"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > International Cuisines and Ethnic Cookery
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-02-2012, 06:49 PM   #21
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 5,408
Quote:
"Curry" really just means spice mix and curry powder from a tin isn't really used often in home-style Indian cooking. Instead the curry flavor profile is created by using individual herbs and spices. Some spices are ground from whole, some are toasted, some are given a trip through some hot oil until they "pop" and release their flavor.
Looks like a good recipe, and your description of the spices is spot on.

It's worth noting that "curry powder" is a western invention. As you say, in India, it's not something that's typically used.

I like to think of curry powder more as a seasoning that's best added in small amounts to bring a little exotic flavor to things like egg salad, vegetables, or soup. But it's not intended to carry an entire dish. In other words, generic curry powder shouldn't be used to make Indian curries, as each dish has its own distinct blend of spices.

To use a western analogy, it would be like putting barbeque sauce on everything and saying that's "American food."
__________________

__________________
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 07:19 PM   #22
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
My basic Thai recipe with no additions is to place a modest amount of coconut milk in a wok and heat it up until it's warm enough to dissolve the curry paste. Add some paste and keep stirring until the coconut milk and paste are evenly mixed. Add enough additional coconut milk to suit the size of your full recipe and simmer it for about 20 minutes, stirring as required. Add some fish sauce to taste, stir, then add your meat, poultry, fish, shrimp, whatever, continue cooking another 20 minutes or until the meat is tender. You would add various vegetables as you go along, depending on what kind of curry you're making. This would make a pretty plain curry.

My advice is to google curry recipes and pick and choose whatever ingredients that appeal to you.
Okay I started with some chopped onions and garlic in a little oil, then followed your recipe. No meat--just today's preference.
Broccoli
Radish slices
carrot diced
4 colors strips of bell peppers
pea pods
then added:
fresh ginger
black pepper
salt (wasn't enough and I rarely use it)

It smells good and I like it. The flavors/smells were better after 40 minutes of cooking than they were at 20 minutes.

I think I'm looking for something stronger tasting the next time I made something like this--for a change.

Thanks Greg.
__________________

__________________
blissful is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 08:10 PM   #23
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: here
Posts: 3,612
Bliss, I'm just curious what curry paste you used, brand and flavor.

You seem to be at a stage that I was for many years, just sort of currying something up. You've picked some good vegetables but they're sort of random vegetables. I'm not criticizing--believe me I did that for years. I'm not even sure what jolted me out of my habit of cooking miscellaneous curries.

One day a few years ago maybe I was struck with some sort of insanity, because I got a few Thai cookbooks and did a lot of Internet researching recipes, and for a period of about 6 weeks I cooked Thai food about 6 days a week. I focused on cooking specific Thai recipes, and many if not most of them were curries. At the end of that period I could cook almost anything curry style but I came away with specific curry recipes, much the same as if you go to a Thai restaurant and order off the menu.

So I hope you came away from this with a good experience, and I hope I can encourage you to seek specific Thai curry recipes (or Indian curries if you like them) and follow the recipes, although don't worry too much if you want to change them. That's one of the things I came away with is that you can always leave a few things out or add a few more things in (except for a very few basics).

I think I'm sending a mixed message here. On one hand seek some detailed recipes, on the other hand feel free to change them. I think a lot of intense experience following recipes is a good background for learning how different recipes work, and how to get a perspective on what can be changed.

In my temporary situation I have a very poor kitchen and don't cook much at all. When I have access to a good kitchen like I did in the past, and hope to have again one day soon, I typically cook Asian more than once a week, and the Asian I cook is mostly Thai and Chinese. Out of all of that I probably cook curries more than anything else.

So next time you want to cook curry start a topic and feel free to nudge me via PM and let's see if we can get you cooking a curry that you might find on a restaurant menu. I think you'll benefit from a structured experience rather than an impromptu experience like you're doing now.

And again what brand and variety/flavor of paste did you use?
__________________
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 08:14 PM   #24
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: here
Posts: 3,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post
salt (wasn't enough and I rarely use it)
Put the salt away. You don't need salt in Asian recipes. Soy sauce is salty. Fish sauce (Thai: nam pla) is salty. Asians use salty liquids for seasoning more often than elemental salt like Westerners use.

I suppose there are exceptions but my salt shaker stays in the cupboard when I'm cooking Asian. Don't need it.
__________________
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 08:16 PM   #25
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,113
Thanks.
The brand is "Thai Kitchen" Red Curry Paste.

Oh, and I wanted to add--this is the first curry I've had that I liked. I've never had it at a restaurant.
__________________
blissful is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 08:43 PM   #26
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: here
Posts: 3,612
Ah, okay, I've seen Thai Kitchen brand on the shelves of mainstream supermarkets. "Red" curry is one of the most popular general flavors, arguably the most popular. You should do some scouting and see if you have any Asian markets in your vicinity. If nothing else you'll pay much less for your ingredients, and find more variety and a wide selection of fresh ingredients if you have a local Asian grocer.

Fortunately many Asian ingredients are becoming mainstream in larger cities. See if you can find lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, galangal (not 100% required), Thai chilis, (and if you want to cook more Thai recipes see if you can find "Thai" or "Holy" basil). Many of the necessary ingredients are already mainstream and/or used in so many ethnic recipes that they are widely available, like cilantro, garlic, ginger.

Look for Maesri or Mae Ploy curry paste. Look for much better prices on coconut milk. One of my favorite curry ingredients is coconut cream. I have never heard anybody else discuss coconut cream so I'll have to accept this is one of my own personal quirks, although they sell it. I like it because it's thicker.

Other things I add to curries: shrimp paste (do not, repeat do not, smell it). People think fish sauce smells bad but it's all in their head. Smell some. Put some in a spoon and taste it. Oh BTW do not taste raw galangal. It's horribly bitter, I tasted it once and now I understand its purpose in Asian cooking. Taste some raw ginger, not especially good to munch on either but good to get an idea of what it contributes.

Bliss, do you have any Thai restaurants in your area? If not don't worry. If you liked what you made I think we can help you reach the point where you might even be the best Thai food chef in your area! :)
__________________
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 09:06 PM   #27
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,113
There are some thai restaurants in Milwaukee, a little over an hour away.
I just don't eat out much.
This one is the closest: http://www.lemongrassbistro.com/menu.pdf
I've not eaten there. The menu is interesting, but, if they serve burgers--it doesn't sound dedicated to thai food, to me anyways.
__________________
blissful is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 09:22 PM   #28
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: here
Posts: 3,612
Don't worry Blissful. At least you may become the best Thai curry chef within many miles. I wouldn't drive an hour to eat dinner either.

Scope out your local Asian markets if any, and lemme know what you find.

One of my own problems is facing that I may not always have access to Asian markets since I don't know if I'll end up here in L.A. with all our Asian food options, or maybe I'll move somewhere else with no Asian food. I won't mind seeing if I can help you discover Asian food sources in an area of the country with no Asian food sources because I may end up there too, and helping you will prepare me to help myself if I end up in a similar area.

If I do end up there at least I might end up being the best Thai cooking expert within 100 miles. At present I'm pretty sure I'm the best Thai cooking expert within 100 feet...

Okay 10 feet... I know for sure my dog can't cook Thai... or at least I've never known him to do that...
__________________
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 09:49 PM   #29
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
If I do end up there at least I might end up being the best Thai cooking expert within 100 miles. At present I'm pretty sure I'm the best Thai cooking expert within 100 feet...

Okay 10 feet... I know for sure my dog can't cook Thai... or at least I've never known him to do that...
__________________

__________________
blissful is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
curry

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.