So OK, I admit it: I designed this recipe as a joke. I really wanted to make an Indian jackrabbit curry and call it “Hare Krishna,” so I did. For those who somehow don’t get this joke, is it a play off the Hare Krishnas, who used to bother us in airports decades ago. I know, I know. It’s kinda hyuk, hyuk humor. Guilty.
There is an ulterior motive at work here, too, however. I know next to nothing about Indian food. And I want to learn. This is one of my first forays into the subcontinent’s cooking (the other being a Goan crab curry), and while I like curry just fine, I am still not sold on Indian food yet.
I think part of it is that every time I’ve eaten it, I’ve been served essentially a stew with some rice alongside and some bread. (I love Indian breads, by the way.) It’s fine, but I never find myself thinking, “Damn, I just gotta have Indian food tonight!”
As for this recipe, it’s fun — and since I used a store-bought curry paste, super easy. You can literally have this bad boy done in an hour. Would I make it again? Sure, but what I really want to do is dig deeply into from-scratch Indian cooking. I want to see what all the fuss is about.
So I ask you, Indians and fans of Indian food: What am I missing?
Rabbit or Hare Curry
I made this with jackrabbit, which like most hares is a dark meat, but unless you are a hunter, hare can be tough to buy. My advice is to either go with rabbit, which is a white meat, or use a similar red meat, i.e., venison or lamb. More or less everything else is easily found in a decent supermarket, so this is not an especially challenging curry.
Serve with rice or flatbreads. A hoppy beer would be your best accompaniment.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter), or vegetable oil
- 2 pounds hare or rabbit meat, cut off the bone and into chunks
- 2 cups yellow or white onion, sliced root to tip
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- A 14-ounce can of tomato puree
- 1 cup plain yogurt (Greek style is best)
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 heaping teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 cup Madras curry paste, or 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish
- Heat the clarified butter in a wide pot (like a sauce pot or high-sided frying pan with a lid) over medium-high heat. Pat the hare pieces dry with paper towels and brown them well. Salt the meat as it cooks. Remove to a bowl once browned.
- Add the onion and saute until it begins to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook another minute.
- Return the meat to the pot and add the tomato puree, water, bay leaves, turmeric and Madras curry paste. Stir in the yogurt and bring to a gentle simmer. Add salt to taste and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Finish by stirring in the Garam Masala and the cilantro. Serve over rice.