Here I am at the tenth installment of Blasphemous Meals! I am nearly halfway through Bazillion Points’ Hellbent For Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook by Annick Giroux, and it’s been such an incredible journey.
My confidence in cooking has grown significantly since I first attempted Proto Metal Lamb Shanks Braised in Burgundy by Warpig’s Dana Snitch. I’ve delved into the culinary underbelly of what realmetalheads eat around the world by scouting foreign ingredients at ethnic supermarkets, marinating meats days in advance, and sampling the sounds of bands that make metal global.
The world has embraced heavy metal with open arms, and as a result, we have received the gifts of culturally inspired sub genres, documentaries that prove cynics wrong, and a shared love of food best paired with spinning vinyl records.
In this blog, I’m taking you to South Asia, where you’ll discover what I consider my second favourite cuisine to West Indian. There are herbs, colours and spices galore. I’d take hearty bowls of curry over my ethnic staple of pasta any day, so I am glad Annick went across the map in Hellbent to dish these out.
Get your summer going and enjoy my renditions of three South Asian recipes that are hotter than hell and a pleasure to eat.
Words and photos by Ola Mazzuca
Atomic Aalu Power
By Babar “Iron” Shaikh of DUSK
I’d take this over diner homefries any day. Give me an aloo pie – slight – from Drupati’s, or a plate of aloo gobi from Bhojan Bhandar and I’m happy. Potatoes and aromatic spices are a perfect match and Babar “Iron” Shaikh’s Pakistani breakfast side is a fitting example.
Diced potatoes, chopped tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder, and crushed green chilies infused as the ingredients simmered in water for 30 minutes. Perhaps the most interesting spice required was Kalonji. Often referred to by its plant name, Nigella sativa, or street moniker “black cumin,” Kalonji has a bitterly robust aroma and taste. It resembles a black sesame seed and is commonly used in liqueurs and confectionary, from Armenia to Indonesia. In Islam, it is considered a cure of all diseases “except death.” It’s no wonder Shaikh dubs the dish Atomic Aalu Power. Let’s take note and consume this for breakfast every day.
Vegetarian “Beef” Masala
By Jason Healey of ATOMIZER
I don’t eat tofu. But Melbourne, Australia’s Jason Healey sure does. The original recipe called for soy protein beef cubes. I just couldn’t do it. So I cheated by adding double the amount of vegetables; pumpkin, bodi beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes. The results? Not enough curry. Despite the unequal ratio of vegetables to gravy, the dish was balanced and fragrant with vibrant orange sabji masala. I just need to come to terms with conforming to instructions.
This pretty much sums up how I feel about soy protein:
Bengal (Chicken) Curry
By Vetis Monarch of WEAPON
There seems to be a pattern with this installment of Blasphemous Meals.
Vetis Monarch (Mashruk Huq), frontman of Calgary blackened death metallers Weapon, takes a stab at Atomizer by choosing real beef for this golden curry inspired by his native Bangladesh. I turned the tables on Monarch by using chicken (Sorry, Annick).
At the end of the meal, does it really matter? This curry was fantastic. The fine blend of turmeric, cardamom, ginger, garam masala, cumin and chili hits you a few seconds after each spoonful and the gravy reduces to a perfect consistency. It’s one of those better-the-next-day meals, especially when eaten from Tupperware at the office. When served in an intricate dish, you can dress it up like I did with fresh coriander and stone-baked naan.
Weapon disbanded in 2013, but cheers to Monarch for sharing what he considers Bengali comfort food.