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Merkinz

Curries for Pot Luck

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So I've been invited to a light hearted 'Curry Cookoff' which for most people will be just a pot luck but for a few (myself included) it will be a fun challenge.

 

Now I suspect that everyone will be bringing their best version of their favourite Indian or Thai curry as that is all that anyone eats around here. So I figured I could create a bit of variety but taking along something quite different or unsual but still sits under the 'Curry Umbrella'.

 

Its quite broad when you really start to think about it so I need a bit of help with what might be some good options (recipes or where to get recipes would help but are not essential at this stage).

I don't have any criteria at this stage i.e. It doesn't necessarily need to be mild, and it doesn't necessarily need to appeal to all!

 

So far I've been quite interested in Ethiopian curries but I've only ever had one in my entire life (and it was goooooood). South African curries, althought these are quite close to indian curries. I'm not so sold on Japanese curries for this but I do love them.

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My favourite curry is beef rendang. Slow cooked, melt in your mouth beef chunks thickly coated with a thick, rich coconut curry gravy. Very popular in Malaysia and Indonesia as a celebratory meal with coconut rice.

Let me know if you want a recipe - I am getting one from a friend that has just been to Indonesia.

Simon

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The thing which occurs to me is to make a goat curry.  In the States, at least, this would be somewhat outre.  There's a Caribbean version, derivitive of Indian but with a few quirks, especially the use of habanero chiles for heat.  Don't know whether this suits your objective, but it's what I'd do.

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So I've been invited to a light hearted 'Curry Cookoff' which for most people will be just a pot luck but for a few (myself included) it will be a fun challenge.

 

Now I suspect that everyone will be bringing their best version of their favourite Indian or Thai curry as that is all that anyone eats around here. So I figured I could create a bit of variety but taking along something quite different or unsual but still sits under the 'Curry Umbrella'.

 

Its quite broad when you really start to think about it so I need a bit of help with what might be some good options (recipes or where to get recipes would help but are not essential at this stage).

I don't have any criteria at this stage i.e. It doesn't necessarily need to be mild, and it doesn't necessarily need to appeal to all!

 

So far I've been quite interested in Ethiopian curries but I've only ever had one in my entire life (and it was goooooood). South African curries, althought these are quite close to indian curries. I'm not so sold on Japanese curries for this but I do love them.

You are not quite correct about South Africa curries. Yes, there are a lot of Indian style ones due to the Indian population in the north eastern region of the country (Kwa-Zulu Natal). However, there is also a large population of Cape Malay people in the Western Cape region who make a very different curry known simply as Cape Malay Curry. It is a far milder curry, using different spice mixes compared to the Indian curry. Do a search on the net for "Cape Malay Curry" and you will be surprised. I will try and dig up a recipe and post it for you later in the day.


Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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Why not make bunny chow? You could maybe serve it in small diner rolls instead of the usual half loaf. A relatively simple bean curry served in a soft roll. So long as you have some way of keeping them warm, I think this could work.

 

EDIT
 

As for the India-derived sort of South African curry, it's my understanding--and I suspect I may be open for correction on this--that over the years they've the region-specific attributes you'd associate with an actual Indian curry. i.e. Northern and Southern Indian cuisines are different (and there are numerous subdivisions within those broad categories) whereas curries that have entered the ... canon via South Africa have a general sense of Indianness about them. People used what they had and/or lost the attachment they had to specific regional styles of food preparation. Plus there was probably a bit of cross-pollination with the Cape Malay, etc.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Nepalese cuisine is very, very tasty, and also unusual in the West in comparison with Indian or Thai. It is somewhat similar to Indian and to Chinese (or more accurately Tibetan) food, but with unique spicing including bay and nutmeg as well as the common Asian aromatics, and a herb called jimbu that only grows in this region. It seems lighter than Indian dishes to me. You can recognise some of the words if you are familiar with Indian takeaway menus, for instance alu = potato; dal =  bean stew; roti = bread; pulao = rice, but the dishes themselves are different; pulao is fried rice rather than steamed; roti is made of rice flour and ring-shaped; alu tama is a curry that includes bamboo shoots. Curries are called tarkari.

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It's probably worth noting that this 'event' is currently a couple of months away so I have plenty of time to practice and learn a few things :)

 

My favourite curry is beef rendang. ... Let me know if you want a recipe - I am getting one from a friend that has just been to Indonesia.

 

I'd love a good Rendang recipe! Very much so. This is something I'd love to add to my quiver regardless of this potluck :)

 

The thing which occurs to me is to make a goat curry.  In the States, at least, this would be somewhat outre.  There's a Caribbean version, derivitive of Indian but with a few quirks, especially the use of habanero chiles for heat.  Don't know whether this suits your objective, but it's what I'd do.

 

I've seen a bunch of local butchers stock goat as well so might be worth a try. I've also seen 'rabbit' at one of the local butchers. I wonder how that would go down. Shock factor would be good

 

You are not quite correct about South Africa curries. Yes, there are a lot of Indian style ones due to the Indian population in the north eastern region of the country (Kwa-Zulu Natal). However, there is also a large population of Cape Malay people in the Western Cape region who make a very different curry known simply as Cape Malay Curry. It is a far milder curry, using different spice mixes compared to the Indian curry. Do a search on the net for "Cape Malay Curry" and you will be surprised. I will try and dig up a recipe and post it for you later in the day.

 

Corrected! I almost feel a little ashamed about how little I know of South African curries seen that I was born there ! ! ! :wacko:

 

Why not make bunny chow? You could maybe serve it in small diner rolls instead of the usual half loaf.

 

I like this idea. It would have to be a killer curry in there though. My mum made this occasionaly growing up, love this dish.

 

You could always make currywurst from scratch.....

 

I really like the idea of bringing something 'curry related' that is not simply a curry, and curryworst is on that track. However I haven't heard many good thing about curryworst, but alot of bad!

 

Nepalese cuisine is very, very tasty, and also unusual in the West in comparison with Indian or Thai. It is somewhat similar to Indian and to Chinese (or more accurately Tibetan) food, but with unique spicing including bay and nutmeg as well as the common Asian aromatics, and a herb called jimbu that only grows in this region. It seems lighter than Indian dishes to me. You can recognise some of the words if you are familiar with Indian takeaway menus, for instance alu = potato; dal =  bean stew; roti = bread; pulao = rice, but the dishes themselves are different; pulao is fried rice rather than steamed; roti is made of rice flour and ring-shaped; alu tama is a curry that includes bamboo shoots. Curries are called tarkari.

 

Cheers! I will track down and make a couple of Nepalese curries. Nice to know a little about the naming too.

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CAPE-MALAY CHICKEN CURRY

Ingredients:

1 large chicken, jointed, or 1.5 kg chicken thighs (I use boneless thighs)

salt & milled black pepper

vegetable oil

2 large onions, roughly sliced

4 star anise

1-2 green chillies, seeded and finely sliced

2 sticks cassia or cinnamon

5 ml crushed garlic

5 ml crushed green ginger

15 ml roasted masala (see below)

5 ml turmeric

5 ml ground cumin

5 ml ground coriander

2 ml ground cardamom

3-4 large ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped

500 ml coconut cream

Method

Remove and discard the chicken skin. Season meat with salt and pepper.

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and star anise until the onion is golden. Stir in the chili, cassia or cinnamon, garlic, ginger, masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cardamom and sizzle for about 30 seconds – don’t burn. Add the tomato and coconut cream.

Add the chicken to the pot, cover and simmer very gently for about 1 hour, until cooked. Check and adjust the flavour if necessary.

Tip the curry into a warm dish, removing the star anise, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with yellow rice.

ROASTED MASALA

Ingredients:

150g coriander seed

125g cumin seed

50g dried red chillies

25g black peppercorns

2 cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces

5g whole cloves

15 ml cardamom pods, slightly crushed

25g turmeric powder

25g ground ginger powder

Method:

Place the coriander, cumin, chillies, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom into a dry frying pan and roast, tossing now and again, until the mixture is aromatic. Remove from the heat and mix in the turmeric and ginger. Allow to cool and then grind fairly finely with a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder. Store in a screw-top bottle in a cool dark place.

This makes about 400g but can be scaled down to make about 100g.

The curry can be put into a number 3 potjie - borrow one from a Saffer in NZ. For those who do not know what a potjie is, it is a small version of the pots that the missionary's were supposedly cooked in, in Africa. It is bulbous in shape, made out of cast iron and has three legs - the bigger the number, the bigger the pot.

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Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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I've seen a bunch of local butchers stock goat as well so might be worth a try. I've also seen 'rabbit' at one of the local butchers. I wonder how that would go down. Shock factor would be good

 

A long time ago, a Jean-Georges restaurant in NYC (specifically his Thai restaurant Vong) did a rabbit curry - it was basically a yellow curry with the leg meat cooked a long time until tender, but the loin was cooked briefly, separately, so as not to get overcooked... There was also a small skewer of cubes of cooked rabbit liver, and the vegetable in the curry... carrots (to go along with the rabbit theme).

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I also suggest a Caribbean curry, which was mentioned upthread. I remember it from a local Caribbean restaurant where I went with some friends. The curry is Indian-influenced, with adaptations to Caribbean ingredients and tastes. Sorry I can't offer any specific recipes. I haven't cooked this kind of curry, I only know of it. If you google "Caribbean curry" you'll get links, including recipes. Jamaican goat curry is mentioned, and sounds intriguing.

 

The restaurant is Miss Ollie's in Oakland, for anyone interested. I've only eaten there once, but my friends and I liked it and I would go there again (have been planning to, actually). The fried chicken is a must. http://www.missolliesoakland.com/menu-1/

 

I've also tried Nepalese curry at a local Nepalese restaurant, and I thought that was very good too. I thought the Nepalese curry showed a strong influence from Northern Indian curries.

 

Beef rendang was probably the most popular dish when EGulleters cooked through James Oseland's Cradle of Flavor cookbook several years ago. The recipe is here:

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Beef-Rendang Enjoy!

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Rendang might be another good choice. It's inauthentic, but I'm fold of Zak Pelaccio's recipe. The fact that it's a bit moister than the classic might help it withstand the conditions of a pot luck, too. 


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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In any case, it might be an idea (just a suggestion) to read up on how "curry" is an Anglicized short-cut to refer to these sort of dishes, just in case anyone challenges anyone at that pot luck; :-) and that any specific dish of this sort, even an authentic "Indian" dish, would not have the term "curry" in its specific name in its natural language in whichever regional cuisine it belongs to in the South Asian subcontinent.  Ditto other Asian regional dishes, in a general sense, although the term "kari" appears here and there too. ;-)

 

p.s. In addition to the other suggestions already listed for something different, consider Nyonya dishes, if you can get your hands on the requisite ingredients for recreating stuff that closely approximates those dishes. :-)  Try "Kari Kapitan".  (There you go, the term "kari" is used there in its name)


Edited by huiray (log)

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Singapore Rice Noodles might be something to consider.

 

Yes, it is, a.k.a. "Singapore style mei fun".  Just be aware that it is a dish that doesn't really exist in Singapore but is found in American-Chinese food and other places outside of Singapore.

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Keen to try that Cape curry thanks JohnT :)

 

At the moment for my 'entry' I'm leaning toward a Beef Rendang. I was reading the Wiki page on Rendang today and was blown away by how awesome it is. This curry has such a cool story behind it (cultural significance, meat preservation etc.). I'll do a test run within a couple of weeks.

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I made the Cape Malay curry last night. It's good.

Glad you liked it. It comes from an elderly Cape Malay woman who has a small spice shop near me. She is like a computer and has everything stored in her head - not a written recipe to be seen! I go in to chat to her every now and again and if I need a recipe, she just rattles it off whilst I scribble it down. I will be trying her mince Samoosas and vegetable Samoosas soon, which she gave me the other day. They are also a mild spiced snack which Merkinz may think about for pre-dinner finger food with that glass of beer or wine.


Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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