Not So Deep Thoughts

Part V: Just Like Starting Over

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Curry, the sequel

Posted by jkhutchins on June 8, 2010

Curry successfully made.  I think.

Actually making the curry took longer than I expected.  To be fair, it was my first time through and I was making two dishes, not one.

Partly I was exhausted by the time I got to the actual cooking stage.  My allergies have been bothering me, I haven’t been getting enough sleep, and I had to go out for more spices after I had gotten home from the long trip out I had made the first time.

So, I had to chop up everything.  That was fine.  For the vindaloo, an onion, the chicken, potatoes.  Cook the onions a bit, throw in the chicken, paste and potatoes, some water, let cook.   Simmer.   Honestly, with the paste it is a very manageable meal.  I had a rougher time than I should have because the pot I was using barely fit.  I’d make it again.  With the paste already made, it doesn’t require a lot of work.  I did precook the chicken, which made it take a little longer, but even so it wasn’t bad at all.  And as long as you have the spices on hand and a spice grinder, even then it isn’t too time intensive.  If you aren’t buying the spices, shopping time is minimal.

For the tikka masala, again, not too bad.  Chop up an onion and some cilantro, cut up a chili pepper (bad on the recipe to not warn about the oils).  Throw in pan with some crushed ginger (I used a jar instead of the fresh), saute for ten minutes or so.  I was also setting up rice and doing some cleanup while this was going on.  Add chicken.  Throw in paste, coconut milk, tomatoes and a can of water.  Boil then simmer.  Shopping time on this is a little longer, but not that much.

Both recipes were fairly simple, and half of the time required did not need much attention.  The table could be set, or doing cleanup.  Or both, really.  Both pans were easy to wash.

Tools required:  a knife (wash between cutting up chicken and the other stuff), a cutting board (ditto) and two pans.  Bowls for staging stuff (I used regular dinner bowls).  A rubber spatula for scraping out (optional), and two spatulas for the two dishes.  I could have used large tablespoons instead and have in the past.  (Buy spatulas though, they are cheap and well worth it).  Spoons for the curry paste and ginger.  I also made rice, so the rice cooker.  I could have used my spaghetti pot if I didn’t have a cooker already. (Rice:  2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.  Cook until done).

And the food was good.  It had flavor and texture and wouldn’t be out of place at a buffet.  And was still mostly scratch.  Processed versions aren’t nearly as tasty or have the same full texture.

Jamie Oliver wins the battle of the home cook this time, at least if you like really hot food.  Because it was.  In the meantime, I have leftovers for at least a week after feeding two people, for a lot less than comparable takeout would have been.  So, all in all I call it a success.

I should probably link the recipes…

Chicken vindaloo (I used the first recipe except with Jamie’s paste).

Chicken tikka masala


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