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Judy Wilson

[Modernist Cuisine] Kerala Curry (5•96 and 6•224)

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One reader wrote to us to ask:

"I tried the kerala curry sauce (6-224). I tried to be as accurate as possible. Nonetheless I feel it didn't end the way it was supposed to be.

1. The recipe calls for curry leaves. I had dry ones. As I was pouring them I felt there were too many (5 grams!), then I thought, maybe they meant fresh curry leaves! Is that correct?

2. Second, my "sauce" ended like a curry paste. THere was no way I could "simmer" this for 45 minutes. In an attempt to recover what was clearly a failure, I added 200 g more of coconut milk and that seem to have averted a total failure. I checked egullet and somebody seem to have had the same problem:


scroll to find the posting by anna:

So it just seemed possible this morning to attempt an MC recipe and I chose the Goan Curry Sauce (page 224 of KM). [...] The last step in making the sauce is "Simmer for 45 minutes". At this stage of the recipe, and I followed it very closely, one ends up with a very small amount of "sludge"...

So it seems that there might be a "bug" in these recipes, or the variability in the ingredients is not making them work for some of us.


Thanks again, for all the hard work,

daniel german"

From coauthor Maxime Bilet, and Anjana Shankar of the kitchen team, I received the following advice:

1. Yes, the curry leaves are supposed to be fresh. You can buy them at Indian or Asian grocery stores (personally, when I made the Masala curry, I bought mine at Uwajimaya in Seattle. Though I just tossed in the called for amount, I might have been better off chopping them up).

2. Thickness of sauce can depend on a variety of things, such as the actual heat of your range (even on low) and the width of your pan. How finely you chop the shallots called for in the recipe can also be a factor. While the goan sauce does indeed have an error in it (as noted on the errata page) in the amount of water, the amount of coconut milk called for in this recipe is correct. That doesn't mean that you can't use more, of course, especially if you are trying to balance out working with a particularly fickle stove, for instance.

Has anyone else found this recipe to be too thick?

Judy Wilson

Editorial Assistant

Modernist Cuisine

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I had the same issue and my edition which seems to be the first has the order in the third section with all the dry spices wrong. However the manual(vol. 6) seems to be correct.

Normally coconut milk for me is the canned one, white as cow milk. But perhaps this calls for fresh coconut water.

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