Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mmmm ... curry

Sat 27 Aug 2006

Saturday night seems to be a good cooking night for food geeks - probably because it's the only time we get a moment to think and spend some time in the market! The Observer Food Monthly recently published a fantastic looking collection of recipes from the new book, Curry. There was a bit of prevarication, because the pictures make everything look fantastic - but in the end, we had to start with a hot and sour prawn curry from Indonesia, served with a potato curry from Pakistan.

Aside from using a ridiculous number of pots and pans it was all very straight forward, and the prawn curry is absolutely delicious - and you could easily make it with either chicken or fish. Because of the tang of the tamarind I'd stick to white meat alternatives, rather than trying to use beef or lamb.

Take your prawns (we used 8 king prawns straight from the market), shell them and rub with sea salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp chilli powder. Leave to one side while you make the sauce.

Heat some oil in a large pan (or wok), add 1 1/2 sliced red onions and fry until they are taking on some colour. Add garlic, ginger and chillis, all minced and fry for a minute or so before adding 1/2 tsp ground coriander. Then add 4 chopped tomatoes (use fresh rather than tinned ones for better flavour) and a good couple of tablespoons of tamarind water. We didn't really know what this was, but just mixed tamarind paste with water. Cook this mixture until the tomatoes are soft, and the mixture begins to thicken.

In a separate fry pan, heat some oil and fry the prawns for just a couple of minutes on each side, til they are just done. Add the prawns to the sauce and keep warm until ready to serve (don't wait too long!).

For the potato curry ... heat some sunflower oil in a saucepan and add some finely chopped onion. Cook the onion until coloured and add a couple of chopped tomatoes. Stir in some sliced red chillis, 1/2 tsp chilli powder and a 1 tsp of cumin seeds. Add 125mL water and cook over high heat, stirring, until the excess liquid has evaporated. Add a couple of large potatoes that you've peeled and diced. Add another 125mL water and ensure the potatoes are coated with the sauce, before putting the lid on and cooking over a low heat until the potatoes are done.

Serve the prawn and potato curries with rice. Top with a sprinkling of chopped spring onions and some fried chopped spring onions. The prawns have a delicious, tangy, citrus taste, thanks to the tamarind - very moreish - make more than you think you'll need! To drink - well, you could go down the beer route, but I enjoyed a 2004 Jardins des Mailis Jurancon Sec. At first, I was a bit concerned about some rather too fruity overtones, but it turned out that the wine went quite well with curry. I don't know that I'd drink it as an aperitif though - definitely needs to be paired with food. Funnily enough, I've just discovered that it was this same wine that Andrew at Spittoon paired less than successfully with the Combinations spiced flat bread a couple of months ago.

And if you're lucky enough to have some leftovers - mix remaining rice into the potato, heat and serve on toast for breakfast!

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Blogger Andrew said...

I seldom cook curry - although was tempted by the recipes in OFM - so never think of it when matching with wine. But at least now I know what to eat with a Jurancon!

2:18 am  
Blogger Alex said...

Hi Andrew - definitely have a go at the OFM recipes! I cook a lot of curry but tend to just chuck a pile of onions, tomatoes & spices in a pan, so it's nice to exercise a bit of restraint and try new things!

Not entirely convinced by the Jurancon match but find matching curry & wine next to impossible - thank goodness for Kingfisher etc!


11:35 am  

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