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Best. Curry. Ever.

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  • Best. Curry. Ever.

    Okay, admittedly that's a big claim to make. Especially since I can't really remember a bad curry. The thing I like about curries is that there's almost endless variety, and most of them can be cooked down to almost no sauce, so there's no reason to miss the starches. The thing I don't like about them is they take quite a bit of time to cook--not that you're standing over the stove, but they're hard to put together on a busy day. This one was completely worth staying home and standing guard over.

    This one is a lamb curry from Malaysia, according to the cookbook I got it from. The recipe below is not the original--it's my adaptation. In theory, it serves 4. PMMV (Primal mileage may vary. Still, it's a good chunk of food.) It's kind of spicy, too.


    3 Tablespoons garam masala
    1 Tablespoon cumin
    1 tsp turmeric
    sprinkle of ground mustard (the original recipe called for 1 T of whole mustard grains, but I was out, so used probably 1/2 tsp of ground)

    Everything else:
    2 lbs lamb, in 1" chunks. I actually used 1 1/4 lbs bone-in lamb stew meat and about the same boneless beef stew meat. Since the bone is a bit of a pain, I suggest going boneless.
    1/4 cup animal fat--I had a bit of leftover bacon grease and supplemented with butter. You'll have to watch the heat, though.
    1 large sweet onion, cut in half and then sliced across in thin slices
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 small serrano chili, chopped (fresh; I left the seeds in because the pepper is so small they're hard to remove)
    1 smallish red chili (my grocery store calls them Fresno chilies, but I have no idea what that actually means) , fresh, seeds out, chopped
    13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
    1 cup beef stock
    12 oz sugar snap peas
    chopped cilantro for garnish

    In a large bowl, mix all the spices, then add the diced meat and stir to coat thoroughly. Hands work best. Heat 1/4 of the fat in a large, heavy saucepan or dutch oven type pot. Add half the meat mixture and brown on all sides. Taste for seasoning--you might want to add some coarsely ground sea salt. Remove meat, then melt 1/4 of the fat and brown the rest of the meat. Remove.

    Heat remaining fat. Add onion, garlic and chilies, and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes until onion is soft. Add meat mixture back in, and add stock and coconut milk. Stir to mix thoroughly, and also to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour+15 minutes. I basically watched for signs that the sauce was at the level I wanted. If ou want more sauce, take it off the heat after about an hour. I set the timer at 30 minute intervals to stir the pot and make sure nothing was sticking.

    Take curry off the heat and stir in the peas. Note: I didn't have fresh peas, so I used frozen and cooked them until they were warm, but still crisp. If you use fresh peas, no cooking needed--just add them to the curry.

    Top with chopped cilantro to taste.

    While your jaw may drop at the taste, please close it for chewing purposes. Even Grok's mother demanded table manners.

    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

  • #2
    The first recipe posted required no adaptation except for what was available in my pantry/refrigerator/grocery store. How primal! This one, though, had to be adapted to avoid one very unprimal ingredient: black bean paste. Frankly, it's got fuller flavor in the original but I haven't figured out how to do a primal version of something that contains black beans, soy, wheat, and sugar

    Fish sauce, btw, contains only anchovies, salt, and water.

    This curry is another favorite--it's not as spicy as most curries (in the original cookbook, it's called an "aromatic" curry). One serving (also according to the book) would have roughly 50 g of protein and 8 g of carbs, so take that into account. I'm not sure how much that changes by taking out the bean paste, but I doubt by much. On the other hand, they're really big servings, so if that's going to top you out for your protein for the day, cut the serving in half and add more veggies. It's really good with broccoli, too.

    3 T fat
    @2 lbs beef, cut into strips (I've made this with stew meat--just cut the chunks into thinner chunks)
    1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (use red onion if you like adding color to your food)
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 small fresh serrano chili, chopped (do try to get the seeds out for this one)
    2 tsp chopped lemongrass-in-a-tube (or chop up a fresh stalk; don't use dried lemongrass--you'll never get the grass out of your teeth! I use the lemongrass in a tube because it's what's available at my grocery and I almost never plan to make this in advance)
    2 star anise pods
    1 cinnamon stick (@3 or 4")
    4 cardamom pods
    1 lb green beans, cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inch pieces (if you use frozen ones, which I often do, steam them until just warm and bright green, drain thoroughly)
    3 T fish sauce
    1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    1/2 cup toasted almond slices (note, I've also made this with pine nuts when I'm out of sliced almonds. To toast, heat a skillet over medium heat, pour in the nuts and toast, stirring, until nuts start to brown. It'll sneak up on you, so you do have to stand guard.)

    Heat 1/2 the fat in a large saucepot or large, deep skillet. Brown the beef, and remove (you'll probably need two batches). Heat remaining fat, add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add spices, chili, and fish sauce. Stir to thoroughly mix in the garlic, chili, and lemongrass, then add beans. Cook until beans are tender. Discard anise, cinnamon and cardamom. Return beef to pot and stir thoroughly. Cook another five minutes or so until heated through.

    Garnish with chopped cilantro and toasted almonds.

    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.


    • #3
      Great when you find a spice blend and a method that really works for you. Reading through, it does sound good!

      "... needs more fish!"