Lesson 66: Welcome to India! Lets have Curry!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I have to make this post quick because I'm watching the finale of the Bachelor! I don't agree with any aspect of this show, and yet I am completely addicted.

Today was another adventure in class as we explored the cuisine of India and Thailand. Today's class was focused on curries. It was interesting to learn the correct techniques to make curry. I always thought it just involved using curry powder. First of all, a spice blend for curry is technically termed "masala". Each team made a different "masala" blend to add to our dishes. We will also be using these spice blends for a variety of dishes throughout the week. We also made "ghee", the type of fat we used in the Indian curries. Ghee is a lot like clarified butter, except it is taken a step further and is heated until it is brown. (We used coconut cream as the fat in the Thai curries)

Each group made different variations of curry. It was so much fun to try the different dishes each team made at the end of the day! I made the chickpea curry in my group. I started out by toasted cumin seeds in the ghee to infuse the flavor. I added onions, garlic, ginger, and spicy peppers. A masala powder was added to the mix, along with some hot water and canned diced tomatoes. I rendered a whole package of tamarind paste in the beginning of class and grabbed about 1/2 T. of the rendered paste and mixed it in some boiling water. I added this tamarind liquid to the pan. At the very end, I added cooked chickpeas and a garam masala blend. I kept having to add more liquid during the cooking process to keep the mixture from drying out. There were a lot of steps to this dish so I spent the majority of class working on it. It turned out pretty good though:

Each group also made a Pullao, a basmati or jasmine rice dish. They included Basmati Pullao with Whole Spices, Pullao with Crispy Brown-Fried Onions, and the one my group made Coconut Jasmine Pullao with Peas:

Each group also made this Sea Bass Curry:

Our group also made a Thai Green Chicken Curry that I never got a picture of. It looked a lot like the Thai Green Vegetable Curry shown below, except with chicken added to it:

Another group made this Lamb Curry in a Hurry:

I didn't get a picture of the Chicken Curry in a Hurry (but it was like the lamb curry). I loved this Thai Shrimp Curry:

For dessert, we had pineapple with spices, salt, and Thai Basil:


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