Tuesday, January 12, 2010

curry, bitching, moaning.

so, the little one caught some kind of virus that has had him mostly down with fever since sunday. poor creature, he is a mellow little patient for the most part. he is having a tea party right now with hello kitty "and all of her friends", they are also having a sleep over. sounds like a party! he did don his chef coat since i was cooking and he was preparing the tea party fare.

SO i got back in the kitchen because i literally ate fast food for each meal yesterday, barf-o-rama. and not at all conducive to my 40 pounds off by 40 goal. (which is really 50 pounds, secretly. really.) so, i made curry chicken, cause i haven't made it in awhile and i find the process extremely soothing. and, it sounded yummy.

it seems like i only cook south asian food, but really, i cook a lot of different things, granted they are mostly asian, but i cook my native italian fairly often as well. i guess i figure that most people know how to make the other stuff i make, but who knows. maybe there is a housewife in hyderabad wishing i would demystify my pomodoro sauce or something. i will be more inclusive in my food blogging from now on.

anyway, i am still in a major funk about all these stupid medications and their side effects, but i don't really feel like talking about that. i am just disgusted with it all right now.

also, work sucked big dirty hairy dog balls last night, and i am really in a bit of a funk about my job again. don't want to bitch too much about that right now either, actually.

so, on to the tremendous chicken curry recipe and tutorial. i wish i could credit the original recipe, but i have used several and modified them all, so i guess it is fairly safe to call this "tiny's curry recipe". here it is...

now, i make the curry paste. i would not really use jarred curry paste any more than i would use a jar of pasta sauce. i am not being a snob, i just usually really don't like them. so, first, the curry paste. it is easy. well, if you have 87394 spices on hand, it is...if you ever want a pot of mine, i barter. hit me up.

this is for a mild curry paste that my husband can tolerate. he has IBS.

1/4 c coriander(dhania)seeds
2 T cumin(jeera)seeds
1 T fennel (saunf)seeds
1 T fenugreek (methi) seeds
3 curry leaves
1/2 T chili powder
1/2 T turmeric (haldi) powder

(the hindi names for the spices are in case you go to the indian market. plus, my hindi is coming along famously and i am showing off. suffice it to say that you are lucky I am not blogging in devanangari.)

बीकौज़ ऐ कैन.

grind all of these spices in a whatever you use to grind things, a coffee grinder is probably fine, i use a magic bullet. warning: whatever you use will pretty much be dedicated to spices after you use it once or twice for this mixure, or any other south asian spice mixture. potent stuff.

once you have a nice powder, mix it with 1/4 cup of wine or cider vinegar. i have used both with no discernible (to me) taste difference in the final product.

then, heat 1/4 cup of clear oil, i use peanut, in a heavy bottom sauce pot. add the paste and fry it till it becomes very aromatic (as in, your house smells like the local indian eatery) and darkens a bit. also, the oil should rise to the top. while you are frying this up, you add about 5 T of warm water to further emulsify the paste. it is just to make it bind up, it isn't hard.

this is enough paste to make more than one curry dish. refrigerate it. i have kept it up to a month and it is fine. better, naturally, as it mingles and gets richer as it sits. you may need to add more oil to it if you find it to be a bit gritty or dry when you use it the next time. heat the oil, and repeat the above process.

moving on.

i keep a sink full of soapy hot water when i make curries, because the spices permeate everything and even though i take pains to use stainless steel stuff when i cook, some of the stuff (bullet blade and cup, for one) are plastic and i like to throw them in the sink as i go. plus, this embodies one of my rules about cooking, which is clean as you go. i think that not following this rule is why some people think they don't like to cook, cause they make a mess and then have to clean it all up at once. fuck that. prepare everything ahead of time, prep-wise, and clean as you go. those things make cooking so much more fun and easy. i swear by these rules and rue the times i ignore them.

anyway, on to the actual curry. next post.

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