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Tuesday 17th August 2021.

August 17, 2021

Welcome to Tuesdays program boys and girls. Busy morning we chat with Colin Machado, Cultural Attaché at the US Embassy, the USA being the guest country at this years virtual book fair.  ” The US Embassy in Panama presents the cultural program that will offer as a guest country at the International Book Fair of Panama. The United States will offer more than 25 virtual activities, carrying out around eight daily activities during the four days of the fair. The large calendar of events will focus on education, culture, science and entrepreneurship. It will include conferences, workshops, talks, book presentations and poetry sessions.

The calendar can be accessed on the website of the United States Embassy in Panama (, through the Embassy’s social networks and the official channels of the International Fair of the Panama Book (FIL).

The Embassy has created three animated characters, representing the cultural ties between the United States and Panama, and who will guide attendees to the different activities. There is Freddy, a boy who came with his parents from California for the construction of the Canal; Rosa, a curious girl who wins a scholarship to study in the USA; and Margarita, the tireless entrepreneur who learns from American entrepreneurs.

Within the cultural calendar, the US Embassy will offer activities with four American creative minds. Authors Michael Conniff and Gene Bigler will present their book ‘Modern Panama’. The author and pioneer in digital journalism, Janine Warner, will give a workshop on digital journalism and entrepreneurship; and the Puerto Rican poet Karl Iglesias will offer poetry sessions.

The US booth will be inspired by the theme ‘American Stories’; provide information on the Embassy’s educational programs; and, from there, the different activities can be accessed through the ‘Mark Twain’ channel.

Also of course we have our Feisty Foodie Sara with us in the last hour today staying with Indian Cuisine. “Today we’re talking about one of my go to Indian dishes…Lamb Rogan Josh!  We want to make sure this dish cooks for about 2 hours, so the lamb can be taken apart by 2 forks.  To go with this dish, we’re going to make a Garlic & Herb Cucumber salad.  A nice refreshing touch to cool down the heat.  A little dollop of yogurt can also add some cooling if you a need a respite (depending on your heat level).  Buy some naan bread (or flat bread) and heat it in a pan with a little brush of ghee!

Lately, I’ve been enjoying a Tequila Paloma (in a can)…. So I thought I’d figure out how to make it from scratch!  It’s perfect complement to your afternoon!  If you can’t find fresh grapefruits, get the Tropicana Ruby Red, it’s my next go-to!

Lamb Rogan Josh (Indian Lamb Curry)


  • 3.5 tbsp ghee, substitute butter if not available
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
  • 5 tbsp tomato purée (tomato passsata)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 750g/1.5lb boneless lamb shoulder , cut into 3cm/1.2″ cubes (Note 6)
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock (375ml)


  • 2 tbsp paprika, normal or sweet
  • 3/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp garam marsala
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder


  • 1/2 tsp extra garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp extra fennel powder


  • 1/2 cup / 125g plain yoghurt (Greek yogurt fine)
  • Chopped coriander leaves, finely shredded ginger, yogurt


  1. Melt ghee over medium heat in large heavy based pot. Add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and cook for one minute.
  2. Add onion and cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until pieces are golden and starting the brown on the edges.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for another minute.
  4. Stir in the spices, cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Mix in the tomato puree and salt, then add stock and mix.
  6. Add lamb, stir, bring to simmer.
  7. Place lid on and adjust heat to low or medium low so it’s simmering gently.
  8. Cook 1 hour 45 minutes, giving it an occasional stir, until lamb is quite tender – use 2 forks to check, it should pry apart pretty easily.
  9. Remove lid, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes (to reduce sauce slightly) – lamb should be very tender by this stage.
  10. Stir in the Yogurt, the Extra garam marsala and fennel. Cook for another few minutes.
  11. Serve with basmati rice, sprinkled with fresh coriander leaves and other garnishes if desired. Cucumber salad and Easy naan – No Yeast Flatbread

 Recipe Notes:

  1. Gheeis pure butter (butter is actually fat + water), has more intense butter flavour than normal butter. Sold at large grocery stores in Australia, sub with butter.
  2. 2. Garam masala– Indian spice mix sold at large grocery stores nowadays. Sub with curry powder.
  3. 3. Fennel powder– This is simply ground fennel seeds. If you can only find fennel seeds, toast them carefully on a dry skillet. Then grind using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. 1 tsp fennel seeds will roughly yield 1/2 tsp of fennel powder. If you cannot find either ground or whole fennel seeds, you can leave this out.
  4. 4. Lamb– shoulder is best, it’s marbled with fat so it’s beautifully juicy once slow cooked until fall apart tender. Trim big hunks of fat but leave some. You want 750g of lamb after trimming.

Do not use leg or other lean cut, it will be dry.

If using bone in, get one around 1.1 – 1.2kg then cut meat off the bone.

5. Storage and reheating– Keeps up to 5 days in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer. Like all stews and braises, it’s even better the next day! Reheat on the stove or in the microwave. If it seems a little thick, loosen with stock if you have some left, else just water. Adjust seasoning if required – sometimes they need a small salt bump the next day.

Garlic & Herb Cucumber Salad


  • 3-4 small cucumbers, cut in ½ inch chunks or 3 mm rounds
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced


  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar (Note 2)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp mixed dried herbs*
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper


  1. Shake Dressing in a jar.
  2. Cucumber:Trim ends then slice about 3 mm/ 1/8″ thick.
  3. Place in bowl with red onion.
  4. Pour over Dressing, toss gently and serve immediately.

*Note:  Mixed Herbs – sub or 1/4 tsp each basil or parsley, oregano and thyme (or other dried herbs of choice)

Tequila Paloma Cocktail


  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice, plus wedges for garnish
  • 2 ounces sparkling water
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ¼ ounce agave nectar or simple syrup, or to taste
  • Coarse sea salt, for the rim of the glasses
  • Ice


  1. Salt the rim of the glass by rubbing a grapefruit wedge around the edge and dipping it onto a small plate of salt.

Mix the tequila, grapefruit juice, sparkling water, lime juice, and agave nectar into the glass. Fill the remainder of the glass with ice. Adjust sweetness to taste. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.


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