Recipes for Love and Murder, the new original mystery drama from Acorn TV, part of the AMC streaming network, serves up a delicious dish in every episode. While the drama creates a thirst to devour every new clue, there’s more than just mystery woven into each episode. Maybe it’s time to discover a recipe that could spark a new perspective on food and television.
According to Acorn TV, Recipes for Love and Murder is based on Sally Andrew’s novels, “A Tannie Maria Mystery.” For those familiar with the books, food is woven into the plot. From familiar dishes to a taste of culinary creativity, food is an integral part of every story.
Bringing food and stories together can make people want to move on. While these family recipes may be archival, fictional tales can create excitement about bringing something new to the table. Just as the written word can transport readers to a new world, flavors on the plate can encourage people to explore the possibilities of flavors.
What can viewers expect from Recipes for Love and Murder?
In the new TV series Acorn, Tannie Maria is a newspaper revenue writer turned advice columnist. Along the way, a mystery ensues, and this advice column is more than just a positive word to change perspective. While the who-done-it provides twists, it’s the food that satisfies when the strangers swirl.
Beyond the mystery, Maria’s advice column finds a way to share a recipe with this positive mantra. As in real life, food is the common language that unites people. Even when people can’t get along, come from different backgrounds, or have difficulty communicating, the food on the table can be that common thread.
The first episode of Recipes for Love and Murder, Bereft Woman, airing September 5, sets the stage for the season. As Maria learns that her recipe column is leaving and agrees to become an advice writer, the column takes a turn when the writer of the first letter meets her demise. But, there is more to this story.
The first recipe in the Recipes for Love and Murder episode, an exclusive reprint for Foodside, is Mutton Curry. While this dish may not be in some people’s rotation, the robust, layered flavors provide the nuanced dish is a celebration of flavors coming together.
Like any great curry, the dish takes time to develop. Unlike unraveling the details of a mystery, each layer must build on itself. It’s the sum of the elements that make that first bite a perfect satisfaction. If a part is missing, the curry is not complete.
Here’s how to make mutton curry from Recipes for Love and Murder.
- 2.2 lb mutton shanks for the round necks
- 1 cup flour mixed with 2 tbsp. Salt and 2 tbsp. fine black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, grated
- 3 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp. ground turmeric
- 5 c. paprika
- 3 peppers, chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 medium sized brinjals cut into cubes. Salt for 5 minutes, rinse and dry.
- 4 tbsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
- 6 cardamom pods, broken
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 2 cans chopped whole peeled tomatoes
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 2 cups prepared strong chicken broth
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp. garam masala
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Start by tossing the meat in the flour, salt and pepper mixture until well coated.
- Heat a large pan and brown the meat on all sides, do not overcrowd the pan. This will give the curry a deep, intense color, add lots of meaty flavor, and help thicken the sauce. Reserve the meat to rest.
- In the hot oil, add the chopped onions and stir vigorously to loosen all the bits of dark meat. Fry until golden, add garlic and ginger at the end and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove and reserve.
- Then add the turmeric, paprika, chillies and olive oil to the pan and sauté vigorously until all the flavors are released. Then add the brinjals and fry until translucent and brown.
- Return the cooked onions and meat to the pan and mix well, then add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, crushed cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, 2 cans of tomatoes, tomato paste and 2 cups of chicken broth. Heat and stir until it begins to bubble.
- Place in the oven at 320°F and cook for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and let it cool. Leave the curry overnight in the fridge.
- One hour before serving, boil the potatoes in salted water, drain them and add them to the curry with the garam masala.
- Place the pan in the hot 360°F oven for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has thickened.
- Season to taste and stir in the chopped cilantro
- Serve with tomato, onion and cucumber sambal, chutney and thick mint yoghurt.
- Recipe note: Prepare 24 hours in advance, this is essential as the meat should cook slowly, be really soft and tender, and allow time for the flavor of the spices to develop.
While some people have never cooked mutton, the mutton dish deserves a moment of reflection. The simmered recipe is all about developing the flavor. As the curry sits, the flavors meld and develop. Never too spicy, it’s a robust flavor that will make people want to take another bite.
If mutton is not a favorite protein, consider a swap. While other proteins will need to be adapted for the recipe to be suitable, the premise of this curry is one that could keep people coming back to the stove to experience more. In some ways, learning to cook might be the mystery that keeps people coming back to the kitchen.
Recipes for Love and Murder airs on Acorn TV. Two new episodes debut every Monday through October 3.