My sea food curry

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by chrisbelgium, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Sea food curry

    Everything I know about Indian cuisine comes from a book called "   " written by Camellia Panjabi. I have a dutch translation of this small book that I frequently take with me on travels. I hardly made anything from this book but it inspired me many times for a lot of combinations and the use of spices in my own food.

    This is an attempt to make something closer to Indian cuisine. It may look very elaborate but it is in fact easy to make although it's not a bad idea to switch to zen-mode first... This is totally slow-cooking.

    - Start with making a spice mix (aka masala);

    I totally improvised but that doesn't mean I chose the spices eyes closed. Most of them are chosen for their fresh flavor, some for adding a bit of body.

    So, I start with adding these spices to a pan; red pepper corns, anis, fennel, caraway, all for their fresher taste and finally coriander, fenugreek and very little cumin for more body. By the way, fenugreek is the major ingredient in store-bought curry powder, this is what gives curry powder its specific smell.

    Put the pan on medium low and toast the spices for at least 10 minutes until they feel crunchy. Add a good pinch of chili flakes at the very last minutes. Don't let the spices smoke but just before they do, take them off the fire and add to a mortar and grind them into a coarse powder. The toasting has made the spices a lot more brittle and easier to grind.


    - The curry itself;

    I started with red onion, white onion, garlic, leak (white part only), celery, fresh ginger, fresh red chili pepper (deseeded), fresh flat leaf parsley. Let it all sweat in sunflower oil (no fragrant olive oil!!) on medium for at least 15-20 minutes, preferably a good 30 minutes, stir often.


    Add the spice mix and let sweat for another 10 minutes.

    Add coconut milk, very little turmeric, a few saffron threads, a pinch of sweet paprika powder, dried dill. Let this simmer on low for 30 minutes , lid askew.

    Now taste, taste, taste! Add salt & pepper and do check the acidity, you will need it. I added the zest of a lemon and the juice of half a lemon. Lime would even be better but I didn't have any.

    - Add the sea food

    I used fillets of cod, cut in bite size pieces, so, these have to cook just a few minutes, no longer. I also added shrimp which have to cook the same very short period.

    You're done. You may ask where I got the "Indian" bread? I have a little secret; it's called flour tortilla, brushed with sunflower oil and sprinkled with dried basil, shortly heated in a hot pan until they blow up. Cut in wedges. Don't tell anyone!

    Enjoy!

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2015
    hayden likes this.
  2. happyhound

    happyhound

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    Nice looking curry!

    I would caution against using that non-stick pan for toasting. That stuff is full of nasties that could really make you sick over extended uses. I only use one for eggs. Period. If the pan ever smokes I toss it and buy another. Just a word of caution my friend.

    "While PTFE is stable and nontoxic at lower temperatures, it begins to deteriorate after the temperature of cookware reaches about 260 °C (500 °F), and decomposes above 350 °C (662 °F).[citation needed] These degradation by-products can be lethal to birds,[30] and can cause flu-like symptoms[31] in humans. In May, 2003, the environmental research and advocacy organization Environmental Working Group filed a 14-page brief with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission petitioning for a rule requiring that cookware and heated appliances bearing non-stick coatings carry a label warning of hazards to people and to birds.

    Meat is usually fried between 204 and 232 °C (399 and 450 °F), and most oils start to smoke before a temperature of 260 °C (500 °F) is reached, but there are at least two cooking oils (refined safflower oil and avocado oil) that have a higher smoke point than 260 °C (500 °F). Empty cookware can also exceed this temperature when heated."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teflon
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I toast all my spices and nuts in the oven. This way they all toast evenly. Your  Curry looks very nice.
     
  4. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Thanks guys!

    @ChefEd  Great tip on toasting the spices in the oven!

    @HappyHound  I'm aware of the fact that these pans are no longer looked upon as being "safe", but I didn't realize their was such a health problem. I have replaced these pans with more modern equipment but I still use that pan for toasting spices. Maybe high time to get rid of it too.
     
  5. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Great looking curry!!!
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Chris  instead of mortaring try putting them into a food processor  or pepper mill.  Maybe some Tumeric.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  7. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    @Pete  Thanks!

    @ChefEd  When the spices are toasted, they become somewhat crunchy and easy to process in a mortar, and the amount I used isn't all that much. But, I still am looking for a small coffee grinder like we had at home many years ago. It was fit for making just one small batch of ground coffee and had quite a high speed grinding system with a blade. I remember when we were out of icing sugar, we cleaned the coffee grinder first and put some granulated sugar in there. It turned the granulates in powder in seconds.
     
  8. hayden

    hayden

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    This looks great, @ChrisBelgium! The thing I love about cooking Indian cuisine with all its spices is you can "totally improvise" and still come out with a kicking dish at the end of it; so simple yet so complex at the same time.
    I thought only Thermomix's could do that?!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif  
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  9. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    @Hayden  Thanks!

    I found a picture on the web of the Thermomix of the sixties /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif  Just like the one we used to grind coffee. It can contain only a hand of two of coffeebeans;