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    • Post in eG Cook-Off #80: The Aromatic, Exotic Flavors of Curry
      Dinner tonight featured a favourite chicken curry, served with a twice cooked eggplant dish, tarka dal, a blob of Ashoka brand mixed vegetable pickle, basmati rice, paratha and in the centre a dollop of.black cabbage mallum.
       

       
       
      The curry is Murgh methi / chicken with fenugreek.
      The recipe is from Meena Pathak Flavours of India. Fenugreek (methi in Hindu) is a complex slightly bitter herbaceous plant. Its very small leaves can be used fresh as you would baby spinach, or dried like in this recipe and the seeds also impart flavour, whether fried off whole, or ground to varying degrees. The fresh leaves are not common here, I’ve bought it once from my Indian grocer friend, and we grew a large pot full...once. The harvest made maybe two meals. The dried stuff and seeds are readily available. 
       
       
      The mise. Chopped red onion, chopped tomatoes, turmeric & chilli powder, in the dish below is roughly ground fenugreek seeds & crushed black pepper, then cumin seeds, chopped garlic, grated ginger, chopped green chillies and a pile of dried fenugreek leaves. There’s a separate plate of chicken thigh diced into one inch bits.

       
      I have a favourite karhai like pan, it’s deep with a rounded bottom. Medium heat, a splash of vegetable oil then cumin seeds til they splutter, onions for a few minutes, garlic and green chilli til the onions take on brown edges. Add tomatoes, turmeric and chilli powder, salt to taste then sauté til the tomatoes are really mushy. Add ginger, the fenugreek and pepper, plus chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked. Here the recipe adds butter and cream, I don’t, and prefer it without.

       
      It’s finished with a good handful of fresh coriander, chopped.
       
       
       
        • Delicious
        • Like
    • Post in eG Cook-Off #80: The Aromatic, Exotic Flavors of Curry
      The  Japanese took the guesswork out of curry and made it into a simple, fast and economical dish. But if you are accustomed to curries from other cuisines such as Indian, Thai or Burmese you might find the taste and even the consistency challenging. But it does grow on you and millions of Japanese consider it the perfect comfort food. 
       

       
      My mise.  I decided to go vegetarian with the butter nut squash that I was given yesterday, onions and carrots. At the last minute I decided to add some green beans because they were there staring at me from my crisper drawer.
       

       
      The curry roux. I used three cubes to about 250 ml water on this occasion. 
       

       
      Vegetables were briefly sautéed (in batches).
       

       
      Water, sake and curry roux added.
       

       
      Simmered for about 10 minutes. 
       

       
      Served over white rice (Kare Raisu). There are lots of recipes on the web and I’m pretty sure you can buy the roux from Amazon. 
       
       
        • Delicious
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    • Post in Baking with Myhrvold's "Modernist Bread: The Art and Science"
      OK, the last loaf just came out of the oven... four of them today, starting with:
       
      Modernist Sourdough
       
      Of course. I usually make at least one loaf of this when I'm making sourdoughs. I tried a different proofing strategy this weekend. I started making the loaves at about noon on Saturday. I machine-mixed, so they were ready for proofing at about 4:00pm. I proofed them at 13°C until midnight or so (so eight hours), then moved them to my normal refrigerator overnight. I started baking at about 11am so the loaves got something on the order of 12 more hours of colder proofing. I prefer handling the dough at the colder temps, it scores more cleanly and seems to retain its shape better. Last weekend my loaves were overproofed, having been left at 13°C overnight. This weekend they were spot on.
       

       
        • Like
    • Post in eG Cook-Off #80: The Aromatic, Exotic Flavors of Curry
      Ooh, I’m in, thanks @Okanagancook !  This topic is so close to my heart (well perhaps a little lower anatomically).
      Curry - a word invented by the British and adopted by the Indians. The cuisine is hugely popular in Australia, it’s not unusual to find an Indian restaurant in even a small country town.
       
      Tonight I made fish in mustard gravy with fresh mangrove jack, a firm white fleshed fish. The recipe is from a book by Meena Pathak (of the Patak curry paste fame), this soft cover book was found in an op shop, best 50 cents I ever spent. 
      The gravy is made with toasted white poppy seeds crushed in a mortar, then blended to a paste with onion, garlic, ginger, green chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric powders and mustard seeds. The paste was fried in a little mustard oil, then puréed tomatoes and water added, simmered for 5 minutes then fish chunks added. I finished it with some lime juice and chopped fresh coriander. 
      Seen below and served with lemon ginger rice, dill potatoes, my (well Madhur Jafferys) everyday okra, tarka dal, a blob of cucumber & mint raita and half a paratha. 

       
      I think there’s about 20 Indian cookbooks on my shelf, plus at least half a dozen books encompassing curries of the world. Charmaine Solomon is a favourite, as is Madhur Jaffery and Christine Manfield. 
       
      It’s probably not wrong to say we’re obsessed with Indian food, (actually, all things Indian). In exactly six weeks time we should be on final approach into Indira Ghandi Airport New Delhi and ready to eat our way through Rajasthan and the Punjab. 
        • Like
    • Post in Dining in Las Vegas: Part 2
      My on-the-cheap trip is over. 
      First night was Chengdu Taste - absolutely fantastic. I met a Chinese friend the next night and he was impressed that I ate there, said, very authentic and mostly Chinese people eat there. I saw so many things on the menu that I haven't seen before. I ordered the Beef with Crispy Rice:

      The next morning I was craving a burrito so bad and ended up at Tacos el Compita:

      Dinner that night was Puerto Rico Express:

      and my last night was Dakao for Bahn mi:

      Capped off with a cucumber mango drink from Zero Degrees:

      Dakao certainly was the cheapest meal at $3.75 ($5 with drink and tax). Chengdu was the best thing I ate and the most expensive at $20 including a pot of tea.
        • Like
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