I’m back and today I’m talking about making curry. Curry is a dish from India and other places in eastern Asia. Curry powder is made from a mix of spices including cumin and turmeric. Turmeric gives curry among other foods its yellow color. It also reduces joint pain.
Now, to start the story about curry. I’d never had curry until my brother moved to Taiwan, and I got it at the 7 Eleven over there. Wait, did I say 7 Eleven? The 7 Elevens in Taiwan are totally different then they are back in The States. Besides sodas, snacks and a few odds and ends, 7 Elevens in Taiwan have so much more. They have frozen food you can buy, and they’ll heat it there for you. They even have tables for you to sit down and eat. They also order taxis for you, and you can pick up packages there. They are far more advanced than they are here in the U.S.A. The 7 Eleven curry is the traditional type of curry made with meat, carrots, potatoes and sauce over rice. It tastes great, but there are better curries out there. I was lucky enough to have my brother take me to an Indian restaurant, Mr. India, once when I was over visiting. I thought their curry was delicious. Not far from my brother’s apartment is a small shop that sells curry. This curry can be bought with a breaded pork chop on top. I ate there several times the last time I went over and really liked it. My brother also makes his own curry and he said that I should get curry cubes and try to make it at home. Curry cubes are like bouillon cubes only they are made with curry spices. Like bouillon, they dissolve in hot water, unlocking their flavor. It took me awhile to actually create my first curry, since I wasn’t convinced my parents would want to try it. After finding out that they would try it, my adventures in the world of making curry started.
My first adventure was obtaining curry cubes. Curry spices can be found in the form of curry powder easily. My family has a small container of it in with the spices. I told my brother I had the powder, but he said the cubes were better. Since they can’t be bought in the regular grocery store, in this area, they had to be bought on line. I went to Amazon and found curry cubes and ordered them. What I ended up getting was a year’s worth of curry cubes! Yes, 10 boxes of cubes with 8 to a box. When the curry sauce is made from the cubes, it takes about 4 cubes.
Making curry sauce is easy. I fill a measuring cup with 2 cups of water and then dissolve 4 cubes into it. If I would want it stronger, I could add additional cubes. For a more diluted flavor, I could put in fewer cubes. The water used is supposed to be hot, so with some simple stirring the cubes dissolve in the water making a flavorful sauce.
Here, the fun begins. There are a lot of different ways to make curry. The first couple curries I made were with air-fried pork chops, potatoes, onions, and carrots that I chopped, and mixed with brown rice. The sauce was poured on top of them and the pork chop placed on the very top. But there are other types of curry. Various meats can be used. Various vegetables could be tried. Noodles could be substituted for rice.
Tonight to change it up a bit, I made a shrimp curry over noodles. I didn’t use regular noodles, but I used what is referred to as “zoodles.” Zoodles are noodles made from zucchini. Zoodles are acting as the base for the curry. I made the curry sauce as normal from the cubes. Something else different I did this time was I used an actual recipe. My dad was helping with this and a few substitutions were made. For the stir-fry vegetables, we used mixed vegetables. Chicken broth was used instead of coconut milk and the fish sauce was skipped since my parents don’t like fish. The only other change was using curry sauce made from curry cubes instead of the curry paste, called for, by the recipe. This changed the consistency of it. If the paste was used, the curry would have been thicker than it turned out to be. The other ingredients listed in the recipe were used. This curry did not have potatoes and larger carrot pieces but, instead had mixed vegetables (peas, corn, carrots, and green beans) and scallions.
As I mentioned above the curry was a little different than I expected, though it did taste great. What was different was that it had a defining broth that I didn’t expect. I expected the water to absorb into the shrimp, vegetables, and zoodles. The other noticeable difference is that it looked heavy in vegetables while a curry base normally is a starch. For my curry, it was actually a vegetable. It was intentional to cut back on the starch to make it healthier. What I did not expect was for the zoodles to blend in with the vegetables. What I wanted was for the zoodles to have the appearance of noodles that were green and skinnier since they were made from zucchini. Though it tasted nothing like it, the curry almost reminded me in looks of vegetable soup with less broth and no tomatoes. This appearance was due to the prominence of the vegetables and the excess water still in the dish. As for the taste, the curry flavor itself was lighter than normal. I enjoyed it. It tasted quite good. It was just different than what I had expected.
So as you may have gathered, curries can take on many forms, and they can look vastly different. Curry doesn’t even have to contain starch. The meat in curries can vary. The base that the curry is poured on top of can also vary. It can be traditional rice; it can be any of various kinds of noodles. It can be faux noodles made from vegetables! The recipe called for rice noodles. I went out on a limb, and made noodles from zucchini, to try to make a healthy curry. It worked!
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