Wednesday, March 11, 2009

That's another way to do it.

Sou iu yarikata mo aru.

There was an alternative recipe for curry in my geeky cooking book, so I tried it yesterday.

The basic premise is that you use half the prepackaged curry squares you would usually use in the same amount of water, and use lots and lots of caramelized onions as the substitute thickening agent.

This is the curry base that we use in the Pumpkin Palace, simply because it is the least spicy one I can always find in the local supermarket.

You start by stir frying a couple cloves of garlic and red pepper in oil until the garlic is golden brown. If you're using half the package of curry base (that is, you want as much curry as you would if you were using the entire box), you should use three or four cloves. I wanted half a package worth, so I did two cloves of garlic, and I also skipped the red peppers for the Pumpkin Princess's sake.

Then, to the garlic, you add thinly sliced onions. Lots. There's about 300 grams (2/3 pounds) of onions in the pan.

Sautee over high heat until caramelized. Then, deglaze the pan with the usual amount of water as instructed on your box of curry base.

Add thinly sliced carrots, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about five minutes. Let cool to a temperature that won't melt your blender (for me, this involved leaving it on the stove while I left to pick up the Pumpkin Princess from day care), and blend until you have a smooth puree.

Pour back into pan, add potatos cut in the usual bite size pieces, and cook until the potatos are soft. When the potatos are well cooked, add sugar, butter, and salt to taste.

You may have noticed there is no meat in this curry. You're supposed add something like pork cutlets or pork stir fry (I did unfrittered cutlets).

The taste was, well, different. It tasted less like curry and more like a stew. My family liked it, and I'll be cooking this again, but only when I have the time. The usual method of following the package instructions but using chicken stock is far easier.

Alternative curry recipe (makes equivalent of 1 package of curry base)

3 or 4 cloves garlic
4 dried red peppers (seeds removed) (optional)
2 T cooking oil
600 grams (1 1/3 lbs) onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot
as much water as the instructions tell you to use for your package of curry base
2 large potatoes
2 T butter
2 t sugar
1/2 package curry base
2 t salt

Cook garlic and red peppers in oil in a large frying pan or pot until garlic is golden brown. Add onions and sautee over high heat until caramelized. Remove red peppers, saving them for later. Add carrots, deglaze pan with water, and simmer for 5 minutes, then cool. Process in blender in batches until completely smooth. Pour back into pan, add potatoes and cook until tender. Turn off heat, add butter, sugar, salt and curry base, and mix well until the curry base is evenly melted into the curry. Put red peppers back in mixture. Serve with rice and whatever meat you have.

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