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David Ross

eG Cook-Off #80: The Aromatic, Exotic Flavors of Curry

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Here is a page out of the companion booklet to the class I took in Chiang Mai... Using a sour curry paste...20180923_203725.thumb.jpg.4fedb9136e2bf6a2a3d3db3857c7e2e1.jpg

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3 hours ago, heidih said:

@Smithy   I sometimes think of curries like stews. A pretty generic trm. With shrimp I like green, but prefer it with coconut milk. If I was in your shoes I'd go with red. What vegetables are you thinking of using?  

 

I had in mind a specific recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's Step-by-Step Cooking:Over 150 Recipes from India and the Far East, Including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Of all things, it includes cucumbers with the shrimp, and I have a lot of lemon cucumbers to use.

 

Thanks for the suggestion on the red. I didn't see this until the dish was already completed, but there will be a next time.

 

3 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

I vote red also.  Do you have some dried coconut?  You could make some coconut milk.

 

Again, I didn't see this until too late. I may actually have some dried coconut, but I ended up doing some wild substitutions instead, as you'll see. I appreciate the instructions on how to make coconut milk, though. I'll use that trick in the future.

 

The recipe in question is "Spicy Shrimp and Cucumber Curry" (p. 71 in the book) and it's a Malaysian curry. The ingredients include said cucumber and shrimp, along with onions (or shallots), garlic, ground coriander, ground fennel seeds, ground white pepper, ground cumin, ground turmeric, hot red chilies, whole fennel seeds, sugar, coconut milk and vegetable oil. I looked at the ingredient list and compared the spices to the above-shown outdated jars of curry paste, and opted for the Patak's Mild Curry paste. What ensued after that bore little resemblance to Jaffrey's recipe, except for the inclusion of the cucumbers and shrimp. Patak's jar calls for the addition of tomatoes to the chicken curry on the label, and it sounded like a good idea. In a true cross-cultural moment, I added:

 

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In place of the missing coconut milk I combined half-and-half with unsweetened almond milk. I omitted the onions because for once we have none in the house.

 

Yes, the whole thing probably was a travesty, but it tasted pretty good anyway, served over rice.

 

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It would have been prettier if I'd garnished with fresh cilantro or parsley, or chopped green onions. My darling thought it needed a bit of sweetening, and fine-tuned his bowlful with Worcestershire sauce. We were surprised at how well the cucumbers worked, but he thought a green vegetable would have been a fine addition as well.

 

Two things I noticed: the sauce was gritty as it came out of the jar, and never smoothed out. I'm guessing that's a trait of the Patak's paste and its not being finely ground. The other thing that happened was that the sauce separated, with a layer of spicy oil exuded from the rest of the sauce. I've read about that happening but don't remember why it happens. Would the coconut milk have acted as an emulsifier?

 

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Hand up. I too am a hoarder of things I picked up at the Asian market and have failed to use. I am 100% a curry novice. 

 

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Not touched the Dopiaza yet as the ingredients required to assemble seem to make a curry far larger than I have freezer space. 

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I remembered this Thai Green Curry with Prawns that I had posted over in the Dinner thread back in 2015.  I was working on it for a class I taught at a local kitchenware store.  It's a good recipe for those of us who are entering into the world of curry cookery. In this photo I grilled large prawns in the shell.  I actually prefer head-on prawns.  Sometimes I stir shelled prawns into the sauce.  Lots of ingredients but a tasty green Thai-style curry.

Grilled Thai Green Curry Prawns.jpgPickled Carrot and Daikon Salad.jpg

 

Thai Green Curry Paste.jpgYellow Curry Paste.png

 

Pickled Vegetable Salad-

½ cup julienned carrot

½ cup julienned daikon radish

1/3 cup julienned green onion

2 tsp. sliced Thai pickled bird chilies

¼ cup rice vinegar

3/4 cup water

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

Place the carrot, daikon, green onion and Thai bird chilies in a bowl.  Add the rice vinegar, water, sugar and salt and stir to combine the ingredients.  Cover and chill the salad until ready to serve.

 

Thai Green Curry-

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. minced ginger

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

3 tbsp. Thai green curry paste

3 tbsp. Thai yellow curry paste

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 tbsp. lime zest

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1/3 cup chopped basil

1/3 cup chopped mint

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

 

Heat the canola and sesame oils in a wok or saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry briefly to release the flavors but not letting the garlic brown.  Add the coconut milk, mushrooms, green and yellow curry pastes, brown sugar, fish sauce and red pepper flakes.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir the curry to combine the ingredients.  Let the curry cook for about 30 minutes for the flavors to come together.  If the curry is too thick add some water.  If you want to thicken the curry, add a slurry of 1 tbsp. cornstarch stirred into 1/3 cup water.

Once the rice is steamed, the prawns grilled and the naan bread ready, finish the curry sauce.  Add the lime juice, lime zest and cilantro, basil and mint.  Add more lime juice as needed and season with salt and pepper.

 

Steamed Rice-

Basmati Rice

Black and white toasted sesame seeds

 

I prefer long-grain Basmati rice for it’s earthy flavor.  The grains cook really well and don’t stick together.  The key to perfect steamed rice is to rinse it before steaming.  Place the rice in a colander and immerse it in a bowl of cold water.  Swirl the rice around with your hand.  You’ll notice the water turns cloudy as the starch is washed off the rice.  Drain the water and add fresh water, stirring and draining until the water is clear.  It will take about 3-4 washes to drain off most of the starch.

 

The general rule of thumb for steamed rice is a ratio of 1 cup rice to 1 ½ cups water.  I use the “knuckle” technique.  Put the washed and drained rice in a rice cooker.  Fill water up to your next knuckle.  In other words, if the rice reaches halfway to your first knuckle, add water to bring the line up to the knuckle.  It works out to be about the 1 cup rice to 1 ½ cups water ratio.  Add salt or other flavoring after the rice has finished cooking.  The rice will keep warm

In the steamer while you finish the Thai green curry sauce.

 

Garnish the rice with black and white sesame seeds.

 

Grilled Naan Bread-

Frozen naan bread, thawed

Olive oil

 

Buy prepackaged Naan bread in the frozen section of Asian markets.  It’s also available at some local grocery stores.  Thaw the Naan bread.   Prepare a grill pan over medium-high to high heat.  Brush both sides of the Naan lightly with olive oil then place in the hot pan.  Grill the Naan until it’s slightly charred and heated through.  Cut in wedges and serve with the Thai Green Curry and Grilled Prawns.

 

Grilled Prawns-

16 large tiger prawns, shell and tail on, deveined

Toasted sesame oil

Chopped fresh mint

Chopped fresh Thai basil

Chopped fresh cilantro

Chopped dry-roasted cashews

Fried Garlic

 

As the green curry sauce simmers and the rice finishes steaming, grill the prawns.  Toss prawns in sesame oil.  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the prawns and grill until pink and grill marks appear, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn the prawns and grill the other side about 2-3 minutes. 

 

To Serve-

For individual servings, place some rice in a small glass dish and lightly pack the rice down.  Flip the dish over into the center of a serving plate.  Place 4 of the grilled prawns around the rice.  Spoon the green curry sauce around the prawns.  Garnish the top of the rice with black and white sesame seeds.  Place some of the pickled vegetable salad on top of the rice.  Garnish the dish with chopped mint, basil, cilantro, cashers and fried garlic. 

 

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I was able to find a few ingredients at the Asian market this morning.  I looked and looked for green cardamom pods but couldn't find any--I could have overlooked it.IMG_5185.JPG.86b27f9c18f233e300ea6c4bb9986a11.JPG

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On ‎9‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 9:53 AM, blue_dolphin said:

 

This link should take you to a list of 214 recipes available online that call for black cardamom - the results of a search on Eat Your Books.  Including several curries and even one for Black Cardamom and Black Pepper Ice Cream

 

I don't know why I didn't think of Eat Your Books.  Mine found 51 black cardamom recipes, one or two of which are even curries.  One of the odder black cardamom recipes was Bugialli's Alkermes of Florence.

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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

 

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Vegetables were briefly sautéed (in batches).

 

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Water, sake and curry roux added.

 

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Simmered for about 10 minutes. 

 

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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. 

 

 

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@SmithyNot sure why your oil separated...maybe the almond milk?  The oil used to cook the spices will come to the surface as the curry cooks. 

Also yogurt will split but you can stabilize it by adding 1 teaspoon corn starch per cup of yogurt before adding it to the recipe.

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@Anna N

 

so its " S & B tasty curry sauce mix "   Medium ?

 

looks very interesting

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25 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@Anna N

 

so its " S & B tasty curry sauce mix "   Medium ?

 

looks very interesting

 

I use this as well.  It comes in different strengths from mild to extra hot, but the extra hot is not all that spicy.  We like it a lot.

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It's here :)

 

I have so much to do and all I want to do is sit down and read this

 

IMG_5187.jpg.bbbf5c19e500ae6113006f91c98cf31b.jpg

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40 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@Anna N

 

so its " S & B tasty curry sauce mix "   Medium ?

 

looks very interesting

 Yes I prefer this brand to the other one which is very common. I think it’s Glico. 

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thank you

 

Ill look for it

 

Im sure Ive seen it around

 

 

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@Shelby  Too bad you couldn't find cardamon pods because they are used to make Charmaine's garam masala on page 35..there are three types.  Garam masala is used quite a bit in her curries....it is a spice blend that can be used during the cooking of the curry or used to finish at the end..just stirred in.  The blend can vary quite a bit depending on the cook.  I tend to use her blend with her recipes and three are three types to choose from.  So, you'll have to order it on line.

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For me, I find it much easier to buy premade masala rather than grinding my own.  Luckily for me, there is a store called Kalustyan's which is very close by that has tons of different varieties of masala, and all are ground fresh.  I think they ship as well... https://foodsofnations.com

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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.

 

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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.

463765F4-F646-45C6-BD82-208BBAD527F7.thumb.jpeg.28590fd136b878cad12e506775f8223a.jpeg

 

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.

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It’s finished with a good handful of fresh coriander, chopped.

 

 

 

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On 9/22/2018 at 8:00 AM, Okanagancook said:

@sartoricWelcome back!  Lovely looking plate.  Thanks for taking the time to post.  I have a couple of questions.  

 

Do you think mustard oil adds flavour to the dish?  I have not used it.

 

I've seen the use of white poppy seeds in pastes before...Madhur Jaffery's recipes I think.  Why are they included?  Is it to bind the rest of the spices for frying or as a sauce thickening agent?

 

I like the look of the rice and dal is my favourite legume dish. 

 

Will you be taking us along on your Rajasthan and Punjab trip (typing while on my knees)?

 

Not sure how to post here, but Julie Sahni has a good recipe for hot and sour garlic-braised eggplant that uses a cup of mustard oil. She gets you to heat it until smoking and then let it cool before proceeding, to get rid of the bitterness. It's in "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking". Our go to recipe for red lentils is in that book too, Bengal Red Lentils with Spices. 

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Japan Airlines serves "Tokyo Curry Lab" as a dish on their business and first class menus.  Apparently it's a partnership with the Tokyo Curry Lab restaurants.  This photo is taken by a passenger in first class so it's not a great depiction, but every other image I've seen of it looks the same, sort of a reddish-brown gravy.  I follow a lot of frequent flyer comments on airline food and this dish gets good reviews.

file-171.jpg

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My  modest contribution to this topic - green curry shrimp soup.  I used Blue Dragon green curry paste.

20180925_194128.jpg

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4 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

My  modest contribution to this topic - green curry shrimp soup.  I used Blue Dragon green curry paste.

20180925_194128.jpg

Not modest at all I think it looks delicious and definitely something I'd make.

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Last night, I made Ayam Buah Keluak from the book Nyonya Specialties (probably pictured several times in the dinner thread)... but without the Buah Keluak as I haven't seen them around in the US - not that I've actually looked that hard.  I first had this dish (among others) in a local Peranakan restaurant in Singapore and loved it - it was my favorite of the night, so I was happy to see that it was a featured recipe of this book, that I got from my local library.  Now, it's in a regular rotation of fast week night dishes since the most time consuming component is the spice paste, which can be made in bulk in advance and frozen.  Every few months, I'll make a batch which winds up making 9-10 meals worth of paste.  In the paste is garlic, shallots, galangal, turmeric, chilis, shrimp paste, candlenuts and curry leaves (I'm probably forgetting some).  The paste is fried in oil and then I portion into 100g portions and freeze.  Making the final meal is fast - I dump the frozen lump of paste in about a cup of water, cover and simmer until the paste defrosts.  While that's going, I make a thick tamarind puree using 25g tamarind and 50g water... add that to the simmering curry along with a bit of salt and MSG, throw in 4 chicken thighs seasoned with a little salt, sugar and MSG, and simmer uncovered for about 12 minutes, turning once in the middle.  It is a very savory curry, and the smell of shrimp paste perfums our apartment (and hallway) for a few days afterward!

 

 


Edited by KennethT (log)
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On 9/24/2018 at 1:34 AM, KennethT said:

Many years ago, I was in Chiang Mai and we took a cooking class - one of the dishes I requested making was Khao Soi, which originates in the area.  I can't find the recipe now, but it used a yellow curry paste, although you could sub in red curry paste in a pinch.  I don't know what to do with the sour yellow curry paste though.

 

Khao Soi is one of the finest things I have ever eaten. It does not, however, use red or yellow curry paste (the paste is yellow however).

 

Kenji has a recipe for the paste on Serious Eats, and there is a branded Khao Soi seasoning made by Lobo but that's a dry powder mix.

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42 minutes ago, Eric Srikandan said:

 

Khao Soi is one of the finest things I have ever eaten. It does not, however, use red or yellow curry paste (the paste is yellow however).

 

Kenji has a recipe for the paste on Serious Eats, and there is a branded Khao Soi seasoning made by Lobo but that's a dry powder mix.

My teacher in Chiang Mai begs to differ with Kenji.. it does use a yellow curry paste, as well as a curry powder called "Hung Lay" powder.  I've made it using her recipe using a red curry paste (I didn't have yellow at the time) and it tasted very similar to what I had in Chiang Mai.

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2 minutes ago, KennethT said:

My teacher in Chiang Mai begs to differ with Kenji.. it does use a yellow curry paste, as well as a curry powder called "Hung Lay" powder.  I've made it using her recipe using a red curry paste (I didn't have yellow at the time) and it tasted very similar to what I had in Chiang Mai.

 

Hung Lay is another paste I have seen (I think I have a packet at home). The first time I tried Khao Soi was a cooking class in Bangkok, and then only in one other restaurant in Bangkok too. My own efforts at home using both the ready mix and Kenji's recipe which I did think was very close to both the Thailand versions I tried.

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