What is Curry to You??
According to Wikipedia, curry is a cuisine from the continent of India. It uses variety of spices and herbs, usually with chillies. Most curry are spicy. That is, unless you grew up in my household. The curry I came to know were Japanese curries. My mother would use little cubes that look very similar to stock bouillon to make the curry. The S& B Tasty Curry Sauce Mix I grew up with gives you the choices of mid, moderate and hot. It also has a recipes on the back of the package, which calls for primarily root vegetables and one type of meat. The resultant curry is quite chunky, almost like a stew.
It comes with 2 foiled packs, each with 4 bouillon inside, which makes 10 servings. My mother always used the whole packet for our large family. We would eat it with rice, the ratio of curry to rice is roughly 1:1. When I lived on my own, I had to adjust the numbers of bouillon used depending on the amount of raw ingredients involved. I also found that it can be quite versatile to add exotic taste into other type of sauces or to flavour soup.
So imagine my surprise when I traveled oversea and my friends took me to an “authentic Indian restaurant” and they ordered 3- 4 different curries that came in tiny sauce bowls. There were no chunks, and in place of rice we were given large pieces of naan bread. I quickly learned that the servings was so tiny because, well, the Indian curries really pack a punch in the flavour department. We had to request more naan bread and still there were left over of curries in the tiny bowls. Since then I’ve experimented with different spices in making curry, but most of the time I still reach for the familiar S & B cubes and use it to substitute in recipes that call for curry spices.
This recipe is inspired and modified from an entry from LCBO’s Food & Drink Magazine, Holiday 2013 edition. (Who knew LCBO publish their own magazine? I love it. It gives you ideas on food and wine pairing. Great for someone like me!). Unfortunately I couldn’t find the original recipe on their website no matter what combination of search terms I used, so you will just have to take my words for it. I removed any use of salt and pepper because I
think the Curry bouillons have enough flavour in them already. The recipe also called for cilantro, which is my mortal enemy so it is banished. Sorry.
Serves: 6 (though since it was so yummy it only ended up as 3
Prep time: roughly 2 hours in total including the cutting, washing
the vegetables, etc etc.
1/4 cup butter
1 cup beef shank, roughly cut into cubes. Don’t remove the fatty parts. They are the best.
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup ginger root, chop into large chunks of 2x2cm. (The recipe asks to have the ginger finely chopped. I love the flavour and smell of ginger, but I hate the texture and do not want to try to fish them out in every single bite. My compromise is to chop them in big pieces so I can get the flavour during cooking but avoid biting into them when eating)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
5 cubes of S & B Golden Curry, Mild
1 cup coconut milk (I used Cha’s Organic Coconut Milk, Light. It’s my first time using it and I am surprised by how homogenous it is, since I am used to coconut milk with one
big block of the cream come tumbling out and leaving behind watery substance in the can)
1 banana, sliced
3 cups fresh spinach
Let’s Get Cooking!!
1. Heat butter over medium- high heat in a large pot
2. Add half the beef into the pot. Brown well on all sides. Remove and set aside. The second half will be cooked after the vegetables. (I don’t know any scientific reason behind
this, just following the order)
3. Add onion, pepper, ginger, and garlic to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove and set aside
4. Add remaining 1/2 of beef cubes and brown all sides. Return the 1/2 beef cubes and cooked vegetables into pot along with the curry bouillon. Pour enough water in pot to
just cover the top of the mixture.
5. Cover and bring to boil then lower to medium- low heat and cook covered for 1 hour.
6. Check from time to time to see if liquid has reduced and add extra water. I didn’t have to add more because I do like my curry to be a bit thicker
7. Add coconut milk and banana. Bring to a boil and reduce liquid to sauce consistency
8. Stir in spinach right before serving to keep their flavour and colour bright and fresh
Serve with Jasmin rice.
I enjoyed this recipe. I would not have thought to add banana into a main meal. It adds a little bit a surprise sweetness when you bite into it. I also like the advice about adding in spinach at the very last minute to preserve its flavour. With my laziness, I probably would have dump them all in if the recipe didn’t say so : P