Thursday, October 29, 2009

red curry

Well, my life has been feeling more and more empty lately. I wake up in the morning and think, "oh yeah, another day. I know what this is about," and then I get my coffee. Then, after my coffee, I do a bunch of things, and then, finally, I watch a movie. What a routine: coffee, bunch of things, movie. Cooking is sometimes included among that "bunch of things," but writing about cooking is included less and less. Well, last Saturday was a particularly empty-feeling day (not to mention rainy and miserable).

Or maybe it was Sunday. I cannot remember. In any case, I went on an Indian bender last weekend. It started with samosas (they turned out real nice) and ended with this red curry. The girl who sold me the shrimp at the River Valley Market said, "draw the shrimp, draw the shrimp," and so I went home and drew the shrimp (not particularly nice shrimp, I might add).

So that's my "artist's conception" of the dish. I was actually pretty proud of the shrimp. See, I've been drawing shrimp for several years, but I always drew them from the side-view (see the two big shrimp in the middle). This time, however, I made a breakthrough and drew one from the top-view (see the shrimp on the left). Peas, being spherical, pretty much look the same from every angle; hence, I have mastered drawing peas. And the cone of basmati rice? Well, maybe in a couple more years I'll get that right. Anyway, this is how the actual food looked:

Unfortunately, it is impossible to draw flavor. It is possible to draw bouillon cubes and other such condensed flavor items, but flavor itself eludes the pencil, or, in this case, the marker. Anyway, the red curry sauce is quite an ordeal. Rather, making the red curry sauce is quite an ordeal. In brief, this is how you do it:

Caramelize onions in, preferably, clarified butter or "ghee"

Once caramelized, add some minced ginger and garlic, just a bit

Then add powdered spices: curry powder, garam marsala, powdered coriander, chili powder etc etc

(curry powder and garam marsala, by the way, are spice blends)

Then add some tomato paste and cook until rust colored

Then add water or stock

Then cook a bit and put everything into food processor, puree

Then pass everything through a fine sieve

Then return to pot

The result is a curry sauce that is dynamic, rounded, very flavorful.

Choose other descriptive words.



niina said...

I love curries. I make Thai style coconut-based ones rather often, too. I had a Thai coworker gift me with some kaffir lime leaves and they're just excellent thrown in there as well.

carrie said...

beautiful shrimp, following delectable samosas