Hot, Hot, Hot!
As I have mentioned previously, my darling father was an international banker and oh, what a wonderful life that afforded our family!
When I was one year old, we left Montreal, Canada, on board a biiiiig ship and landed in Port Of Spain, Trinidad, where we would reside for the next seven years. Obviously, at that age, I did not have the cognizance (nor did I care), to realize how the gift of travel would impact my life. One of the many ways it did shape my life was in the culinary arena and in Trinidad, I learned at a very early age that curry is a most delicious fare! Our cook, Iris, made a mean curry and I loved it.
Originating in India, Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries, a real curry, made from scratch, contains all sorts of spices mixed together to give the particular flavor desired. A curry is not called “a curry” in these countries but each dish has a particular name.
Many curry recipes are contained in 19th century cookbooks such as those by Mrs. Beeton. In Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, a recipe for curry powder is given that contains coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, mustard, ginger, allspice and fenugreek; although she notes that it is more economical to purchase the powder at “any respectable shop”.
And, I must say, that is exactly how I make my much-loved curry! I prepare a dark gravy which I then infuse with curry powder, which I purchase at “a respectable shop”. Now, curry powder is sold in different strengths and so, if you are wanting to make a curry, I would start with a “mild” one. Obviously, if you feel you like the “hot, hot, hot” flavors, do a “medium” one. Start with putting a couple of tablespoons full into the gravy and then taste it. Add, as you see fit. It is such an individualized taste that you really do have to taste as you go. Curry tends to get hotter the longer it is in the sauce so take that into consideration when making a curry. Then, to this curry infused gravy, add cooked chicken pieces or lamb, veal or beef…..whatever is your fancy. You can add cut up boiled potatoes and vegetables of any sort. Or, if you prefer to just do it with vegetables, that is perfectly delicious. Add raisins, currants or sultanas to your curry if you wish.
Once you have done this, let your curry simmer a while – perhaps an hour or so – stirring occasionally so as not to stick to the bottom of your pot. Spoon your curry over a bed of rice and there you have it – a wonderful curry.
One thing I love about having a curry is the condiments that are served with it. In small bowls on your table, you will want to have tomatoes (cut up very small), bananas (sliced), peanuts, raisins, coconut, hard boiled eggs (cut up small), chutney, and anything else that you think might taste good on the top of your curry.
Curry has become an integral part of British cuisine, so much so that, since the late 1990s, Chicken Tikki Masalahas been referred to as “a true British national dish”. It is now available as a flavor for “crisps” the British equivalent of potato chips, and even as a pizza topping!
As we mentioned in a previous post, “Coronation Chicken”, which is a cold dish flavored with curry invented to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, points to the popularity amongst the British, of this flavor.
Your Two Chums love a good curry and love anything that has the curry flavor in it! One can add it to a lot of things – it is great in many cold salads, and adds a great taste to deviled eggs. One cold salad that we serve a lot and we find that our guests LOVE it is Cold Rice Salad. It involves a lot of chopping so get ready to chop!
For best results, make this the night before and put in the refrigerator.
Cook 2 cups of rice in 40 oz of chicken broth.
Chop the following into small pieces:
3 sticks celery
5 green onions
1 green pepper
1/4 cup parsley
18 oz artichoke hearts (save water from can)
4 oz pimento
Wisk the following with the water from the artichoke hearts:
2 cups Best Foods Mayonnaise
Curry powder (as much or as little as you like. Put 3 tablespoons of mild curry powder in it and then taste it. Add as you wish, but remember, it does get hotter as it sits!
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour the mixture over the chopped ingredients and add rice when the rice has cooled.
Put in refrigerator overnight.
The chopping is worth it – just wait and see!
This comes with love, joy and hopes that this will add abundance to your lives!