Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Curry - moving away from paste and doing the real stuff


Potato Curry

I had been using curry paste to make my curry dishes, which looked something like this, but I decided I need to step away from that and find my own way and my own creation.

Felt, actually, smelled, quite nice. Initially. Then I decided it wasn't really all that spicy. Even with 3-4 tbs of the curry powder. Then what's below, the cayenne pepper, did me in - including all the confidence I had in this dish:

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let be back up.

Here's my recipe, which shall receive tweaking in the future. . .

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced (but, I love, love, love garlic)
  • 4-5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper (in hind sight, should have been at most 1 tsp)
  • 12-14 red potatoes, cut into squares
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into slivers and then halfed
  • milk, whole and 1 1/2%

I cooked the potatoes on their own. When tender, they're ready; set them aside. In a pan, I caramelized the red onion, without adding any brown sugar; I used some olive oil and on low heat cooked them until they were golden. Then I added the garlic and red bell peppers and let the red bell peppers cook for a few minutes. After that, I added the potatoes to the mixture and added enough milk to barely cover everything. I used a combination of whole milk and 1 1/2% milk. I used a local dairy company that delivers milk right up to my front stoop (and it's merely 24-48 hours from cow to door step) and they carry something that is right between 1% and 2% milk. In go the spices. First I added the curry.

Since it is a curry dish, I thought that ought to be the first to spread its wings onto the food.

Next, some ground cumin.

Into the mix it went.

Then I added sea salt, but I have no pictures to show. Mix well and let simmer (allowing the spices to soak into everything).

My upstairs smelled like the exquisite scent of an Indian restaurant, and all seemed well. I tried the dish (this was before the cayenne pepper), and it didn't seem all that spicy. So, I splurged a bit on cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp worth, and didn't think it was that big a deal. . . until I tasted it. Innocence at first, and then I was on fire. Not just my tongue, my whole face had been assaulted.

Alright, alright, do keep in mind, I am not one of those persons who is highly tolerant of spicy foods. I appreciate spiciness, but I'm not one of those die-hard put hot sauce on everything sort of gals. In vain attempt to fix the problem, I kept skimming the red parts of the soup furiously off the top, hoping, hoping I could temper it somewhat. Even added more milk (note: milk, over anything water based is good for tempering spicy-hot stuff). I threw my arms up (not literally), gave up, and felt like a failure (literally).


My husband came home and had some of my new creation, not over a bed of rice but with flour tortillas, and he said he preferred this versions to what I made in the past. That was definitely news to me, especially after the cayenne pepper attack.

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