simply be gently reheated in a pot while the rice is prepared and cooked. Alternatively, the prepared curry could be frozen for a period of up to two or three months.
Kangaroo Curry Alternative Serving Suggestion
While rice is often served with Indian curries of many different types, naan bread is perhaps an equally popular accompaniment. Where the naan bread is bought pre-made, it is also a simpler serving option. These little garlic and coriander (cilantro) naan breads simply required to be sprinkled with a little water and heated under a hot grill/broiler for thirty seconds each side before being sliced and plated, with the kangaroo curry spooned alongside and garnished as before with a little of the fresh herb.
A third option would of course be to serve a reduced quantity of rice as well as the mini naan breads.