A Blog Mainly About Food

If by "mainly" you mean "sometimes"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Turkey Curry and Assorted Nonsense

Last night I believe I figured out the secret to my mother's chicken curry (even though I used turkey). I've been struggling with curries for a while; true homestyle curries are a far cry from the dishes you get at your average Indian restaurant and are more satisying than explosively flavorful. Think of it like restaurant American cuisine versus Mom's.

Here's how it all went down

1 lb turkey, pre-cooked
1/2 large white onion, sliced thin lengthwise
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Madras Curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
Kosher salt, as needed
flour, as needed

Add the curry powder, cumin, chili powder, and vinegar to the water. Stir and set aside. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and garlic, lower heat to medium-medium high. Saute until soft and translucent. Add the turkey and the spice mixture. Stir it all together and then bring the mixture to a boil. If you're lucky, it should have an earthy yellow coloring at this point. Add flour while stirring (like a risotto, to avoid clumps) until you've reached the desired level of thickness. Note that the flour might dilute flavor--feel free to add more curry powder, chili powder, or salt to taste. Let the mixture simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice--or with bread, if you're so inclined.

This recipe is a basic one and can be altered to your tastes. For example, you can add tomatoes for a nice red curry, or yogurt for a creamier sauce. Also consider the possibilities of tandoori spice, fresh cilantro, jalepenos, green (or any other color, though it would get sweeter this way) peppers, whole peppercorns, sour mustard, or any number of other ingredients. I'm considering making a variation using basil and chicken stock for a more Thai flavor, or maybe pickled mango if I'm in a Burmese mood. The variations are endless.

In other things, I've been feeling a little out of sorts lately. Call it pre-holiday tension. Thought I'd lost my beloved ring, but I quite literally remembered where it was in a flash while I was sitting at my desk. That's the good news. The bad news is that the lightbulb in our living room is out and I have to ask the neighbors to borrow their ladder again--that sucker is really high up. All sorts of things going pear shaped lately. Oh yeah, and I ran over your cat. Sorry--Mercury is in retrograde! (hah)

Yesterday I also learned that I'll have to wait until the New Year to find out about certain opportunities. Oh well--at least I'm not waiting with baited breath. The search for a change is on hold; if there ever was a worst time to be sending out feelers, it would be now.