04/02/2012

Japanese Curry

Introduced to Japan by the British rather than the Indians, as an approximation of hot curried food.

So popular now in Japan it is simply called 'curry' and you will find curry roux packets widely available ... except for back here in Blighty, so I guess I'll have to dream up my own concoction.

Imagining this to be more akin to Beef Mulligatawny, as in the famous Heinz soup, just thicker, I set about a spice blend akin to that and kept it very simple to ground coriander, ground turmeric and some chilli powder.

How so?

This looks to be one of those meals that seems to have cooked forever, can be re-heated and probably is, combining fresh ingredients each time.

I sat a pound of casserole beef in some water at 125C for a few hours on Saturday morning. I don't recall how long, but a long time. Chuck it into a slow cooker ... job done.

With softened beef, collect the water for a gravy later.

Seal the meat it in some coconut oil and tossed in the dry spices - coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Be ready to pour in some water! That spice concoction is like mustard gas!

You could just use a garam masala blend, but my wife really does not like something in that blend, so I didn't.

Sprinkle in a beef stock cube and some arrowroot in water to thicken. Traditionally, flour would be used, but wheat really is bad so we're going to stay well clear. At a push, sorghum flour might be okay but we only need to thicken it.

Let it colour and finally pour over the reserved water, stirring in a teaspoon of tamarind paste and some ground black pepper.

Intermission ...

Tamarind? Is that even paleo?

Well, I don't quite know - it is a member of the Fabaceae family, and so technically a legume, although we're just using the seed from inside. Seed? Yes, the seed. So, um ... paleo?

Well, I don't know ... Either way, tamarind has a unique sour flavour which is the absolute key to this dish. In the spirit of paleo, I did my hunter/gatherer thing and collected a tub of pure tamarind extract from the local supermarket and tasted it. It didn't kill me and had a curious flavour. Being the largest and strongest in my tribe, I took the challenge! I'll eat some and see if it's okay ... it was!

Back to the main feature ...

Toss in a chopped carrot and some peas and then transfer back to the ovenproof dish.

Cook at 180C for a couple of hours.

Serve out with some rice, dressing the dish with some fresh coriander leaves.

White rice is one of those ingredients that is peripheral to the paleo diet, tolerable, but not ideal. Beyond paleo, Perfect Health Diet authors Paul & Shou-Ching Jaminet would call this a "safe starch" and it is with this in mind that I am perfectly happy to include white rice as part of what I would call a paleo+ diet.

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