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Old 10-30-2005, 06:31 AM   #1
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Indian Spices

I can't resist talking about what I did yesterday afternoon. I got a call from hubby saying "Claire come down here to Harry's and bring your curry." So I got in the freezer for a quart of veggie curry I always have on hand, and went to visit. Our Pakistani friend had a buddy visiting from London and they both seemed to love my curry. But Syid said he wanted to make curry for us tomorrow (today). So I took him to the spice shop across the street. THAT is what was fun. He hemmed and hawed and debated this combination over that. "Do they have garam masala?" "this curry blend should have tumeric in it, yes of course it does, so I don't need the tumeric". I was in heaven. Needless to say, I'm dying to taste his meatball curry!

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Old 10-30-2005, 09:43 AM   #2
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I've never eaten any curried foods, but am curious about the flavor. What sort of recipe would you recommend for the uninitiated? My husband is pretty good about trying new things as long as I just spring it on him without giving him too much time to think about it.
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Old 10-31-2005, 06:40 AM   #3
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I recommend buying something in a jar or can by the name "Patak". If your curry is likely to be a one-time experience, buying the individual spices to make up a curry will leave you with a cabinet full of spices, and if hubby doesn't like it ... well, there they are. Buy some basmati rice to pour it over. Buy your favorite vegetables (I personally like potatoes and cauliflower in my curries), and your family's favorite meat (since I make mine for the freezer, I make it vegetable and when I thaw it, throw in leftover meat if I have it and we want it). My version of curry is very much a vegetable stew. But I honestly don't recommend buying all the individual spices until you have tried it ... buy a blend (Pataks is usually the entire gravy, but a dry blend, sauteed with onions and garlic, then pour in some chicken stock, works as well). Then, if you like it, you can start buying the individual spices and experiment with recipes.

One thing that makes it fun for a novice is condiments. Buy some chutney, a jar of peanuts. A local Asian grocer will also have different kinds of pickles. In southeast asia and Hawaii some ground coconut. Fresh herbs. For most people, being able to add to their meal like this is fun.

I suspect Yakuta will find this thread and give you a REAL recipe. One of these days we'll meet and have a curry festival!
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:15 AM   #4
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How was Syid's curry Claire? Tell us about it... did he share his recipe with you?
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:54 AM   #5
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For the uninitiated the spices in a curry may be too strong so I agree with Claire that before you invest in a long laundry list of spices go ahead and buy a readymade curry paste (Patak's that Claire recommended is good).

Follow directions to cook or add it to pan and add cut up and skinned chicken to it. Chicken and curry go really well and you may surprised that your husband may actually enjoy it. I also recommend rice with it. Basmati would be good but any other instant kind will work as well.

Ensure you don't forget to garnish the curry with cilantro. It's not just to make it look pretty but is also for the peppery flavor that goes well with Indian food.

It's hard for me to suggest condiments (like pickles) to someone who is not exposed to Indian flavors. Indian pickles can be very strong and are an acquired taste (even the sweet ones).

Instead make a simple raita with plain yogurt, pinch of salt, black pepper and a tiny bit of sugar. To this add a finely chopped onion, tomato, cucumber and some fresh cilantro. Raita, Rice and Curry go well together.
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:12 AM   #6
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Thank you, friends. I can see that I am due for a trip to Carbondale. (I live in Benton, about 40 miles away.) As it's a university town, there are people of a lot of different ethnicities living there, and the grocery stores stock their shelves in accordance.
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:32 AM   #7
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Good grief!!! What a pain! All of a sudden I was tossed off this board! Did I offend someone?

Syid's meatball curry was delicious!!! I make a very strong curry, his was very subtle. I suspect he went easier on the spices for American taste buds ... but it was delicious. Almost anyone could eat it (I cannot say that about my generic Indian/Pakistani curry)(which these guys love). It was a wonderful weekend, and we loved the curried meatballs. But shopping for the spices was the most fun of all.
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:35 AM   #8
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BTW, Constance, when I went on the road, Benton happened to be one of our early stops (assuming it is the same Benton, there aren't too many original names in this country!!). Is your town the cute one with a great prison museum??
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire
Good grief!!! What a pain! All of a sudden I was tossed off this board! Did I offend someone?

Syid's meatball curry was delicious!!! I make a very strong curry, his was very subtle. I suspect he went easier on the spices for American taste buds ... but it was delicious. Almost anyone could eat it (I cannot say that about my generic Indian/Pakistani curry)(which these guys love). It was a wonderful weekend, and we loved the curried meatballs. But shopping for the spices was the most fun of all.
I am glad you had a wonderful dinner!! I also like my curry not too spicy, it seems to me that you get to enjoy the harmony of the flavours better when you are not breathing fire with runny nose... I never tried meatballs in curry, but it is a very tempting idea... but I am not sure if it is proper to use pork in Indian food (I know beef is a taboo in Indian food and I don't eat lamb)... I don't remember seeing it amongst any indian recipes... does anyone know for sure? Yakuta?
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
I've never eaten any curried foods, but am curious about the flavor. What sort of recipe would you recommend for the uninitiated? My husband is pretty good about trying new things as long as I just spring it on him without giving him too much time to think about it.
At times I when I don't want an overpowering curry flavour I like to add a dash of homemade curry powder to things like root vegetable soups (it's wonderful with carrots), mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes and sprinkled over poultry. These can be mild options for your first few goes with the flavour of curry.

LOL, my DH is much the same way Constance, seems that a sudden ambush can be the best plan of culinary attack sometimes
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