It was the best of curries….
….well. It certainly was not the worst of curries. That’d suck.
My love for curry runs pretty deep and last week I made two different types: an Indian-ish curry with chickpeas, potatoes, and spinach, which was a brand-new recipe for me; and a normal quick-and-easy Thai mussaman curry with tofu, potatoes, and carrots.
Curry with Chickpeas, Potatoes, and Spinach
I found this recipe randomly on Food.com’s website. I really wanted to try it with the sweet potatoes, but there was no way that Tim would’ve eaten it 😦 so regular potatoes were a must.
It ended up being pretty tasty! I was a bit apprehensive about the diced tomatoes, since I am really am not a fan of most tomatoes, but they cooked down nicely. It was a bit more of a dry curry compared to the Thai curry I made.
Thai Mussaman Curry
This is a commonly made curry in my repetoire of easy meals. I’ve been able to find a brand of curry paste called Maesri that I really like.
1 can of curry paste + 2 cans coconut milk + whatever veggies/protein you want. Simple. Longest part is waiting for the rice to finish cooking.
Besides being fast and easy, it’s pretty cheap too 😛 What more could you ask for? One recipe makes about six portions for us. It’s also really good over udon noodles. Not authentic, but meh… details.
I also read on Twitter today that eating curry can help prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s… now we have another reason to eat it!
I love Japanese style curry. Japanese style curry and (good) ramen are two of my comfort foods from Japan. It totally thwarts any efforts I have to eat totally vegetarian today, but we got the beef from a cow that Tim’s uncle raised, so I am mostly okay with that.
Let’s just start with that this recipe makes use of a concentrated curry roux block, which is not “real” food. Read the ingredients, I don’t know what half of them are. I don’t know how to make this any other way… but trust me, it might not be “real,” but it is good.
I usually pick up Vermont curry medium-hot (not hot at all, actually) from our local Asian grocer, Tsai Grocery.
Of course you can put this amazing-ness over rice, but that’s a little simple and expected.
Japanese curry is not like what you think of with Indian or Thai curries. It is not overly spicy and is more like a beef stew served over rice, udon noodles, inside of bread, with breaded pork.’
Japanese style curry
makes about 8 servings, ~2 cups each
Whole block (12 little squares) of Curry Roux
6 cups of Water
1.5 pounds of meat (beef, chicken, lamb). I used stew beef.
2 big potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 big carrots, peeled and cut into circles
An onion, if you like (I don’t like…)
That’s all! Add all ingredients to a crock pot and set to high.
Cook on high for around 4 hours, then set to low. I stir every once in a while to break up the curry blocks.
Pro-tip: Before adding curry roux to the crock pot, cut it up into thin slices. You could ever omit a cup of water from the crock pot and dissolve the curry roux in a cup of hot water, then add it to the crock pot mixture.
This is the way I made curry on Sunday afternoon and when I took it from the crock pot and into a Tupperware it made ONE GALLON of curry.
Serve side by side with hot white rice or over udon noodles. You can also taste your skill at making some pork katsu and adding that to make katsu-kare, another popular way to eat this dish.
This keeps very well in the fridge for about a week (any fat will congeal on the surface and is easily picked off) and also keeps well in the freezer in an air tight container.
Again, this is the easy way to make Japanese curry. I found some recipes online for a DIY method without the curry block. I’ll have to try that too sometime and compare the taste.
We finally decided to try to make the curry from scratch last night. By “we” I mean I made curry and Tim played with his friend.
There is only one ingredient in here that would make this not vegan/vegetarian friendly, and that is the shrimp paste. Frankly, since I haven’t tried this yet without the shrimp paste I don’t know if there would be a flavor difference or not… but there are so many other flavors in the curry paste that I don’t think the teaspoon of shrimp paste would be a big deal if omitted. Also, if the shrimp paste is not used, I am pretty sure it is gluten-free (I checked out the websites for Thai Kitchen (coconut milk) and Imagine (vegetable stock)).
Curry Paste (made 4 tablespoons)
-6 Jalapeno (?) peppers, chopped. More seeds equals more spicy.We bought what looked thin and spicy.
-1.5 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
-2 teaspoons chopped cilantro (I hate cilantro.)
-1 tablespoon chopped onion
-1 tablespoon garlic
-1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
-2 teaspoons cilantro seeds
-1 teaspoon cumin seeds
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon shrimp paste (optional, if you want it to be vegan. I’ll try it next time without to see if it makes a taste difference.)
-3 “seconds” of vegetable oil (aka pour for ~3 seconds)
-14 ounces of coconut milk
-2.5 cups of vegetable stock
-Potatoes, about 4, in bite sized pieces
-Green pepper, in strips
-Broccoli head, cut sort of haphazardly (lots of tiny bits abounding)
-2/3 cup frozen peas
-2/3 cup frozen corn
-2 tablespoons of curry paste (above)
3 cups of white rice, dry
1 stalk of lemongrass
4 cardamom pods
Before: Chop all ingredients so they are ready.
1.) Combine all curry paste ingredients in a food processor. Grind and chop your way to a paste consistency. I couldn’t get it to be completely homogeneous like the store-bought pastes.
2.) Heat oil in pan. Fry curry paste for a few minutes.
3.) Add coconut milk, vegetable stock, and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are almost done.
4.) Add green peppers and broccoli. Cook for a few more minutes, then add peas and corn. It’s done when the peas and corn have warmed up, just make sure the potatoes are done.
To make rice:
Wash your rice a couple of times. I don’t cook rice on the stove, instead I use a lifesaving Zojirushi Japanese rice cooker with like 5 million settings on it. Unpeel the lemongrass a few layers and cut into about half in long pieces. Give each piece a good whack with a flat knife blade and throw into rice along with cardamom pods.