It’s a little after 4pm and I’m sitting here in the living room swatting mosquitoes away, while I scroll thru social media and the woeful pleas of residents near and far. It’s hot today, humid really and there’s a weird buzz in the air. The energy is frenetically charged with anxiety, hope and worst of all, fear.

Outside the dump truck provided by Public Works pick up the bins they droppers off this morning for residents to throw their debris and yard waste from Irma in. And now we lay in wait for the mistress of the sea, Maria. We don’t know what to expect, we are told that it will strike St.Croix as a Category 5 Hurricane, so now know we’re in trouble. It’s now 3a and I’m still awake because…what else should I be doing? The anticipation is unnerving. It’s the not knowing that is the hardest. The last weather update says the storm has battered the Leeward Islands especially Dominica. We are directly in her path and she’s projected to make landfall early Wednesday morning.

We are boarded up, prepared, praying and hoping for the best, but deep in our soul we are preparing for the worst. Our sister islands, St.Thomas & St.John have already taken quite a beating. The road to recovery is long road and arduous, regardless we will continue to do our best to help. It seems we are headed down the same path, so now we just stand here #VIStrong and wait.

If you can, please send up prayers and postivity for all of us in the Caribbean and see you all on the other side.

 

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In the weeks and months leading up to #BlogHer17 I participated in most if not all the twitter chats led by the lovely Melissa Wells. I laughed a lot and I learned more. The word that I used up and til that time in regards to my attending the conference was ‘exciting’, because I was just that EXCITED AF! There was no other word to describe it. Rewind to this weekend when 2000+ bloggers and influencers descended upon the Hilton Bonnet Creek Orlando and that excitement turned to amazement. So I’ve moved on guys, I went from feeling excited to being amazed.

This was my first time attending #BlogHer17 or any blogging conference for that matter and the experience was…AMAZING (what did you expect me to say?) I have been blogging off and on for years but was never consistent though it was something I really wanted to do and thought I could excel at sharing my stories with a greater audience. Over the years I’ve paused, faltered and just plain quit. Last year I knew I wanted to really focus on my blog for the 1-7, and then the new year rolled around and apprehension set in. I spoke to my good friend Zahra of My Kawaii Life and she and I both agreed I needed something to motivate me and light a fire under my ass, that fire was #BlogHer17.

I’ve been a big fan of the BlogHer community for years and considered attending #BlogHer15 but you know…life got in the way. But this time around the stars aligned and the universe worked in my favor and provided me the opportunity to attend. The weeks leading up to the conference saw me in prep-mode, I ordered business cards, created a media kit, was more social on my social channels, I hit ‘publish’ more. Those seem like simple things but they helped me to get clear on what my blog was about, more importantly, what ‘I’ wanted it to be about and the direction that I wanted it to take. It made me set goals, think outside the box, figure out my USP and gave me the clarity to focus. Amazing right? Here are My Top 5 Highlights and the Top 4 things I Learned at #BlogHer17.

 

Highlights

1. #BlackGirlMagic meetup #1 in the hotel lobby Thursday night. Luvvie brought jollof rice y’all, and I didn’t have any foil! Can you imagine?!? An old co-worker once told me that I should always keep foil, saran wrap and a Tupperware container around because you never know what could happen and you want to be able to wrap up a to-go plate.

I also got to see Oneika of Oneika the Traveller who I haven’t seen since London 2012. It was great to reconnect, so proud of all that she’s doing right now. I finally met Danielle Faust of OK, Dani, Tyra of BarrisTourista and a few other ladies there during the jollof competition.

Oneika and I at the #BlackGirlMagic meetup Thursday night.

 

1a.) #BlackGirlMagic meetup #2 on Friday night, the lobby of the Hilton was packed with the best, brightest and fiercest black bloggers. The energy and the love there was off the charts and when we all got together and posed for a picture shouting ‘BLACK GIRL MAGIC’ everyone in the building turned around and took notice, because you know… #melanin, you can’t have all the ladies from the lands of Nubia in the same place and not expect us to shine.

 

#BlackGirlMagic Meetup #2 Friday night- The #Melanin Takeover photo credit: Danielle Faust

 

2. Listening to the G.O.A.T aka Serena Williams’ lunch keynote. She was amazing (we already know that she is though). She reminded us all that as women especially, we shouldn’t be afraid of winning, we want to be the best. And there’s nothing wrong with working hard to get where you want to be and enjoying the gifts of your hard work.

 

 

 

 

Serena reminding us all that we’ve got to play to win.

 

Luvvie at her keynote sharing her story and reminding us all to pursue our dreams.

3. Luvvie (again) who killed it at her Keynote and talked about her glow up. A lot of people think Luvvie is new to the blog game but she’s been around FOREVER in internet years and has a great following that she grew organically. Her keynote resonated with me for many reasons because she spoke about not fully committing to her blog and her business at first and still looking for a regular 9-5 but then once she had one she realized she couldn’t go back to that because she was built to work for herself. And working for yourself is hard work but the rewards are worth. When you work for yourself you have to promote yourself and she mentioned as women sometimes we shy away from that. She reminded us all that “If you don’t promote yourself no one else will.”, and she’s totally right. That lit a fire under my tail so my plan is to not only hit ‘publish’ more often, but to promote myself and the blog more as well. There’s room up here for everyone to shine y’all.

 

4. Meeting celebrity chef Carla Hall at the Best Buy booth in the expo hall. Carla’s nice, it’s not fake nice, you can tell that’s her genuine personality. She was very warm and friendly and we chatted about the Virgin Islands and our tallness. She’s awesome there’s nothing else to say than she is AMAZING! I got a copy of her new cookbook as well.

Carla Hall is Chef Bae and she’s a #tallgirl too!

5. I had the opportunity to attend the preview screening of Girls Trip movie starring, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Regina King and Tiffany Haddish. I have an unspoken rule that any movie that Queen Latifah is in that I HAVE to see, so I planned to see it upon release but was stoked to see it earlier. There was popcorn and cocktails in the screening room and we had a blast, everyone was singing, dancing and having a great time watching the film. I KNEW since The Queen was in it that it would be good but it turned out to be… (you guessed it) AMAZING! I’ll definitely be headed out to see it when it’s released on July 21st.

It made me miss hanging out with my girlfriends like we did in college, but you know life gets in the way and distance grows but no worries. I’m planning to get together with them all again soon. It’s part of my #Summer17 tour!

 

 

1. YOUR VOICE MATTERS
The days leading up to the conference I felt super prepared and then anxious and a little fearful. What could this island girl from a gem in the Caribbean Sea provide to the blogging/social influencer world that wasn’t already there? #BlogHer17 helped me realize that it was…MY VOICE. Throughout the weekend I got to connect with tons of gorgeous, smart, brave, incredible women. I learned a lot from them and the sessions I attended as well. It was like the first week at a new school with very, very cool kids, you don’t know anyone and you kinda hate that you’re alone and you’re a little scared then someone gives walks over while you’re sitting alone at the lunch table and a super cool kid comes over and sits with you. That what happened all weekend, super cool ladies and guys randomly came over to me or I to them at breakfast, lunch, in line at the bathroom, at the hotel bar, in the lobby, in the elevator, at the pool, in line at the snack bar. The immense feeling of support and community I felt all weekend was overwhelming.

 

 

 2. STRANGERS DON’T ALWAYS POSE DANGER
For little kids and seedy people in back alleys…maybe. But at a conference not so much. I met the coolest, wildest, smartest, laid back, honest, fashionable, happiest and bravest women all weekend because we just happened upon each other and sat down and said ‘Oh…hey…What do you do?”

 

Our lunch was sponsored by Walt Disney World’s World of Pandora. I met some fabulous ladies during lunch at my table.

3. SUMMER  IS THE SEASON OF FLORALS

If you know me personally or thru these internet streets you know that my love affair with floral prints is deep and true. I LOVED seeing so many beautiful floral pieces this weekend. I will say everyone came out in their best. Also, shout out to the love lady in the gold sequined gown that I shouted ‘GIRRRRRRRRRRL’ at as she strutted across the conference space. I didn’t get a pic with her but she is now and forever my style inspiration to show up and show out!

4. COMMUNITY & TRIBE ARE IMPORTANT

I met tons of people this weekend that all had their toe in the world of blogging in some way, shape or form. Bloggers, content creators, brands, sponsors, etc.. they all brought something different to the table and as a part of the BlogHer community, we’re all able to exchange ideas and get feedback as well as support from the newly formed tribe we met over the conference. We are all different but that’s what makes us all awesome, the stories and perspective we share with each other to weave a story not only for other just like us but others who don’t know anyone just like us is beyond comparable. Shout out to Hannah Elizabeth, who I didn’t actually meet until after conference but we shared an Uber to the airport after #BlogHer17 was over.

 

My new blogger babes! From top left: Rebecca of An Ernest Living, Kay of  Traveling Kay. Bottom left: Trinity of Fitness All Ways and J.Enovy of  Tall District.

 

 

 

5. EACH ONE. TEACH ONE.

I didn’t get to attend all the sessions that I planned to but the ones that I DID attend were very informative and have me ready and roaring to implement new changes to the blog, which once I get my thoughts organized you’ll be seeing a few before the end of the summer. I reviewed all the sessions that would be available prior to the conference so I picked the ones that I felt would be more beneficial to me. I want to take the time to thank the panelists of sessions I attended for being so in-depth, thorough and opening to us all. After my last session, I stayed behind to speak with the panelists Kat Kinsman, author of Life with a Bad Case of Nerves & Senior Editor of Extra Crispy,  Johanna Cook, of Momma Cooks, Jane Ko of A Taste of KoKo , Beth Lee of OMG Yummy and Yvette Marquez author of Muy Bueno Cookbooks who led the#BrandSwitchUp workshop. The session they led was great but being able to stay after and having the opportunity to speak with them one and one and bounce ideas around with them was priceless. I know I’ve made lifelong connections not only with them but with other bloggers at the conference as well.

 

So all in all, did I enjoy myself? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. Did you connect with anyone? HELL YES! I can’t wait for next year. Tell me, have you ever been to a blogging conference? What did like/dislike about it and why? Let’s conversate in the comments.

 

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Hi, all, short post today. If you follow me on social media (which you should 🙂 or read my last post, I think I mentioned briefly about all the things I’ve been getting into these past few months. One of them was Remote Year. So without further adieu, I am proud to announce that I have become a Remote Year Ambassador! Remote Year is an amazing program that enables just about anyone to embrace the digital nomad life. It’s the 21st century and working remotely is the new norm. Many start-ups, as well as small businesses, operate with completely remote teams, and many traditional companies and even government agencies offer to telework in some capacity. You guys know that I run my own business and work remotely. Before I opened my business I worked from home for major tech brands including, Apple and Uber. Add to that, I have been fortunate enough to live, work and study all around the world and know how important cultural immersion is. Traveling and working abroad can broaden your perspective as well as boost your productivity and creativity. It’s 2017 and you don’t have to be chained to a desk to produce high-quality work and suffer from burnout. I for one can attest to that. I love having the ability to work from wherever I want and travel when I can, as opposed to a set number of vacation days be allotted to be. I’m Springborn so 2 weeks vacation doesn’t work for me nor my spirit.

I know there’s so many of you guys who are looking for a new adventure that can help you grow both personally and professionally. I’m happy to be able to extend the same opportunity to all of you. If you or someone you know is interested in leaving the monotony of cubicle life behind, tired of the mundane 9-5 and ready to step out on faith and embrace the digital nomad life, or if you just have questions. I’d love to tell you all about the program and get your feedback.  I’d be happy to hear from you all, so just drop me a line with and let’s have a cyber cuppa and a good long chat.

Until next time…let me know if you’ve ever worked remotely, considered it or if you’re a digital nomad. What made you take the leap?

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After a brief hiatus and a few hectic weeks. I’m back! bright eyed, bushy tailed, happy, hopeful and ready for change.

Spring has sprung and I’m here for it! It’s my birthday month as well so I’m super excited for no reason in particular…just that…it’s my birfday y’all! I plan to keep it low key that way there’s a less likely chance for disappointments. And trust I know what disappointing birthdays look like.

But that aside let’s get back to what I’ve been up to. I’ve been keeping busy with client work which is great! Being a small business owner is hard work but I love helping others, offering services that benefit them and their business as well. Happy clients make for a profitable business. I have a few projects winding down, a couple starting up and a few in the pipeline. If all goes well I’ll be accepting new clients in the late Spring/early Summer.

I’ve also registered for the #BlogHer17 conference which will be in Orlando this year. Crazy excited about that trip and looking forward to connecting and learning with tons of amazing women! I’ll also get to reconnect with an old friend while in town so yay for me! It’s Orlando so I plan to check out Disney World’s newest attraction, Pandora. It should make for an epic start of the summer.

If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram you’ll know that I’ve been back in St.Croix for the past few months. We had our annual Agriculture Fair during President’s Day weekend. The AgFair is very much like the county fair stateside. Lots of livestock, farmers, planters, and cooks showcasing their best and brightest. It draws a big crowd, especially from our sister island of St.Thomas, our cousins in the British Virgin Islands and our down island neighbors from Dominica, St.Vincent, and St.Lucia to name a few.

 

If there’s a line, you know its guaranteed to be good!

 

Corinne has some of the BEST pates on island.

Here on our sleepy, super chill island things have been shaken up the past few weeks. March 31st marked the 100th anniversary of the transfer of the Danish West Indies to the United States. This transfer was made for 25 million in gold coin. You can check out the official VI Transfer Centennial website here.

There has been much controversy surrounding this centennial anniversary as well as the celebration of transfer day in general. Many locals feeling that we left one oppressor for the next and that it should not be a day to celebrate. The relationship between Denmark and its former colony is not a romantic one. But a tumultuous one filled with strife, resistance, sorrow, heartache, and anger. The exploitation of people and theft of their resources to build the economy of another is a familiar story to many with a connection to the African diaspora. And truth be told it’s a tangled web. Though I understand and agree to some extent with the anti-centennial group in that this centennial event should not be looked upon as a cause to celebrate. I do however think this is major cause to start a conversation for Denmark to recognize and acknowledge their hand in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and how it affected to citizens and descendants of its former colony. For the United States to discuss the second-hand citizenship the territory has. Hundreds of thousands of talented tax paying individuals who have contributed to the fabric of the America we know and love. Thousands who have served their country proudly in battle, defending her honor and shores but still not allowed the right to vote. For the citizens of the Virgin Islands to be allowed full participation in the political processes that govern our country and for both Denmark and the United States to finally open their eyes and LISTEN and UNDERSTAND what’s going on here in the local community and providing the support and resources to build and sustain a harmonious and profitable economy. That’s the conversation I want and pray to see happen. We are making steps towards that but the outcome of this remains to be seen.

I did attend a few centennial activities (really and truly to see where our taxpayer dollars went). I attended a lecture at St.Croix Landmarks Society called Breaking the Silence: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and saw the related exhibited which was created and curated by local students. They did an amazing job and led a very spirited and heated discussion between locals and students who were visiting from Denmark. Hot topics included: reparations, a public apology from Denmark, plus the after effects of slavery and colonialism and Where so we go from here. Most importantly how do we heal? Executive Director Sonia Jacobs-Dow also shed light on two children who were taken from the St.Croix under Danish rule to be displayed as exhibits at the Tivoli Gardens. I plan to do a separate post on that so stay tuned for more on that story.

The next day I attended the Centennial Ceremony in Christiansted. There was a parade (which I missed) and a program (which I didn’t get one because I was late). But you can find a digital copy of the centennial program here. The ceremony was a dual program celebrating the 100th anniversary itself as well as a citizenship ceremony welcoming 20+ newly minted American citizens. It featured remarks from Delegate to Congress Stacy Plaskett, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke as well as many others.

 

Transfer Day Ceremony in Christiansted

The following week I had the opportunity to tour the Tall Ship Danmark, which is a training vessel from Denmark that sailed to the territory to commemorate the Transfer Day celebration. The ship is manned by a crew of 60 students and 11 full-time staff members. Built in 1933 it has been used as a training vessel. The crew invited the local community to come aboard and tour the ship. Some joked that the last time locals were invited on a ship they were kidnapped and stolen from the Motherland. I don’t see the humor but the comment once again shows that as a community on a whole we have a lot of healing to do.

 


The ship was impressive albeit a bit tight in my opinion to house such a big crew. It was nice to chat with the students who are training to sail on the ship, many are in high school. I think that it’s an awesome opportunity to get such hands-on experience and sail the world. It’s not for everyone but I still think it’s awesome. The ship departed Tuesday afternoon and it’s currently on its way to Bermuda. You can view the ship’s current location here.

 

With the Centennial activities behind me and March coming to a close it was time to get ready for the St.Croix Food and Wine Experience (#STXFWE). I try my best to go whenever I’m on island, there are tons of events during the week but my favorite is Taste of St.Croix, where local restaurants, chefs, mixologists, and farmers come together to highlight the best of both worlds: locally grown and sourced food as well as some of the best culinary creations in the region.

 

Taste of St.Croix is held at Divi Carina Bay Resort and is the place to be and be seen. I literally have little no pictures of this event because I spend most of my time eating and drinking to my heart’s delight. I did manage to sneak in a pic with St.Croix’s own Crucian Contessa.  She has an amazing food blog that you guys should be sure to check out.

One of my favorite foodie friends, The Crucian Contessa.

 

The eats at Taste of STX here are always delicious and innovative and as mentioned early they highlight local livestock and produce. Add to that being in rum country the cocktails were a standout as well, BES Craft Lounge and Zion Modern Kitchen had libations that left me more than a little bit happy and joyous, to say the least.

Ms.Sweets and I at #STXFWE, partners in crime and wine…always!

Friday evening saw me enjoying more eats right in my backyard at Sunset BBQ on the Frederiksted Pier. Once again local restaurants showcasing some of their best-grilled dishes, lamb ribs, black bean burgers, yucca fries and shrimp kebabs, to name a few. Listen when I say we get down and burn when it comes to cooking I mean WE.GET.DOWN!!! St.Croix is an absolute food lovers paradise and the preparation of food is always down with so much love and respect.

Ran into a good friend, Ms.X at Sunset BBQ.

 

Saturday night saw me at the Bohlke Airways private hangar for Wine in the Warehouse. This time I managed to get a few shots in between stuffing my face! This was my first time attending this event and it was truly a treat.

 

 

 

 

Beet Hummus Arepas with local microgreens

 

Chocolate Mousse with Candied Mangoes

 

 

St.Croix Finest, DJ Swain

And then like that St.Croix Food and Wine week was over! Until next year that is….

My birthday rolled around last week and I was back in celebration mode again. This year I kept it pretty low key, celebrating with my close circle instead of planning some big to do. I spent my pre-birthday eve, with the lovely Ms.Sweets at Zion Modern Kitchen. I had a great birthday dinner with family and close friends who I consider family at the Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort. I had an amazing time am grateful for another year of continued blessings and success. With the state of the world right now and the continued exploits and frustrations caused by #45 and his administration. I realize although it stays weighs heavily on me (y’all I was having NIGHTMARES) I can’t let it take over my well-being. So I’m back on track and ready to blog it out with ya.

Happy Birthday to Me #TeamTaurus

This post has gone on forever so it’s time to wrap it up but not before letting everyone know that I will be attending the BlogHer 2017 Conference in Orlando in June. This is my first year and I’m excited! I’ve been to Orlando a few times as well as to Disney World and Universal Studios but it’s been about 10+ years since my last visit so I’m stoked to not only attend the conference, but I’ll also have an opportunity to connect with a few close friends and if I play my cards right, get to check out Disney’s World of Avatar attraction at the Animal Kingdom park. That will be epic for sure!

Well, guys that about wraps it up for now and should bring everyone up to speed. Has anyone else been to Taste of St.Croix or visited my home island of St.Croix? What about BlogHer? Ever attended? Any tips and advice? Disney World? Any attractions you suggest I see? Orlando? Where to go? I’ll be in town for a week so I’m open to suggestions. Til next time loves.

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Dry Meat CurrySo while I was studying in London some Uni friends invited me out for lunch at Tayyab’s, I’d never been a fan of Indian style food so my first reaction was to say no. But seeing as I was new to London and I decided to give it a try. I figured it be a great way to get to know my new classmates and just hang out and try something different. Let’s just say the foodie in me was extremely satisfied.

Since it was a group of us we ordered a bunch of different dishes, off the top of my head, I recall us ordering Karahi Chicken, Channa, Pilau Rice, Tandoori Naan, Garlic Naan, AND a side of lamb chops because one of my friends INSISTED that we needed them (in her defense, we did and they were delicious). We also ordered Dry Meat, which, when I initially saw it on the menu I wondered to myself what exactly is Dry Meat? Is it like jerky? In the US when you say dry meat that’s what would initially come to mind. But on that splendid day that we went to Tayyab’s I came to find out just what exactly Dry Meat was, one word…AMAZING!

Note: Dry meat is not jerky in any way, shape or form; it’s more of a curry/stew without all the sauce (if that makes sense). So the real focus is on the flavor of the meat, not the sauce that can sometimes over power a dish. In dry meat curry, the meat and the spices are what take the spotlight. I’m no food connoisseur but to me the spices used add a level of depth and complexity to the meat, it’s savory, smoky, warm, spicy, with an underlying hint of sweetness all at the same time, and the meat in itself is so tender and just falls apart. In a way it reminds me of Masitas de Puerco a Cuban pork dish, which is delightful as well.

After our massive lunch we had to have dessert. If you ever meet my circle of girlfriends from London, you’d learn a few things:

1.) They’re all insanely smart and good-looking, super funny and down to earth. (What can I say, birds of feather…)

2.) They really like to eat… A LOT.

3.) Dessert is a necessity, NOT an option.

So after our sensational, spice filled meal we needed to get our sweet on. We settled on a pista kuftis and some other confectionary delights.  I didn’t even know what I a kufti was, but I sure did find out. It’s basically ice cream on a stick, this version is made with just a few ingredients: fresh cream, sugar and pistachios. It sounds so incredibly simple but the flavor is so decadent it should be outlawed. It should be noted after the first one, we were all in heaven and thought we couldn’t (more like shouldn’t) have a second, but my dear friend Ori quickly stated, ‘Don’t think about it, just do it before the feeling passes.’  So there we were…with yet another pista kufti each and relishing in satiated glow of a leisurely early winter afternoon lunch. It was simply divine.

Since then I’ve been in deep love with Tayyab’s, I sing its praise. I think about it often. I can taste it even when I don’t have it. This is one of my favorite meet -up spots with friends.  I recommend it to anyone I know living in London or visiting London. I Yelped about it, Four Squared it, Tweet it, it’s that good. Here it is almost 2 years later, and I’ve moved on from London, spent some time living in Thailand, then back to the US and made my way back to London for graduation this past Spring. And you can imagine Tayyab’s was one of the places that I just had to go to, matter of fact, on my last visit to London this past Spring I made my way to White Chapel in the middle of the most freakish, cold, dark and dreary Spring day, with my mother in tow.  Because I would be damned if she came all this way and did not partake in the deliciousness that was Tayyab’s. I actually took her to some of my favorite London eateries because that’s you do when you’re playing tour guide to your Mum.

We battled the elements and then waited in line for almost an hour before she was turned into a believer, and she was sold. She loved it!

I find myself from time to time craving that Dry Meat Curry from Tayyab’s so I’ve been doing research off and on for the past year because I decided, ‘As God is my witness, I will never be without Dry Meat again (in my Scarlett O’Hara voice)! So it’s been a thought in my mind the past couple of months that I need to get this Dry Meat project underway. So in September I rediscovered this recipe fromRice & Pickle that I wanted to try.

Since then it’s been like an Amazing Foodie Race, to collect the ingredients, to me the ingredient/spice list seemed long but I’m assuming its because many of the spices called for I don’t readily have available because I don’t normally cook Indian/Pakistani/South Asian type fare, beyond the occasional curry, which is more Caribbean style.

In the past month I’ve made several trips to the Farmer’s market, Halal market, grocery store, foraging for ingredients and comparing prices, trying as not to break the bank on what I like to refer to as my most epic meal project to date. Some ingredients I had a hard time finding (lamb stock), and others I’d seen and then they disappeared (ghee) so I ended up making my own. So as you can see this has been a Foodie labor or love.

 With almost ALL the ingredients, I set forth to get to work on this epic meal of yum-ness. Which took two days, in between the ghee and lamb stock making and the marinade prep. It finally came together in the wee hours of the morning and I can say without a doubt that I am truly pleased with the results.

Here’s the recipe below.

Dry Meat (adapted from Rice & Pickle)

500g lamb shoulder, fat trimmed, and cut into 2.5cm cubes

For the meat marinade

6tbsp -plain yoghurt

1tbsp -gram (chickpea flour)

1tbsp -mustard oil

1 thumb sized piece -ginger, peeled and blended to a paste

7 garlic cloves -peeled and crushed or blended to a paste

3 green finger chillies-finely chopped (**I substituted 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes because I refused to go back to the farmers market to find finger chillies!)

1tsp -white sugar (**I substituted organic cane sugar)

2tbsp -lime juice

2tbsp -coriander leaves, finely chopped

3/4tsp -salt

Directions: For the marinade: combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, mix with the lamb until well covered.  Then, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. I combined all ingredients and blended them in my Ninja.

 

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For the curry paste

2 ½ cm -cinnamon sticks

½ tsp -mace, ground to a powder (**I used ground mace)

4 -black cardamom pods, ground to a powder

4 -green cardamom pods, seeds removed from pods

8 –cloves (**I used ground cloves)

1 tsp -black peppercorns

1 tbsp -coriander seed

1 tbsp -cumin seeds

½ tsp -fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp -dried fenugreek (methi) leaves

1/2 tsp -chili powder

For the masala paste: you need to get toasting your different spices, which will take different times.  Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat.  When hot, toast your different spices. Once all tasted, remove from heat and leave to cool.  Then, grind all the spices together until a fine powder.  Combine with the chilli powder and mace.  Add 2tbsp water and combine to make a thick paste.

 

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Time to to cook the curry!

3 tbsp -ghee, butter or groundnut or vegetable oil (**I used homemade ghee)

2 large -onions, peeled and finely chopped

500ml -lamb stock  (**I used homemade lamb stock as well)

1 tbsp -white sugar (*cane sugar)

1 tsp -garam masala

Small handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped

– When you’re ready to cook, heat a large heavy frying pan over a medium-high heat.  When hot, brown the pieces of lamb in batches (shaking off as much marinade as possible as you go, but reserving the marinade).  This will result in smoke – you want to ensure you don’t leave too many burnt bits in the pan.  Once all browned, set the lamb aside.

 

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-Put the frying pan back on a low heat, add the stock and scrape up the all the browned bits in the pan (taking care to try and avoid too many very burnt/blackened bits).  Keep the stock to one side.

-Heat the ghee/butter/cooking oil in a medium, heavy saucepan or pressure cooker.  When hot, add the onions and sugar.  Cook over a low heat until the onions are completely softened and lightly browned – around 25 minutes.

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Add the masala paste to the pan, turn up the heat slightly and cook for a further four minutes until incorporated, and the oil is separating from the paste in the pan.

Add the lamb and marinade to the saucepan and stir and cook for a further five minutes.  Then, add the stock and bring up to the boil and then turn down to a low simmer, covered, and cook for around 2 hours.  If you are using a pressure cooker, at this point, clamp on the lid and take up to pressure, maintaining this for around 40 minutes.

-Once cooked, uncover, turn up the heat and cook down the sauce until it is just clinging to the meat (it’s not called dry for nothing).  Add the garam masala, stir and cook for a further five minutes.  Add salt to taste, the coriander leaves and serve. 

 

Dry Meat Curry-Finished Dish

 

Et voila! I served my Dry Meat Curry with a side of homemade channa and some tandoori roti I got from the halal market.

I’m so happy that I was able to successfully recreate this dish! I will definitely be making it again, since it takes a bit of work I think I will keep this in my arsenal for special occasions. Hopefully soon I’ll make some Pista Kufti.

Just for fun, my friend (Hey Andy!) suggested since I still have all my receipts I should create an itemized price list to compare with what I’d spend at Tayyab’s. Total ingredients cost roughly around $75, the cost for this meal at Tayyab’s  (kufti not included) would run £15-16 (around $25), in addition to my round trip airfare, hotel and Oyster. So I think I came out ahead! 🙂

Have you ever had a meal from a restaurant that you just couldn’t get enough of? Let me know!

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